22 Foods Highest in Iodine

Iodine is an essential mineral that’s vital to the proper functioning of the thyroid. The thyroid gland is responsible for managing growth and metabolism. An iodine deficiency can cause symptoms such as fatigue, high cholesterol, lethargy, depression, and swelling of the thyroid gland. Prevent this dangerous deficiency by eating the right amount of iodine rich foods each day.

22 Iodine Rich Foods- this essential mineral is important in maintaining proper thyroid function and metabolic rates.

Baked Potatoes

In order to get the necessary nutrients, baked potatoes are a better option than mashed potatoes. Most of the important dietary staples, such as fiber, vitamins, and potassium are contained in the skin. Baked potatoes are also a great source of iodine; one medium potato provides about 40% of the recommended daily amount of iodine.

Serving Size (1 medium potato), 60 micrograms of iodine (40% DV), 161 calories.

Milk

Milk is usually the beverage of choice for anyone who’s worried about a calcium or Vitamin D deficiency. But milk also contains several other nutrients, including the essential mineral iodine. One cup of milk contains an impressive 56 micrograms of the mineral, or about 37% of what the average person must consume each day.

Serving Size (1 cup), 56 micrograms of iodine (37% DV), 98 calories.

nori

Dried Seaweed

For iodine deficiency, dried seaweed is the go-to remedy because of its incredible supply of this essential mineral. A quarter-ounce serving contains 4,500 micrograms of iodine. That’s way more than enough iodine for the body to absorb in a day (3000% of the daily value, to be exact.) Consume smaller portions over time in order to gain the health benefits.

Serving Size (1/4 ounce), 4,500 micrograms of iodine (3000% DV), 18 calories.

Cod

The meat of the cod fish is mild, moist, and delicious. It’s also low-fat, low-calorie, and packed with several nutrients. A three-ounce serving size of cod provides your body with 99 micrograms of iodine, or 66% of the recommended amount per day. Cod is also a healthy source of protein, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and Vitamin E.

Serving Size (3 ounces), 99 micrograms of iodine (66% DV), 89 calories.

Fortified Iodized Salt

Iodine is often confused with salt, but the two are actually very distinct. In terms of chemistry, salt is classified as a crystal, and is composed of two elements: sodium and chloride. Iodine, on the other hand is a mineral. Many brands of salt are fortified with the essential mineral iodine. If you worry you’re not getting enough iodine, check to make sure the salt you’re using is fortified with iodine, and then enjoy it in moderation with a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Serving Size (1 gram), 77 micrograms of iodine (51% DV), 0 calories.

Shrimp

Seafood is usually a great source of iodine, and shrimp is just one example. A three-ounce serving of shrimp provides 35 micrograms of iodine, or enough to account for just under a quarter of the recommended amount each day. Shrimp also provides your body with other essential minerals, primarily protein and calcium.

Serving Size (3 ounces), 35 micrograms of iodine (23% DV), 84 calories.

Himalayan Crystal Salt

If you’re trying to avoid conventional table salt but you’re worried about not getting enough iodine, Himalayan crystal salt is a viable alternative. Half a gram of Himalayan crystal salt provides 250 micrograms of iodine—over 150% of the amount the average body needs each day—so enjoy this special salt in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Serving Size (1/2 gram), 250 micrograms of iodine (167% DV), 0 calories.

turkey breast

Baked Turkey Breast

Three ounces of baked turkey breast meat provides 34 micrograms of essential iodine. That’s about 23% of the daily recommended value. For reference, three ounces of meat is about the size of a deck of cards. Turkey also provides your body with B-vitamins, potassium, and phosphorus, all of which are essential to a strong and healthy body.

Serving Size (3 ounces), 34 micrograms of iodine (23% DV), 78 calories.

Dried Prunes

If you’re used to associating dried prunes with the elderly, try giving these sweet fruits a chance. If you don’t, you’ll be missing out on all the vitamins, nutrients, and minerals they have to provide. Just five dried prunes provide your body with essential fiber, boron, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and much more. Prunes are also a good source of iodine, and their many essential nutrients make them a great addition to any diet.

Serving Size (5 prunes), 13 micrograms of iodine (9% DV), 120 calories.

Navy Beans

Beans are some of the healthiest and most versatile foods on the planet. Enjoy a half-cup serving with any meal, and you’ll provide your body with a respectable amount of protein, copper, potassium, calcium, folate, and iodine. If you’re trying to prevent an iodine deficiency, navy beans are an excellent remedy because of the many additional nutrients they add to your diet.

Serving Size (1/2 cup), 32 micrograms of iodine (21% DV), 128 calories.

