Functions Thyroid hormone manufacture
Source and Absorption factors
  • Best sources are sea vegetables and
  • Excess cruciferous vegetables causes depletion of iodine
  • Because fish and dairy foods are among our richest sources of iodine, vegans (individuals who eat no animal foods products whatsoever) appear to be at increased risk of iodine deficiency
  • Absorption by thyroid inhibited by Goitrogens – in cassava root, cabbage, millet, mustard, peanuts, pine nuts, soybeans, turnips
  • Cooking inactivates Goitrogens
Vegetable sources
  • Sea vegetable varieties (including kombu kelp, wakame and nori)
  • Lettuce; spinach; green peppers
Fruit sources Strawberries; Pineapple, Raisins; Prunes
Nut and seed sources Peanuts
Other food sources
  • Fish sources: Cod; Shrimp; Tuna; Scallops; Salmon
  • Dairy Sources: Yoghurt, Cottage Cheese and Cow’s Milk; Eggs
  • Legumes: Lima Beans
  • Iodized Salt
Spice and herb sources
Deficiency factors
  • Thyroid gland dysfunction
  • Goiters (enlarged thyroid gland)
Toxicity and dangers
  • Excess – can inhibit thyroid gland synthesis of hormones

Adapted from

Murray, M. (2005). Encyclopedia of Healing Food. New York, N.Y.: Atria Books

Bland, J., Costarella, L., Levin, B., Liska, D., Lukaczer, D., Schlitz, B., Schmidt, M., Lerman, R., Quinn, S., Jones, D. (2004). Clinical Nutrition: A Functional Approach, Second Edition. Gig Harbor, WA: The Institute for Functional Medicine.

Additional resources

11 Uses for Iodine: Do Benefits Outweigh the risks? – from Healthline

9 Healthy Foods That Are Rich in Iodine – from Healthline

The Health Benefits of Iodine – from Very Well Health

Iodine fact sheet from WH Foods

Iodine fact sheet from National Institute of Health


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