What to do if you are low in Iodine

by brenda on November 22, 2011

I posted yesterday about how to find out if you are deficient in iodine. Now, let’s say that you find that your body needs iodine. What do you do?


Dr. Natasha said that you can keep painting iodine on your skin and let your body absorb it as it needs it.


I say, it probably doesn’t hurt to focus on eating foods that are naturally rich in iodine. Note that I said naturally rich, not foods that are supplemented with iodine. The great thing about our body is that if we need iodine rich foods (and we’re not full of “bad bacteria” and yeast), our body will crave just the right foods. We will eat as much as we need and then stop–our body is brilliant (created by an intelligent designer!) and it knows when to stop. Unless we’re feeding the yeast. See, we screwed the whole system up when we started supplementing processed foods with iodine. We started feeding the yeast in our body, as well as the need for iodine. The yeast gets hungry & says “feed me!” so it IS possible to over-eat on processed carbs…Therefore, suddenly (thanks to the “foods of modern commerce”), some people are consuming too much iodine for their bodies.


Stick to whole, real foods and you won’t have this problem.


Foods to eat if you are deficient in iodine:

  • Seaweed
  • Unrefined sea salt
  • Cod
  • Raw Cow’s Milk Pasteurization destroys 20% of the iodine in milk.
  • Shrimp
  • Tuna
  • Turkey
  • Navy Beans
  • Eggs
  • Fish broth
  • Butter
  • Pineapple
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Yogurt
  • Mozzarella Cheese Traditionally made with the milk with the highest cream content–low fat “string cheese” won’t do!


A person who is deficient in iodine must eat local, organic foods as much as possible. Pesticides deplete iodine in the soil. Without iodine in the soil, all of the above foods will be lacking iodine. Buy your food from farms that treat the soil like a living organism that needs great care.

Vitamin A (found primarily in animal fats) helps the body absorb iodine. Make sure to get plenty of good animal fats in your diet. I cannot emphasize this enough. Our culture is still stuck on the Lipid Hyptothesis of the 1980’s, claiming that low fat (over processed and created in laboratories) food is better for us than whole, real, food. Products continue to sell based on this lie. Do not buy into it–real food–real fat (yes, lard, bacon grease, tallow, butter, cream) are necessary for many body functions, including iodine absorption. Your body needs it.


And if you’re deficient in iodine, you must cook or ferment the following foods or they will block your iodine absorption:

(if the body isn’t being driven by yeast and bad bacteria, these foods, raw, will taste bitter to a person who is deficient in iodine):

  • Cabbage
  • Spinach
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Turnips
  • Bok Choy
  • Millet
  • Rutabagas
  • Kale
  • Mustard Seeds
  • Peanuts
  • Pine Nuts

Other foods/chemicals that block iodine absorption:

  • Refined white sugar. Makes the thyroid work overtime and literally burns out the thyroid gland.
  • Fluoride
  • Chlorine
  • Bisphenol A Found in plastic.
  • Mercury Sits on the iodine receptors in the thyroid, blocking iodine from sitting in its rightful place.
  • Gluten Increases thyroid antibody levels.
  • Soybeans, soy oil, soy proteins
  • Pasteurized milk Grain fed cows fed on feedlots lack iodine. Pasteurization kills iodine. Antibiotics and growth hormones (which come free with pasteurized milk) block iodine. Synthetic and inorganic vitamins are added to pasteurized milk which can cause a whole host of problems.



Avoid refined, processed, bleached iodized salt and every food that contains it. It is inorganic iodine and your body does not respond to it the same as it does to real food that is rich in iodine. Too much inorganic iodine can create symptoms that are similar to low thyroid. In other words, it utterly confuses your body! Avoid it! It is best to get your iodine from real foods that are rich in iodine.


Do you think you’re low in iodine? What changes have you made to keep your thyroid healthy? What changes do you plan to make?


photo credit: flaurella


This post was shared at Works For Me Wednesday

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Kati November 22, 2011 at 8:14 am

FYI, fish broth is supposedly only a good iodine source if it is made with the fish eyeballs, since that is where fish store their iodine. Just in case someone is relying on broth (we do a lot of fish broth). – Kati http://TribalMamas.blogspot.com


Brenda November 22, 2011 at 9:33 am

Kati, thanks for the heads up! Everyone, add some eyeballs to your broth! 🙂


Angi November 22, 2011 at 9:16 am

Wonderful articlem Brenda – and extremely timely for me. Just last night I was researching natural ways to deal with slow thyroid function, and only became more and more confused. Interstingly, since we started consuming raw milk, local eggs from truly free-range hens, coconut oil, plenty of butter and other animal fats… and cut way down (nearly eliminated) vegetable oils aside from unheated olive and flax oils, my blood pressure has dropped, my weight has stabilized at a decent number, and we as a famiy suffer fewer illnesses.

Now to add some good kelp into the diet (and get back off the refined sugar) to assist my thyroid!


Asha February 10, 2014 at 6:42 am

Thank you for this great article!


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