Fish Sticks

Fish sticks can be a good source of iodine if you’re worried about a deficiency in your diet. Due to their high calorie content, though, you should eat them only in moderation. Two fish sticks can supply your body with 35 micrograms of iodine, or about 23% of the recommended daily value.

Serving Size (2 fish sticks), 35 micrograms of iodine (23% DV), 140 calories.

Canned Tuna

Tuna that is canned in oil usually contains more iodine than when it’s canned in water. Three ounces of canned tuna provides 17 micrograms of iodine, or 11% of what the average person must consume per day. Add more tuna to your diet for more iodine, and you’ll also benefit from its high protein, Vitamin D, and iron contents.

Serving Size (3 ounces), 17 micrograms of iodine (11% DV), 99 calories.

hard boiled eggs

Boiled Eggs

Hard boiled eggs are a versatile, healthy food that supplies the body with Vitamin A, Vitamin D, zinc, calcium, antioxidants, and more. They’re also consumed for their iodine content. One hard boiled egg provides just under 10% of the iodine needed for the day. For a light and healthy meal, slice a hard-boiled egg over a leafy green and veggie-filled salad.

Serving Size (1 large egg), 12 micrograms of iodine (9% DV), 78 calories.

Plain Yogurt

Yogurt is a healthy food that’s often enjoyed at breakfast or as a light snack. It’s known for its high contents of calcium and protein, but it’s also a great option for those looking to increase the iodine in their diet. A cup of plain yogurt provides 58% of the daily recommended value of iodine.

Serving Size (1 cup), 154 micrograms of iodine (58% DV), 154 calories.

Bananas

Eating a banana is a quick and healthy way to get an energy boost, thanks in part to the high potassium content. But many people don’t realize that bananas also contain iodine, making them a healthy and nutrient-rich food to supplement a high iodine diet. A medium-sized banana contains 3 micrograms of essential iodine.

Serving Size (1 medium banana), 3 micrograms of iodine (2% DV), 12 calories.

Strawberries

Strawberries are a tasty and nutrient rich fruit that provides your body with many vitamins and minerals. Strawberries are deliciously sweet, but they’re a surprising source of iodine. A one-cup serving contains 13 micrograms of iodine, or just under 10% of what the average person needs to consume in a day.

Serving Size (1 cup), 13 micrograms of iodine (9% DV), 46 calories.

Canned Corn

There are many ways to enjoy corn, including creamed, canned, or on the cob. For a boost in the mineral iodine, which is essential to a healthy and fully-functioning body, choose canned corn. Enjoy half a cup of canned corn as a side dish with dinner, and your body will reap the benefits of 14 micrograms of iodine.

Serving Size (1/2 cup), 14 micrograms of iodine (9% DV), 67 calories.

lobster is crazy high in iodine

Lobster

Lobster is usually reserved for special occasions, but if you’re suffering from iodine deficiency, a serving of lobster can be a great way to get the boost your body needs. A 100-gram serving of lobster provides 100 micrograms of the essential mineral, or about two-thirds of the recommended daily value.

Serving Size (100 grams), 100 micrograms of iodine (67% DV), 98 calories.

Cheddar Cheese

Cheddar cheese is a great food choice when you need more iodine in your diet. It’s easy to add a slice to burgers and sandwiches or to sprinkle shredded cheddar over soups and salads. An ounce of cheddar cheese provides 12 micrograms of iodine. As with most cheeses, you should enjoy cheddar in moderation because of its high calorie count.

Serving Size (1 ounce), 12 micrograms of iodine (8% DV), 452 calories.

Cranberries

Cranberries have a rich color and a unique flavor. If you’re able to enjoy the sour taste, cranberries provide many health benefits. They have a high concentration of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and fiber, and they’re known to prevent urinary tract infections. They’re also a stellar source of iodine; four ounces of these tart treats contains well over the recommended daily value of iodine.

Serving Size (4 ounces), 400 micrograms of iodine (267% DV), 52 calories.

White Bread

White bread is sometimes discarded as unhealthy fluff, but it actually contains several essential minerals. If you eat it in moderation, it can be a great addition to a balanced diet. If iodine deficiency is a concern, two slices of white bread provide 45 micrograms of iodine, or 30% of the recommended daily value.

Serving Size (2 slices), 45 micrograms of iodine (30% DV), 132 calories.

Green Beans

If you’re missing that last little bit of iodine in your diet, cook a serving of green beans with your next meal. A half-cup serving contains 3 micrograms of iodine. That’s just enough to net 2% of the daily recommended value. In addition, green beans (also commonly referred to as string beans) are a great source of Vitamin C, potassium, and folate.

Serving Size (1/2 cup), 3 micrograms of iodine (2% DV), 16 calories.

