Tue. Sep 27th, 2022
27 foods rich in iodine and 27 easy recipes to prepare them

Iodine is an essential mineral to ensure the proper functioning of the thyroid gland, responsible for a large part of the functions of metabolism and therefore of our proper development.

Although the daily amount of iodine needed is very small , it almost doubles during pregnancy and lactation, and its deficiency can cause serious consequences in the baby.

Fortunately, there are many foods rich in iodine that are easy to prepare . We talk about them and how to incorporate them into your diet.

iodine in pregnancy

Iodine deficiency is a particularly important problem during pregnancy, according to experts , since it can cause damage to the development of the central nervous system, responsible for less intellectual development.

However, most pregnant women are unaware of the potential consequences of low iodine intake in their children. According to experts, in many European countries with voluntary iodine fortification programmes, half of all newborns are exposed to mild iodine deficiency and consequently are at risk of limitations in their cognitive potential.

Noteworthy is the Krakow Declaration of the EUthyroid project , made up of researchers from 27 European countries who have spent three years identifying strategies to combat and prevent disorders caused by iodine deficiency (IDD).

In addition, a significant deficiency of iodine during pregnancy and lactation can cause serious problems such as miscarriage, premature birth and birth defects in babies.

Children of mothers with iodine deficiency in pregnancy may have mental retardation, growth problems, hearing problems, or speech problems.

In Spain, the general recommendation is that pregnant women take iodized salt and three servings of dairy products to cover their daily iodine needs.

And in lactation?

This mineral acquires even more relevance when the mother feeds her child with breast milk, since the iodine that the baby receives depends on the amount that the mother takes.

Thus, although the WHO considers that Spain is not a country at risk of iodine deficiency, in practice it has been seen that there are many children with low levels, and this affects their psychomotor and intellectual development.

For this reason, based on the available studies, it is recommended that women take an iodine supplement throughout lactation. The Breastfeeding Committee of the Spanish Association of Pediatrics establishes that said supplementation would be as follows:

“Iodine needs in lactating women are estimated at 250-300 µg/day. Given that salt intake may be reduced during this period (iodized salt is the recommended source of iodine for everyone), a supplementation of 200 µg of iodine per day in the form of potassium iodide, during the lactation period, whether breastfeeding a single child or twins or siblings (tandem breastfeeding)”.

necessary all life

An iodine deficiency can cause goiter, which is a large enlargement of the thyroid gland to try to compensate for a lack of iodine in the diet. This causes breathing and swallowing problems. It is known as hypothyroidism and can lead to obesity, fatigue and depression.

The daily recommended amount of iodine is:

  • Adults (over 14 years): 150 micrograms daily
  • Children (1 to 13 years old): 90 micrograms daily
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding: 290 micrograms per day

An adequate supply is necessary throughout life. Of course, there is a large number of foods that contain iodine and are easy to incorporate into the daily diet. We talk about the richest and we tell you how to prepare them.

1. Fresh cod

Of all the fish, cod stands out as one of the foods with the highest iodine content: 170 mcg per 100 g.

The fishing season runs from late autumn to spring, although cod is available throughout the rest of the year: salted, dried, smoked or frozen.

As a white fish, it has a low fat content. It stores its fat reserves preferably in the liver, which is used to obtain the prized fish oil.

In addition, its meat is rich in vitamins B1, B2, B6 and B9, which allow the use of energy nutrients (carbohydrates, fats and proteins) and are involved in processes of great importance in the body such as the formation of red blood cells and the nervous system functioning.

It also has vitamins D, A and Omega 3 (which prevents cardiovascular diseases) and minerals such as potassium and phosphorus, important for bones and muscles.

How to take it? There are many ways to prepare fresh cod, although stews of this fish in tomato sauce with aubergine and basil , or with leek and carrot , are delicious .

But the possibilities are endless: from a spreadable cod brandade ; a timbale of confit cod brandade with piquillo peppers or a summer salad .

And if there are few options for you, here are nine more for special days .


For 2 persons
  • Cod loins clean4
  • Large eggplant or 2 small1
  • Spring onion1
  • Garlic cloves1
  • Natural or crushed canned tomatoes500 g
  • Oregano
  • fresh basil
  • Vegetable broth or water, amount needed
  • Lemon juice
  • Shall
  • extra virgin olive oil

How to make cod in tomato, aubergine and basil sauce

Difficulty: Medium
  • total time55 m
  • Elaboration10 m
  • Cooking45 m

If we use frozen cod, defrost the night before in the least cold part of the fridge, on a wire rack above a bowl. Dry very well with kitchen paper and season with a little black pepper and lemon juice. Reserve. Wash and cut the aubergine into cubes. Chop the onion and the garlic clove. Wash and dry the fresh basil very well.

