What is in this article?:
- Why you need iodineâ€”and how to get enough
- Address your intake
Iodine, a trace element, is one of the most important—and most overlooked—minerals your body needs. Some experts fear iodine deficiency is on the rise again, especially among women.
Address your intake
If you suspect you’re low in iodine, first have your doctor check you for thyroid problems, says Large. Next, discuss diet. Large recommends eating iodine-rich seaweed and sea vegetables such as nori, dulse, kelp, and spirulina. Pearce, however, thinks these foods are too high in iodine, which can negatively affect the thyroid; she recommends iodine-containing table salt and low-fat dairy products instead.
If you’re a woman in your childbearing years, Pearce suggests supplementing your diet with 150 mcg potassium iodide (in a prenatal supplement) to achieve 220 mcg total daily intake during pregnancy and 290 mcg during breastfeeding. You can also get iodine through kelp supplements. Be sure to talk over your options with your doctor.
Top iodine foods
Sea vegetables: 16 mcg to 2,984 mcg per serving
Yogurt: 75 mcg per serving
Iodized salt: 71 mcg per serving
Dairy milk: 56 mcg per serving
Enriched bread: 45 mcg per serving
Eggs: 24 mcg per serving
Recommended daily iodine
Birth to 1 year: 110–130 mcg
Ages 1 to 8: 90 mcg
Ages 9 to 13: 120 mcg
Ages 14+: 150 mcg
During pregnancy or lactation: 220–290 mcg
Source: National Institutes of Health