Iodine is a mineral which is very essential for proper thyroid functions. It is also important for the production of thyroid hormones that helps growth and metabolism. Iodine deficiency can lead to mental retardation, mental and physical impairments in adults, and increased risk of thyroid cancer, fibrocystic breast disease, mental slowness, high cholesterol, lethargy, fatigue, depression, weight gain, and goitre (swelling of the thyroid gland in the neck).
[ Read: Source of Hemoglobin ]
So we have to ensure that we take food rich in Iodine in sufficient quantities. The largest source of foods rich in iodine is found in sea/ocean.
Let us quickly look at the best Iodine rich foods:
Ocean has abundance of food rich in iodine. Various varieties of seafood like cod, shrimps, lobsters, oysters, etc are good sources of iodine. Iodine is even found in seaweeds, dulse , dilli, and sea kelp is considered the best source of iodine throughout the world.
It is one of the oldest known leafy vegetables consumed by human beings. Apart from providing many vitamins and health nutrients, it also has iodine. It is the best known iodine source for vegans.
Eggs are another rich source of iodine food. They are easily available at anyone’s house and everyone loves them.
[ Read: Low Sodium Levels ]
4. Dairy products:
Yes, you heard it right? Dairy products such as milk, buttermilk, paneer, curd, cheese are very good sources of iodine. Foods like eggs and hamburger meat are also good sources of iodine. Mozzarella cheese is a rich source of iodine.
Now-a-days iodine is being added to table salt. The iodine in salt helps to overcome thyroid and many other health problems. Not all salts in the market are iodized; do check the salt packaging label for its iodine content.
Vegetables like artichoke, spinach, soybean, turnips, potatoes, legumes, peas, beans, corn, broccoli and cauliflower etc contains iodine that they take up from soil. The quantity of iodine in these vegetables depends on the iodine content of the soil in that particular area. Cooking these vegetables doesn’t reduce the amount of iodine in them.
Fruits are another great source of iodine. Fruits contain antioxidants, vitamins, minerals along with iodine, which is very useful for the human body. Fruits that include iodine are strawberry, cranberry, fig, pineapple, apple, coconut, grapefruit, kiwi, rhubarb, mango, dates, apricots, etc.
Some spices also include iodine. Hence, their usage in food everyday can provide iodine to the body. These spices are cinnamon, black and white pepper.
Certain herbs also contain iodine in them. Herbs like fennel, hyssop etc contain iodine.
Beverages like black tea, tea, coffee, beer; wine have a small amount of iodine present in them. Though they can fulfil the iodine requirement in the body, they must be taken in small quantities due to the caffeine in it.
[ Read: Vitamin k Foods ]
10. Himalayan Crystal Salt:
This salt is also known as grey salt. This is a very good source of iodine.
Some important tips:
1. Breast milk contains iodine, but over consumption can cause harm to infants.
2. Over intake of iodine can cause vomiting, stomach ache, etc.
3. Avoid using too much of iodine after 35 years to avoid health issues.
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