Since eggplant sucks a lot of oil, I prefer to partially cook it first in the microwave. Place in a suitable container, lightly season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with lemon and cook at maximum power for 5 minutes, or steam according to the microwave model.

Meanwhile, fry the spring onion with the garlic clove in a saucepan with a little oil and salt, over low heat. When they are tender, add the aubergine with the oregano and give it a few turns to brown it.

Add the tomato and give a few strokes of black pepper. If we use whole preserved specimens, reserve the water to adjust the amount of liquid in the sauce. We could also use raw tomatoes, peeled, adjusting the cooking time.

Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, add the vinegar and wine and let the alcohol evaporate. Cook for about 10 more minutes over low heat and blend until you have a thick sauce, leaving chunks if they don’t bother us. Try the salt.

Correct the level of liquid -it will thicken as it cools- and add some chopped basil leaves. Also add the cod, letting it soak well with the sauce. We can add it cut into cubes or whole pieces, preferably clean of skin and bones. Cover and cook a few minutes until the fish is done. Serve with more fresh basil.

2. Iodized salt

Although it is not exactly a food, it is the richest condiment in iodine: 1900 micrograms per 100 grams.

Despite being so high, the truth is that its consumption is quite low, although its taste is the same as common salt and it is more beneficial for our health, since it prevents problems derived from a lack of iodine.

How to take it? Simply switch from regular table salt to iodized salt and use it to season any dish…in moderation.

3. Seaweed

In the sea we can find a large number of algae that have a high iodine content: kelp, arame, hiziki, wakame and jambu. Kelp, for example, contains four times more than you need to consume daily, and one tablespoon of arame includes 730 micrograms of iodine.

So you have to be careful, since thyroid problems can also appear due to excessive iodine consumption.

How to take them? Each type of seaweed is indicated for a different dish, although they are common in Japanese food, such as sushi.

But today we recommend some croquettes with seaweed , perfect as an appetizer or side dish. And for this recipe, Dulse-type seaweed is perfect.

As they are not very frequent in our recipes, you can use them to crown soups or salads, and thus gain health and flavor in your dishes. And if you still don’t believe it, take a look at this weekly menu with algae .

4. Blueberries

This antioxidant-rich forest fruit is also a powerhouse of iodine. With only 11 grams of blueberries we can ingest 400 micrograms of iodine.

In addition, this super fruit has a low caloric value due to its low content of carbohydrates. It is especially rich in vitamin C, a source of fiber, improves intestinal transit, and contains potassium, iron and calcium.

But what really characterizes blueberries is their abundance of natural pigments with antioxidant action.

And reds are a great ally during pregnancy as they help fight recurrent urine infections , according to the Spanish Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics (SEGO), by enhancing the body’s diuretic capacity.

How to take them? Although they are very common in sweet recipes, such as muffins or smoothies , the truth is that they also go well with meat and fish. Here are our proposals: a free-range chicken stew with cider with blueberries and apple and Roasted Pumpkin with crispy broccoli, blueberries and almonds , a very tasty vegan recipe.

5. Mackerel

150 grams of mackerel provide us with only 208 calories and a lot of benefits for our health. Among them, 255 µg (micrograms) of iodine.

Like other blue sins, it is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which is why it helps to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood and take care of our cardiovascular health.

It is also a good source of protein and vitamins. Among them, its amount of B12 stands out, even higher than that contained in eggs and much of the meat. So it protects our immune system and gives us energy so we don’t get exhausted throughout the day.

Being a fatty fish, it has fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D and E, benefiting from its antioxidant and protective action against different degenerative diseases.

And as if that were not enough, its meat is very tasty, easy to prepare in many recipes and cheap. Hence, it has all the ingredients to be on this list.

How to take it? It admits the same preparations as the sardine: grilled, papillote and grilled. An example is this recipe for baked mackerel with roasted vegetables .

And if there is no time, you can always resort to consuming it preserved , perfect for salads or canapés.

6. Mussel

This mollusk is considered a gastronomic jewel since it is low in calories but contains a lot of nutritional properties such as vitamins, amino acids and minerals and are very beneficial for health. Among its minerals, its high iodine content: only 100 grams of this mollusk provide 130 micrograms of iodine.

