Low Iodine Diet

by Cheryl

Cheryl's Question:

I am on a low iodine diet. What is the iodine content of chia seeds and flax?

Suzy's Answer:

This is an important question, Cheryl, and one I had not thought about before.

Iodine content depends on soil.

The problem with determining iodine content of plant foods, is that it will depend on where they are grown and how much iodine is in the soil. While iodine is found in most plants, it is more highly concentrated in foods from the sea or those grown close to the sea. Therefore, seaweed and kelp are always listed as the best sources.

Unexpected sources of iodine.

There is some iodine to be found in dairy products and baked products, such as bread, due to the way that these foods are produced.

Iodine is added to animal feed and it shows up in the milk they produce.

In addition there are some iodine compounds, such as dough conditioners used in breads, that are added to baked products.

Some cereals and supplements are also fortified with iodine. Processed foods that are dyed red can also be a source of iodine.

What about chia and flax?

Chia seed is normally listed as a good source of iodine and flax seed is often listed as a "goitrigen" a food that, when eaten in excess, can inhibit the uptake of iodine to the thyroid.

I include a Tablespoon of each--flax and chia--freshly ground in my diet every day because of the health advantages. I am not worried that this small amount would have an effect, one way or another, on my iodine status, especially when it is part of a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats and whole grains.

Link to more information about a low iodine diet.

Here is a link that may help you with your low-iodine diet:

For more information, click on this link.

Although they are ancient foods, both chia and flax are relative newcomers in the American food supply, especially chia, so they are not listed in most nutrient lists as a source of anything!

Here is some additional information about iodine found on our site.

The adequate daily intake of iodine is given in micrograms (µg). A microgram is .0001 milligrams (mg), so it is a very small amount. Only a trace of this mineral is needed, but it is nevertheless very necessary to your health.

The trace mineral, iodine, is a vital component of hormones produced by the thyroid gland that are responsible for a number of important functions in your body, including growth, metabolism, reproduction, nerve and muscle function, regulation of body temperature and blood cell production.

The thyroid gland is located in your neck and captures iodine from your bloodstream that came from the foods you eat. The thyroid relies on the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland to help regulate the amount of iodine captured by the thyroid and the production of those all-important, iodine-containing thyroid hormones.

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