Iodine is an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet. Since the body cannot synthesize this mineral, it’s important to include various iodine rich foods in your diet each day. Fortunately, there are many fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and seafood options that make it easy to get the iodine your body needs each day.

iodine supplement
You may also be interested in our list of the best iodine supplements.

Iodine FAQ

What can Iodine be used for?

The kind of Iodine you see in a bottle can be used to sterilize and clean a wound. There are also Iodine tinctures that have an assortment of uses. There are also kelp supplements that contain Iodine which are meant to be used to fill any gaps in your Iodine levels.

Can an Iodine deficiency cause hair loss?

One of the benefits of Iodine is that it helps with hair growth, and contrarily one of the symptoms of deficiency is that it can lead to faster rates of hair loss. It is not typically cited as the sole reason for hair loss, but it can contribute to it if a deficiency is left unchecked.

Does Iodine boost metabolism?

One of the benefits of getting enough Iodine is that your metabolism will be able to function at its best. If you are running low on Iodine and have noticed that you have a sluggish metabolism as well, you may notice a boost if you start getting the right amount of Iodine each day. But there is a limit to how much it can increase your metabolism, so you don’t want to take more Iodine than what you need as this can work against you.

Is Iodine a diatomic element?

Yes, Iodine is one of the seven diatomic elements.

Can Iodine be taken orally?

There are a few ways to take Iodine orally, either in a tincture or through a kelp supplement. Be sure to check on the label of the Iodine you’re considering that the recommended usage is to take it orally.

Is Iodine a vitamin or mineral?

It is a mineral, and a chemical element.

Does Iodine cause acne?

Taking excessive amounts of Iodine may trigger breakouts, but there is not a lot of conclusive evidence in this matter. It’s not a good idea to take too much Iodine, since it can affect your thyroid and lead to other problems.

Does Iodine cure jock itch?

There is anecdotal evidence that it may help with the itchiness, but it appears that it doesn’t work as well as OTC remedies specifically formulated to treat jock itch.

Can Iodine kill cancer cells?

It doesn’t specifically kill cancer cells, but what it does do is help the body program the death of cells that would later have mutated into cancer cells. This makes it an important element in the fighting off and prevention of cancer.

Will Iodine make you taller?

Iodine is essential for proper thyroid function, so it’s not hard to see that a lack during your growing years may stunt your growth and make you shorter than you otherwise would be. That being said, there’s little reason to suspect that you’re running an Iodine shortage unless you’ve been told so by your doctor.

Does Iodine help the thyroid?

The right amount of Iodine helps your thyroid function the way it should. Too little Iodine and it will be sluggish, too much and it can become overactive. The best solution is to make sure that you’re getting Iodine from the foods you eat, and most Americans are just fine in this regard. It can happen that your body has trouble absorbing the Iodine from the foods you eat. Get checked by your doctor if you’re concerned.

Is Iodine deficiency common?

Iodine deficiency was more common in the past before they started adding it to salt. These days it is only common in certain parts of the world where they don’t get enough Iodine due to dietary limitations. It is also more common in vegetarians and vegans because they are avoiding many of the foods that contain Iodine naturally.

Does Iodine kill nail fungus?

Lugol’s Iodine has been shown to have a positive effect on nail fungus. This is a specific mixture of different Iodines and water, and is not a brand name but is named after the doctor that came up with it.

Is Iodine expensive?

Iodine can be found in antiseptic form at many drug stores, and is typically very inexpensive. It can also be found in supplement form, and is typically not very expensive at all compared to other nutritional and health supplements.

Is Iodine essential to humans?

The human body needs Iodine to function properly. It does not have the ability to create it, the way it can create Vitamin D with exposure to sunlight. It relies on your intake of food and supplements to get the needed amounts.

Where does Iodine naturally occur?

There are plenty of foods that are naturally high in Iodine. They range from seafood to potatoes, and it’s good to get a balance of different foods so that you’re not relying on one source. You can also find Iodine in supplements that contain kelp, as this is another place where Iodine is naturally found.

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26 Comments

  1. Michele says:

    Good useful information-hope you can use and enjoy!!

  2. Beverly says:

    I eat all these things in moderation but I’m stiill hypo.
    I guess I don’t eat enough for walking around. The doc still wants to give me salt pills which make my hemrhyoids bleed just taking one. Seizure pills are bad enough, I can’t take both.

    It’s good to know some foods I can eat more of or try to.
    I have a hard time getting around to eating anything.