And it is that mussels improve the condition and quality of the skin and bones, strengthen the immune system, help repair tissues and can even be useful to combat mental disorders such as depression. They also contain many good fats, such as omega 3, which regulate cholesterol.

How to take them? Steamed, cooked, au gratin or as ingredients in salads, rice dishes or fideuás.

Some ideas: Mussels with tiger sauce or Pintxo of potatoes and mussels with alioli .

7. Tuna

It is one of the most common blue fish in our kitchen and also with a significant contribution of iodine: 50 mcg per 100 g. Behind are sardines and hake, with somewhat lower levels: about 30 mcg per 100 g.

Its meat has 12% fat, which makes it a fatty fish, but it is a fat rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which helps lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood.

How to take it? If you want to eat a delicious tuna in a different way, we suggest you try this simple tuna tataki with radishes , a miso-glazed tuna with a salad of young broad beans or this tuna with onions and paprika .

8. Chicken

Within meats, chicken is one of the foods that stands out for its iodine content: 7 mcg per 100g. Especially considering that the greatest sources of this mineral are in fish and shellfish.

How to take it? It can be prepared in every conceivable way: baked, stewed, grilled, marinated, fried… and it is a common food in recipes all over the world.

But in addition, preparing innovative dishes with this meat is possible. Without going any further, go ahead and try a sautéed oriental chicken with vegetables , chicken marinated in coconut milk or a luxurious baked chicken glazed with tangerine, vermouth and honey .

9. White beans

All legumes, and especially beans or beans, are an excellent source of energy. And the white ones are number one in iodine content, since only with half a cup of them you ingest up to 32 micrograms of iodine.

They also help control weight, thanks to the fiber it contains, as it creates a great feeling of satiety that keeps possible cravings at bay during pregnancy.

In addition, they provide proteins, carbohydrates, B vitamins, vitamin C, sodium, potassium, iron, magnesium and have practically no fat or cholesterol.

In a word: they are perfect for our body.

How to take them? Especially with a spoon, perfect now that it’s cold. But from there, the options are very wide because they go with everything: with prawns , express dish; with sausages with sage and black garlic and 29 other recipes to incorporate them into your diet. By the way! Have you ever tried any white bean salad ? Yes, they can also be taken when the heat is on.

10. Shrimp and prawns

Rich in proteins and vitamins, shellfish are also a great source to obtain the iodine that we need so much for our body.

One of the best in this regard is the prawn or shrimp (smaller in size), capable of providing 35 micrograms, about a quarter of the recommended daily amount (RDA), in less than 100 grams.

But in addition, it offers a very low carbohydrate content and contains 80% water, which is why it provides few calories although it is satiating, thanks to its richness in proteins and nutrients, such as potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium and Omega 3.

How to take them? You choose the option that you like best: from the typical prawn cocktail , essential in Christmas celebrations, to the peppers stuffed with prawns or the hake and prawn meatballs in green sauce .

11. Lobster and lobster

It is clear that they are not foods that we can afford often because of their high price, but we can include them on special occasions. Because it is a shellfish with high concentrations of iodine: in 100 grams there are 100 mcg of iodine, two thirds of the amount that is recommended per day.

In addition, they also stand out for being rich in zinc: it helps in the growth process, is beneficial for the immune system, wound healing and to metabolize proteins. They also help combat fatigue and are involved in the transport of vitamin A to the retina.

How to take them? But in addition to its health benefits, lobster or lobster are exquisite on the palate.

12. Strawberries

A good portion of this delicious fruit can provide you with up to 10% of the daily dose of iodine (13 micrograms).

But this fruit, so appetizing to the eye and to the taste, is also an excellent source of vitamins C, K and folic acid. Specifically, 200 g cover more than 200% of the daily needs of vitamin C, a third of vitamin K and a sixth of folic acid, with only 66 calories.

But it gives much more: in 200 g of strawberries there is 17% iron and 9% magnesium. It also provides potassium, calcium, phosphorus, manganese, copper and silicon, making it a highly recommended food during pregnancy and to avoid nutritional deficiencies.

13. Potatoes

To take full advantage of the iodine (about 60 micrograms per unit), you must cook the potatoes in the oven, with the skin and all, because it is in it that other important nutrients such as fiber, vitamins and potassium are contained.

14. Cheeses

They are excellent sources of iodine. In fact, in just one ounce of cheddar cheese, you’re consuming around ten to fifteen micrograms of this mineral.

