Which foods contain high levels of iodine?


Quick Answer

There are two major categories of foods that contain high levels of iodine: seafood and dairy products. Dairy products rich in iodine include eggs, yogurt and cow's milk. There are many examples of iodine-rich seafood, such as kelp, wakame, kombu, scallops, sardines, tuna, cod and shrimp.

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Full Answer

Soy is also a good source of iodine, but consuming too much soy can interfere with the body's ability to absorb iodine and consequently bring on the symptoms of iodine deficiency. This is also true of cole vegetables, such as cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, cassava and tobacco smoke. This is because these items contain chemical compounds known as thiocyanates, which disrupt iodine absorption.

Iodine is essential for the health of the thyroid gland, as it helps the body to produce thyroid hormones. A deficiency of these hormones is known as hypothyroidism, while an excess of the same hormones is called hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism can cause unexplained weight loss, tachycardia, or rapid heartbeat, and elevated blood pressure. It can also cause insomnia and anxiety. Conversely, hyperthyroidism sometimes leads to goiter, which is an enlargement of the thyroid gland. Hyperthyroidism can also lead to weight gain, bradycardia, or an abnormally slow heartbeat, fatigue and intolerance to cold.

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