Natural Sources of Iodine

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Iodine is a trace element that cannot be synthesised by the body. Due to this it is necessary to obtain the bodies iodine requirements from dietary sources.

Unfortunately though Iodine is not present in many foods and the ones that it is present in tend not to have the levels verified. Hence it is virtually impossible to know how much iodine you are consuming in your diet. The below table shows you the foods that are considered to have the most iodine present in them, the only glaring omission is seaweed - that is by far the best natural source of Iodine. 

Please note the below amounts are only indicative and can very greatly. This is because the amount of Iodine in soils will vary greatly depending on location and fertilisers being used. Iodine is believed to be getting further depleted from much of the soil and this has a direct effect on the amount of Iodine in the plants being grown.

 Natural Food Sources of Iodine

Food

         Portion

Average iodine/ portion (mcg)

Cow’s milk

200ml

50-80**

Organic cow’s milk

200ml

30-65**

Yoghurt

150g

50-100**

Eggs

1 egg (50g)

20

Cheese

40g

15

White fish

100g

115

Oily fish

100g

50

Shellfish

100g

90

Meat

100g

10

Poultry

100g

10

Nuts

25g

5

Bread

1 slice (36g)

5

Fruit and veg

1 portion (80g)

3


**Depending on the season, higher value in winter. These amounts will vary greatly and are meant as indicative.

The above table highlights that it is difficult to get sufficient Iodine into the diet, especially for Vegans! Luckily though seaweed is by far the best natural source of Iodine. Many dietary associations and bodies recommend not consuming seaweed as the levels of Iodine can be so concentrated that it can cause an adverse reaction in people who are not used to consuming high amounts. 

To alleviate this issue we verify the iodine levels in each batch of our dried and milled seaweed. This means the consumer knows exactly how much they are eating and whether they are getting sufficient amounts in their diet. Most seaweed products only show the Typical Nutritional Profile of the seaweed in question and not the quantities in each individual batch. To highlight the differences in Iodine levels of different seaweeds, please view the below table.

As mentioned the levels of iodine present will vary but it is a good indicator of how different the iodine levels are depending on seaweed variety.

Seaweed Name Iodine Levels (ppm)
Dulse  150 - 550
Sea Spaghetti  185
Nori 150 - 550
Laminaria Digitata 800 - 5000
Alaria 165
Irish Moss 200 - 300
Sea Lettuce 240
Sea Grass 780
Bladderwrack 500
Sugar Kelp 5000
Sargassum 30
Ascophyllum 700 - 1200

 

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  • Timothy Kinghan