Iodine Foods: 5 Foods for Thyroid Benefits
By Ali Kuoppala | Last reviewed Tue 25 September 2018
Medical Review by Dr. Vlad Belghiru, MD
Iodine is a miracle mineral for the thyroid gland.
The thyroid needs it to create the thyroid hormone T4, a hormone vital for nearly all metabolic processes of the body, including testosterone production.
Lack of iodine in the diet is known of causing hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland), this in turn leads to significantly lower metabolic rate and inhibition of testosterone production.
- Hypothyroidism causes insensitivity towards GnRH in the pituitary gland, which in turns lowers LH release, and slows down testosterone production.
- Men diagnosed with hypothyroidism are much more likely to have low free-testosterone levels than men with sufficient thyroid hormone production.
- Treatment with exogenous thyroid hormones on men with underactive thyroids can in some cases more than double T levels.
Obviously, iodine is not the only thing needed for the healthy thyroid gland, but it’s the most important micronutrient by far in the creation of thyroid hormones, and deficiency is sure to cause massive problems in the endocrine system. Without the presence of iodine, the thyroid gland simply cannot manufacture T3 or T4.
Without further due, here are your five foods high in iodine:
Seaweed isn’t a common delicacy in the Western World, at least not to the same extent as in Asia.
This might also explain why Japanese people average 1-3 mg’s of iodine per day, whereas the average intake in the US is only 0,1-0,2 mgs.
You see, Asians tend to consume a lot of seaweed, and seaweed is easily the densest food in naturally occurring iodine.
Dried seaweed is ridiculously high in the mineral, so much so that 100 grams of the stuff can contain up to 54 mg’s (36000% RDA). Meaning that just a gram of dried seaweed is enough to cover the daily need of iodine (and that eating tons of seaweed is a quick way to get into toxic dosages of the mineral).
If you’ve been reading these articles about foods high in certain vitamins or minerals that we have lately been publishing…
…You have probably noticed that oysters rank up pretty high in many micronutrients that are necessary for testosterone production.
The case isn’t any different when it comes to iodine, as oysters are a rich natural source of the trace mineral.
At 100 grams, oysters contain 160 mcg’s of iodine (106% RDA).
3. Wild Cod
Due to the depletion of minerals from soil caused by excessive “power farming”, seafood has for long been a better source of iodine than anything grown on land.
This extends to seaweeds, mollusks (such as the oysters above), and of course also fish.
One of the fishes highest in iodine is wild caught cod, which at 100 grams contains 100 mcgs of iodine (66% RDA).
Why wild caught you ask? Simply because farmed fish (and fish oil supplements) is fed with soy pellets and known to be significantly higher in pollutants and toxic heavy-metals. Always opt for wild caught seafoods.
Not everything grown on land is low on iodine, and many types of potatoes are a testament to that.
Potatoes also happen to be one of the best types of carbohydrates to consume when the goal is to increase testosterone levels naturally.
They’re filling, low in calories, gluten-free (doesn’t raise prolactin), and filled with great carbs that are perfect to consume post-workout for example.
When it comes to iodine, potatoes (with skin intact) are a good source. One medium sized baked potato contains 60 mcg’s (40% RDA) of iodine.
Cranberries are rich in antioxidants and they’re often used to help with kidney stones, respiratory disorders, and urinary tract infection.
Since they’re a good source of antioxidants and rich in multiple vitamins and minerals, they fit well to a testosterone optimized diet.
Cranberries are also great for all iodine lovers…
…As 100 grams of them contain roughly 300 mcg’s (200% RDA) of the trace mineral.
Iodine is important for healthy testosterone production, mainly due to its effect in improving thyroid function.
It’s relatively easy to get enough of iodine from foods (especially from seafood), but if you feel like you can’t do that, then consider using supplemental iodine (affiliate link).
Also note that there is a such thing as too much iodine. Some say there isn’t, but research has shown that it’s best to stay close to the recommended amounts and not go crazy with the stuff.
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