15 Foods High In Iodine

Iodine is an essential trace element, and it is among the minerals that we need to obtain from our diet.

Maintaining adequate iodine levels is vital for the production of thyroid hormones.

These thyroid hormones play a role in a range of biological functions, and they are critical for human metabolism, development, and growth (1).

The daily value for iodine is 150 mcg for adults, but this rises to 220 mcg for pregnant women and 290 mcg during lactation (2).

This article provides a list of foods high in iodine from a range of different food groups.

1) Dried Seaweed

Dried Nori Seaweed Sheets.

Generally speaking, seaweed is the best dietary source of iodine.

Since it is much more concentrated than fresh seaweed, dried seaweed provides more iodine per gram than any other food.

Adding dried seaweed to soups and stews can also improve the taste as well as increase the nutrient provision.

According to the National Institutes of Health, just one gram of dried seaweed can provide between 16 and 1984 mcg of iodine. This amount represents 11% to 1989% of the daily value (3).

The iodine content of seaweed can vary wildly, hence the significant potential disparity.

2) Cod

Cod is one of the most popular types of seafood around the world. This common fish is full of protein, vitamins, and minerals, and it contains small amounts of omega-3 too.

Furthermore, cod is one of the best dietary sources of iodine.

The National Institutes of Health lists a 3-oz (85-gram) serving of cod as providing 99 mcg of iodine, which is equivalent to 66% of the daily value (3).

3) Milk

Regular (whole) milk is one of the best sources of iodine, and low-fat varieties should also offer large amounts of the mineral.

According to the USDA’s FoodData Central database, one cup of whole milk offers 94 mcg of the mineral. This iodine content represents 63% of the daily value (4).

Milk is also an excellent source of protein, calcium, phosphorus, and B vitamins.

4) Yogurt

Just like other dairy products, yogurt is an excellent source of iodine.

A cup serving of yogurt provides 75 mcg of iodine, which is 50% of the daily value for the mineral (3).

5) Baked Potato (With Skin)

Perhaps due to their color, people often don’t recognize potatoes as being a good source of nutritional value.

However, the regular potato is packed full of vitamin C, potassium, and numerous other essential nutrients.

Among these nutrients, one medium-sized baked potato offers 60 mcg of iodine, which is equal to 40% of the daily value (5).

Topping a baked potato with some cheese will also help to increase its iodine content.

6) Iodized Salt

One of the best ways to consume more iodine is by using iodized salt rather than regular salt.

Iodized salt works in the same way as any other type of salt, but it contains small amounts of iodine to help prevent iodine deficiency.

The USDA’s FoodData Central database shows that a teaspoon of iodized salt provides 311 mcg of iodine (6).

A more realistic dose of one gram offers 51 mcg of the mineral, which is equivalent to 34% of the daily value.

7) Eggs

Four Whole Eggs In Their Shells.

Eggs supply a wide range of essential dietary nutrients, and they are one of the highest foods in iodine too.

A serving of two large eggs offers 49 mcg of the mineral, accounting for 33% of the daily value for iodine (7).

Eggs also pair well with different foods, and combining them with some cheese (omelet) or milk (scrambled egg) can further increase the iodine provision.

8) Iodine-enriched Bread

In addition to whole food sources, we can also get iodine from nutrient-enriched products.

On this note, one of the most common sources of iodine in the typical diet is enriched bread.

Two slices of bread fortified with iodine will provide approximately 45 mcg of the mineral, or 30% of the daily value (3).

9) Shrimp

Most varieties of shellfish are incredibly nutrient-dense, and shrimp is no exception.

Firstly, a 3-oz (85-gram) serving of shrimp provides 35 mcg of iodine, which is equal to 23% of the established daily value (5).

Alongside shrimp’s iodine content, it is also a rich source of protein, omega-3, and essential nutrients.

In particular, shrimp is one of the best dietary sources of selenium.

10) Turkey Breast

Turkey is often associated with holiday periods such as Christmas and thanksgiving, but it is a nutritious food choice for any time of the year.

As well as protein, selenium, and various B vitamins, turkey breast supplies a good amount of iodine too.

Per 3-oz (85-gram) serve, baked turkey breast contains around 34 mcg of iodine. This amount accounts for 23% of the daily value (5).

11) Navy Beans

Navy beans are a legume nutritionally similar to other beans like cannellini and lima beans.

Regarding their iodine content, half a cup of cooked navy beans provides 32 mcg of the mineral (5).

32 mcg is equivalent to 21% of the daily value.

12) Tuna

Canned tuna is reasonably affordable, convenient, and it’s an excellent source of protein and essential nutrients.

Tuna is also one of the best sources of iodine, with a 3-oz (85-gram) serving to provide 17 mcg (11% DV) of the mineral (3).

13) Prunes

Prunes are dried plums, but they tend to contain a more concentrated amount of nutrients due to their lower water content.

Iodine is one of the minerals we can find in prunes, and a serving of five prunes offers 13 mcg of the mineral or 9% of the daily value (3).

14) Cheddar Cheese

Cheddar cheese is delicious, and it pairs well with almost any other food.

This famous cheese is also quite nutritious, and it offers good amounts of vitamins and minerals.

Among the nutrients in Cheddar cheese, we can find around 12 mcg of iodine per ounce (28-gram) serving, which is 8% of the daily value (3).

15) Lima Beans

Lima beans are another legume that offers a source of iodine.

Half a cup serving of boiled lima beans supplies 8 mcg of iodine, which is 5% of the daily value (3).

In addition to their iodine content, lima beans are also a rich source of copper, iron, manganese, potassium, and folate.

Foods High In Iodine

For convenience, the table below shows the foods highest in iodine per serving and the amount of the daily value (% DV) they provide.

The Best Dietary Sources of Iodine
Food and Serving Size Iodine Content (mcg) % DV
Dried seaweed (per gram) 16 – 1984 mcg 11 – 1989
Cod (3 oz) 99 66
Whole milk (cup) 94 63
Plain yogurt (cup) 75 50
Medium baked potato 60 40
Iodized salt (per gram) 51 34
Two large eggs 49 33
Enriched bread (2 slices) 45 30
Shrimp (3 oz) 35 23
Turkey breast (3 oz) 34 23
Navy beans (per half cup) 32 21
Canned tuna (3 oz) 17 11
Prunes (per 5 pieces) 13 9
Cheddar cheese (per oz) 12 8
Lima beans (per half cup) 8 5
Photo of author

Michael Joseph, MSc

Michael works as a nutrition educator in a community setting and holds a Master's Degree in Clinical Nutrition. He believes in providing reliable and objective nutritional information to allow informed decisions.