Its richness in calcium is also highly appreciated. Although the exact amount may vary from one type to another , 100 grams of cheese contains an average of 800 mg of calcium, essential throughout our lives, and especially during pregnancy and lactation.

If you are pregnant, remember to avoid moldy cheeses such as Roquefort or Cabrales, and fermented cheeses such as feta or Cambembert (even if they are made from pasteurized milk), due to the risk of contracting listeriosis .

How to take it? In a thousand possible ways, although they are great without any preparation. Among your options, sweet recipes like these cupcakes (although without sugar, to make them healthier) or savory, like this cake of chickpea flour with tomato and goat cheese .

15. Anacardos

It is another star product on our list of foods rich in iodine, since it provides 10 mcg per 100 g, a really high figure for a dry fruit.

Its predominant nutrient is fats, especially monounsaturated fats. They offer a good supply of protein and are, after chestnuts, the dried fruit with the highest proportion of carbohydrates. Its iron content is considerable, 6.7 mg per 100 g.

16. Broccoli

Among the vegetables with the highest iodine content, this cruciferous one stands out: 15 mcg per 100 g.

But this vegetable contains many other valuable properties for the body, among which its richness in vegetable proteins and fiber stands out, which allows us to fill ourselves with good nutrients.

In addition to calcium (and iodine) it offers vitamin C and potassium to the pregnant woman’s body, which of course are needed for our entire body to function properly.

17. Salmon

As a blue fish, it is also rich in iodine: 107 micrograms of this mineral are found in 150 grams.

But the delicious meat of this fish is appreciated for other benefits, also during pregnancy: it concentrates appreciable amounts of omega 3 and is a source of vitamin D and calcium for the body, necessary to prevent future complications in the mother’s body.

And as much as you love sushi, remember that if you’re pregnant you can’t eat it raw.

18. Avena

Oatmeal is a super cereal with multiple health benefits for the whole family.

In addition, it has heart-healthy fats, vegetable proteins and contains potassium, magnesium, calcium and B vitamins. Due to its large amount of soluble fiber, it helps regulate intestinal transit.

And of course, it is on our list for its iodine content: 5.9 µg per 100 grams.

19. Oysters

Up to 58 micrograms of iodine is contained in 100 grams of oyster meat, less than one unit.

But this highly appreciated shellfish is also very useful not only during pregnancy, but also to achieve it. It is a source of zinc, an essential mineral for fertility as it promotes proper cell division, but it is also a necessary ingredient to maintain testosterone levels and sperm production in men.

In addition, it increases testosterone (like the clam) and is rich in Vitamin D, a nutrient that has always been associated with osteoporosis.

20. Peanuts

The iodine provided by 100 grams of this food is 13.0 mcg. But does it have more benefits for our health? Yes. This legume (believe it or not, it’s not a nut ), is one of the most nutritious ‘nuts’: it contains more folic acid (a quarter cup provides 88 mcg), more vitamin B3 and more protein (26 %).

They also contain fiber (7%) and considerable amounts of minerals such as magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, nickel (which favors the absorption of iron) and iron in abundance. And they help balance cholesterol.

How to take them? You can eat them alone, and thus take advantage of all their richness in B vitamins. But they can also be used to make peanut butter or cream or to make a multitude of dishes, such as a cake with banana and in vegetarian recipes, such as tofu and mango tacos with peanut sauce.

21. Apple

Of the fruits of habitual consumption, it is the one that takes the jackpot in iodine content: 11 micrograms per 100 grams. And, in addition, it is available all year round.

But there are many more reasons to include it in our daily diet, especially during pregnancy, since it has endless properties for our body.

The apple has a high water content, so it is perfect for hydrating the body, reducing fluid accumulation and preventing cramps. In addition, it is an excellent source of fiber, helping to prevent constipation.

How to take them? It is an ideal snack to consume between meals: healthy, nutritious and perfect to always keep you hydrated. But if it seems too boring to eat a piece of this fruit every day, you can also include it in sweet recipes , to make a compote to accompany sweet or savory dishes, or in savory dishes, such as foal with mustard and apple sauce .

22. Rye bread

In 100 grams of this type of bread are included 6.21 grams of protein, 45.80 grams of carbohydrates, a single gram of fat and 45.80 grams of sugar, in addition to providing 230 calories to the diet.

Among its nutrients are also vitamins B3, B9, K and E, and among minerals, potassium (200 mcg) and iodine (8.50 mcg).

