Vegetarians and vegans are often at risk for iodine deficiency due to the limited consumption of animal products in their diets. Iodine is an essential mineral that plays an important role in human health. It’s important for growth and development, thyroid health, and helps to keep the body’s metabolic rate optimal. The good news is that there are plenty of iodine sources for vegetarians and vegans that can help avoid deficiencies.
Seaweed is an excellent source of iodine. There are a variety of types of seaweed, such as nori, kelp, dulse, and wakame, which can be added to salads, soups, and other vegetarian or vegan dishes. Seaweed is also available dried, which can make it an easy addition to everyday meals. Additionally, seaweed is a great source of other essential minerals like calcium and potassium.
One of the easiest ways for vegetarians and vegans to get their iodine needs is by eating fortified foods. Many breakfast cereals, breads, and other products are available that are fortified with iodine. It’s important to check the Nutrition Facts label to make sure the products contain iodine.
Many dairy alternatives, such as soy milk, coconut milk, and almond milk, are now fortified with iodine. These products provide a good source of dietary iodine and make a good choice for breakfast or used as an ingredient in many recipes.
One underrated source of iodine is potatoes. Potatoes contain iodine, as well as other essential minerals and vitamins. They can be boiled, mashed, or baked to make a delicious side dish.
Eggs are a great iodine source for vegetarians, as they contain iodine and some much-needed protein. They can be boiled, scrambled, or used in recipes like omelets, frittatas, and quiches.
Table salt is the best and most affordable source of iodine for vegetarians and vegans. Most table salt is iodized, which means it contains iodine. Adding a pinch of salt can boost the flavor of a meal, as well as provide an important source of iodine. Just remember to use it in moderation, as too much salt can be harmful.
The Bottom Line
Iodine is an essential mineral for human health and development. Vegetarians and vegans who follow a plant-based diet need to be aware of the sources of iodine available to them. Foods like seaweed, fortified foods, dairy alternatives, potatoes, eggs, and salt can boost iodine intake and help ensure adequate levels of this important mineral.