Today I wanted to chat about an important nutrient: iodine. And more specifically iodine in a vegan diet and cover iodine rich foods that are vegan and vegan iodine sources.
Iodine is an essential mineral for a healthy body and can be a little more difficult to get for people on a vegan diet if not aware.
Lucky after reading this blog post you will know what foods to eat in a vegan diet to get enough iodine and not become deficient.
If you have been vegan for a while I invite you to refresh your knowledge on this important mineral and on iodine-rich foods that are vegan.
Spotlight on Iodine in a Vegan Diet
Iodine is an essential mineral and helps to regulate thyroid hormones who in turn influence metabolic processes such as growth and energy.
It is very important in pregnancy to avoid congenial abnormalities or still birth and for children it is very important for a normal mental and physical development. In adults, a deficiency can lead to hypothyroidism.
The human body cannot store iodine so we need to regularly eat iodine rich foods. We need 150µg/day as adults, 200µg/day for pregnant and lactating women and 90 to 150µg/day for children and teenagers.
Sadly many people vegan and not vegan – are deficient in iodine. As mentioned above it is a very critical mineral during pregnancy and childhood for mental and physical development.
Our soils are not rich in iodine like they used to so this means your vegetables are not going to be a good source of iodine.
Oceans are very rich in iodine and as such seafood and seaweeds are great sources of iodine.
But for vegan people who do not consume seafood, they need to consume seaweed regularly such as kelp or nori. Indeed seaweed is a great iodine-rich food for people on a vegan diet.
My first tip is for you to switch to iodised salt. I do not recommend increasing your intake of salt but switch when cooking and seasoning your meals to iodised salt. (You can find iodised salt in the salt section of your local supermarket- the label should clearly indicate “iodised”.)
I then recommend adding seaweed 1-2 times per week such as sushi with avocado, kelp noodle salads or dulse flakes in salads.
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