But also, it does not contain cholesterol, so it helps take care of the heart.

How to take it? Healthier than white bread, it is convenient to use it instead for breakfast, as a base for appetizers or to accompany meals. Try some healthy toasts of creamy avocado, tuna and mango on rye bread or with walnuts with fresh cheese, baby spinach and peach .

23. Spinach

It is the richest vegetable in iodine. In fact, it provides 12 micrograms of this mineral in 100 grams.

In addition to the iodine, this food is recommended during pregnancy for its contribution in folic acid: only 100 grams provides 263 mcg, approximately 63% of the recommended daily values.

But the benefits of this green leafy vegetable go much further, because that intense color is important for skin and hair and provides protein, iron, vitamins and minerals.

With only 27 calories, it stands out above all for being one of the best sources of potassium in the diet, since with a cup of cooked spinach we obtain 839 mg of potassium (a banana, for example, has around 539 mg).

How to take them? In addition to spinach cream and the traditional chickpea and spinach stew , perfect for winter days, you can make light spinach pancakes , Catalan -style spinach or spinach cannelloni .

24. Ajo

An inexhaustible source of health, it is a natural antibiotic as it exerts its antiseptic action with great success.

But it also includes a large number of nutrients, among which vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, and C stand out, and some minerals, such as potassium, sulfur, silicon, phosphorus and iodine (90 micrograms per 100 g) .

It also prevents cardiovascular diseases by lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood.

Much appreciated in the kitchen is black garlic for its multiple benefits.

How to take it? You can dare with a sautéed bimi with pumpkin and black garlic , very healthy, or make your guests fall in love with this Risotto of black garlic with crispy Parmesan . And if you want to put it as an aperitif, garlic bread is never a miss, for example with tomato and ham or three cheeses.

25. Eggs

100 grams of whole egg (with yolk and white) provides 9.8 µg of iodine, our precious mineral so important in pregnancy and lactation.

But this food includes other important nutrients, disproving the idea long ago that its consumption raised cholesterol and that its consumption had to be limited.

What’s more, there are several reasons to include it more often in your daily life : it includes high-quality proteins, it lowers bad cholesterol, it helps in weight loss diets (each one only contains 75 kilocalories) and it is suitable for diabetics (it does not include carbohydrates).

It also has satiating power and its B vitamins help create extra energy.

Just a precaution: the consumption of raw eggs is one of the main sources of contagion of salmonella, a bacterium that can seriously endanger life, especially if we talk about babies or very young children.

So raw eggs (in mayonnaise, sauces, meringues) or undercooked eggs (for example, soft-boiled eggs or undercooked tortillas), are not safe in children’s diets and, of course, better to avoid them. also during pregnancy.

How to take it? Sour, au gratin, stuffed, broken or poached, it is the main ingredient in tortillas and scrambled eggs and essential in batter. But with it you can also prepare up to 101 different recipes and all of them delicious.

26. Veal

For years, the belief has grown that red meat is not healthy for the body because it contains fats that are harmful to health and because of its high content of cholesterol, fatty acids and triglycerides. However, we must not eliminate them from our diet, just consume them moderately, to provide our body with the different essential nutrients they contain.

Among them, iodine: 6.0 mcg per 100 grams of meat. But in addition, this lean meat has a high content of high-quality protein and is rich in water.

About 100 grams of beef provide our body with 21 grams of protein, 77 grams of water, 2.8 grams of fat and 70 mg of cholesterol, and it provides us with essential minerals for its proper functioning, such as iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium and zinc.

How to take it? We love this beef stew with vegetables , a very healthy recipe. Also, a round of veal , and seven dishes in which to take advantage of your leftovers for the rest of the week. And for lovers of sirloin , up to nine different recipes to succeed in special meals.

27. Green Beans

This type of healthy vegetable can be incorporated into all kinds of diets. Its regular consumption provides the body with small amounts of iodine: half a cup of this vegetable provides 3 mcg of iodine, a net 2% of the recommended daily value.

It is recommended not to boil them too much so that they do not lose their nutrients. Among them, an incredible antioxidant capacity, not only because of its content of vitamin C and phenolic acids.

But they also have vitamins A, C, K and group B, such as B1, B2, B3, B6 and B9 and minerals such as manganese, magnesium, iron, potassium, copper, calcium and phosphorus. They also provide Omega-3 fatty acids and fiber to the diet.

How to take them? In a salad, like this one with rice and green beans ; as a starter or side dish or a pan of round green beans with egg zaatar .