    • jen says:

      I didn’t know to much about what I needed to stay away from but my thyroid is very crazy and out of ccontrol

      • Shawnd says:

        I am no doctor and could be completely wrong here. I just did some looking around though on the web in regards to the importance of Iodine in our body. I cannot say for certainty in any circumstance that lack of Iodine, added with radiological scans could be deadly. I admit without professional research I am susceptible to sounding ignorant. I apologize if any of the information I posted may be misleading.

    • ido says:

      hi…i think i have the same problem …i used to eat a well balanced diet everyday everyday! but i still had hypo or symptoms of hypo …but one day i met this doc said i should try switching my diet coz may be the food that i eat produce too much iodine which my thyroid cant handle and thus instead producing excess thyroid hormones it produces av ery little ….i know it sounds silly but i tried a steady low iodine diet and so far so good…..anyways consult your doctor about it maybe it could be the thing for you……wish u the best in life n health

  3. Naomi says:

    Can you tell me what brand or kind of yogurt is a good source of iodine? I noticed you said plain and somewhere else I read lowfat… I’m pregnant and just want to be sure I’m getting the necessary amount and yogurt i can do. :) thank you

  4. elena says:

    hi, confusing because i read in internet that bananas contains not a bit of iodine, but here bananas included in 22 foods high content iodine?

  5. Marian says:

    My husband Rex he is 79 ,he had a problem of underactive Thyroid gland for many years he use to take Eltroxin tablet once a day 0.05mg and 0.1mg. Eltroxin may contain drugs and may have side effects. What else in nature or supplementary is best ?

  6. simhadri says:

    i have low tsh

  7. marlene says:

    I am confused…… I have had my thyroid removed due to cancer, yet I have to go on a low iodine diet for a month before I have scans done. If iodine is so important for our normal functioning body, why do I have to starve my body of this important mineral.

    • Amanda says:

      I have an enlarged thyroid and am definately suffering from iodine deficiency however whenever I eat iodine rich foods ie; eggs, yougurt, fish,sushi -seaweed,bannanas,shellfish I get chronic diarrhoea. it is bright yellow liquid that looks just like iodine. Does this mean that I am not absorbing iodine ?

      • Simon Jacobs says:

        No this would not be iodine. Most likely it is a dysbiosis of the gut, ie something is wrong with your intestinal flora. Go see a Naturopath or ND.

        If you are concerned about your iodine levels, try putting a dab of Povidone-iodine (active ingredient of Betadine and similar) in the crook of your elbow. Does it disappear in a few hours? You need more. Is it still there in 8hrs? You don’t need more.

        This is also a less dangerous way to take an iodine suppliement. If your body doesn’t need it, it stays on your skin.

  8. Ron says:

    Your DV for plain yogurt is incorrect. At 154 mcg, it would have far more than your indicated 58% DV.

  9. doully says:

    i have thyriod problem the right side of my neck is swollow please i needhelp because i dont want to do operation

    • HJ says:

      See a dietitcian that specialises in thyroid problems. I have found traditional chinese medicine extremely helpful also. Good luck!

    • ayoola says:

      I eat lots of spinch kale,broccolli, cucumber and after sometimes I noticed slight swollen on my neck. , but my blood test is normal, am a bit worried. have seen my GP, said not to worry since blood test is ok. Do I need to stop eating the veggies?

  10. Mathi Bear says:

    thank you for the information on iodine. Your calories on the cheddar cheese are a bit off though. 1 oz is more like 112-120 calories not 452.

  11. Emmanuel Peace says:

    my thyroid gland is swelling up and i was told to be eating oil bean, does it really work?

  12. Linktest says:

    iodine saved my life

  13. carolyn JP says:

    I’ve been diagnosed with an overactive thyroid recently. It seems as though so many foods contain iodine, what should I eat then ?

  14. Sarah says:

    Hi, I’m 38 weeks pregnant and have been taking 3 holland and Barrett kelp tablets daily each containing 150ug iodine as instructed on the label. I was taking them before getting pregnant, they helped my sluggish metabolism return to normal. I decided to carry on taking them when I got pregnant becaus I read that iodine is more important during pregnancy and so thought I was doing a good thing. Now after reading this I am worried that I have been getting too much and that my baby is in danger. I don’t eat meat but u do eat dairy and occasionally fish. All the scans I’ve had suggest that my baby is healthy but could there be something wrong that has t been detected? Please help, I am really worried.

  15. Kit says:

    Interested in loosing weight through taking Iodine working with the Thyroid gland and the Lipitin hormone.

  16. Leanna says:

    Where did you get your information on Himalayan Crystal Salt? I have seen sites that say its a good source and sites that say it has no iodine in it.

  17. Galahad says:

    Regarding hard-boiled eggs

    Why would a hard boiled egg have more iodine than an omelette, or a fried eggs?

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