Grandma's Iodine Guide

Needed only in trace amounts, Iodine helps to metabolize excess fat and is important for physical and mental development. It is also needed for a healthy thyroid gland and the prevention of goiter.

Iodine deficiency in children may result in mental retardation. In addition, Iodine deficiency has been linked to breast cancer and is associated with fatigue, neonatal hypothyroidism (cretinism), and weight gain.

Excessive Iodine intake (over thirty times the RDA) can produce a metallic taste and sores in the mouth, swollen salivary glands, diarrhea, and vomiting.

photo of a plate cooked seafood with curry a natural food source of iodine photo of a bowl of cooked soybeans a natural food source of iodine photo of a fresh bulb of garlic a natural food source of iodine

Natural Food Sources of Iodine

Natural Food Sources of Iodine include:

  • iodized salt
  • seafood
  • saltwater fish
  • kelp
  • asparagus
  • dulse
  • garlic
  • lima beans
  • mushrooms
  • sea salt
  • sesame seeds
  • soybeans
  • spinach (but see Comments below)
  • summer squash
  • Swiss chard
  • turnip greens


Some foods block the uptake of Iodine into the thyroid gland when eaten raw in large amounts.

These include:

  • Brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • cauliflower
  • kale
  • peaches
  • pears
  • spinach
  • turnips

If you have an underactive thyroid, you should limit your consumption of these foods.

The best Iodine supplements are simply using sea salt or iodized table salt.


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