Essential Facts about Iodine, an Essential Mineral

Essential Facts about Iodine, an Essential Mineral
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

Let’s take a look at some of the essential facts about iodine, an mineral that’s essential for the body but few people know about.

Iodine is fundamental for your body. In fact, according to many studies, it’s the mineral that people around the world tend to lack the most since the body doesn’t synthesize it and it must come directly from your diet.

The problem also lies in the fact that there’s very little iodine in food, unless big industries have included it in their products (like iodized salt, for example). However, generally, the majority of iodine is found in the ocean, especially in seaweed.

Iodine is absorbed in the intestinal tract and is transported in the blood stream to the thyroid glandswhere it is stored to produce hormones. A good level of iodine helps you burn fat and prevent goiter and thyroid problems, among other things.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the essential facts about iodine.

The Essential Facts about Iodine You Need to Know

The Benefits of Iodine

It’s imperative to have a good level of iodine in order to keep the thyroid hormone, or thyroxine, in balance. This hormone prevents you from suffering from goiters or hyperthyroidism.

Here are just a few basic facts about iodine and what it does. Iodine:

  • Allows the proper functioning of the metabolism, like growth in children and the proper functioning of the nervous system. 
  • Is essential for synthesizing carbohydrates and cholesterol.
  • Gives you energy and is basic for cell health.
  • Burns excess fat.
  • Helps your nails, hair, and teeth will stay strong and healthy.
  • Can disinfect wounds externally.
  • Also, it’s common to put it in your water in drinkable tablets.

Symptoms of Iodine Shortage

Having a low level of iodine in your body can cause the following symptoms:

  • Goiter
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Tendency to feel cold
  • Fatigue, joint pain
  • Insomnia
  • Dry skin and hair
  • Constipation
  • Cretinism: a childhood disease with stunted physical and mental growth

Where Can I Find Iodine?

Fish and Seafood


The sea is a natural treasure chest of iodine, which is why eating fish or seafood at least three times a week is recommended. They contain amazing vitamins like B complex, vitamins A, D, and E, as well as fatty acids like Omega 3, which are all very good for your health.

It would be great if you eat salmon, herring, shrimp, prawns, cod, mussels, and sole.


beets facts about iodine

You may not be used to seeing kelp as a vegetable, but it’s an incredible source of iodine and would be great to include in your diet once in awhile.

Beside seaweed, onions, beets, chard, spinach, cucumbers, green beans, watercress, and garlic are recommended. Besides being rich in iodine, they also have antibacterial properties.


A selection of different types of cheese

Some types of cheese are also very good to get iodine from. For example:

  • Cheddar cheese: if you eat 100 grams, you will get 39 mg. of iodine.
  • Manchego cheese, in all varieties: 100 grams gives you 34 mg. of iodine.


facts about iodine

Many of the most common grains like cornflourwheat and rye are rich in iodine. 

  • If you eat 100 grams of cornflour, you will get 80 mg. of iodine.

Like these facts about iodine? Read: Magnesium, a Complete Mineral

Warnings about Iodine

You should keep in mind that your doctor should always be the person to tell you if you need extra iodine or not. For example, you absolutely cannot start eating seaweed everyday or increasing your iodized salt doses.

High doses of iodine can be negative for your body, making you susceptible to suffering from hyperthyroidism, among other things. Moreover, some medications cannot be combined with iodine, like those associated with manic-depressive disorders, for example

If you have any concerns, you should always consult your doctor. At any rate, a balanced diet based on vegetables, fruit, and grains will always be beneficial for your health.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.