How to Get Enough Iodine on a Vegan Diet

Who grew up with iodized salt on their table? Did you know what iodized meant or were you just used to reading the word every time you saw it in its white and orange plastic tub.  It seemed to be the standard salt everyone had in their homes growing up in the 70’s and 80’s. It was branded as the important thing to have to stay healthy and then it seemed to disappear. It is still sold in supermarkets and is occasionally spotted on someone’s dinning room table or on top of the cooker range. 
I grew up with the stuff, and when I left home at 19 I heard iodized salt was bad for you, I didn’t do any research just took it for gospel and  have never used it since. 
Over the years I heard bits and pieces about why it is important to have iodine in your diet and I instinctively thought I get enough of the stuff without adding fortified salt. Then last year one of my first assignments in my nutrition degree was on iodine and I sat up and took note. 
Despite iodine deficiency being preventable more than half of the Australian and New Zealand population is iodine deficient. Iodine is important for maintaining healthy thyroid function. Thyroid function regulates the temperature of our body, is essential for energy and oxygen absorption and supports our basal metabolic rate 
The thyroid needs iodine in order to produce thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones are needed for growth, blood cell production, regulation of the nervous system and functioning of our cells and muscles.
When iodine is ingested via food it concentrates in the thyroid gland situated in the throat. The thyroid gland produces hormones that are controlled by the Thyroid Stimulation Hormone (TSH). The pituitary gland releases TSH in response to signals from the hypothalamus in the brain. The thyroid needs iodine to produce the thyroid hormones. There are two thyroid hormones T4 (thyroxin) and T3 (triodothyronine).
Without enough iodine in the diet thyroid production decreases and the body starts to secrete more THS to try to quicken the uptake of iodine, which in turn causes iodine deficiency. Iodine deficiency causes cells in the thyroid gland to start enlarging and they eventually form a goitre in the throat. Too much iodine can also cause goiters to form.

The recommended daily intake of iodine is 

Table 1: Recommended Iodine intake in micrograms (μg).
Recommended Daily Intake (RDI), Upper Limit (UL), Adequate Intake (AI), 
Amount normally received from breast milk (BM), Amount in food and Breast milk (BF)
Iodine supplements are not necessary nor is using iodized salt, as you can’t regulate the amount you are getting and you can easily end up consuming too much iodine. I am personally not a fan of  fortification, believing one should be diligent in trying to gain iodine from natural food sources and on a vegan diet that is easy if you incorporate seaweed into your diet.  Other plant based foods do contain iodine but they do not have the same quantities as seaweed. See table 2.

Plant based foods containing iodine

Table 2: Plant Based Foods containing iodine
So go buy yourself some dulse flakes and sprinkle them on your lunch or dinners, add a scrunched up nori sheet to any meal, make the sushi salad now and again and make these lovely nori sandwiches to take for lunch or on picnics and walks. 
Sushi Sandwich is definitely not my original idea. One day, a month or so ago sushi sandwich videos were all over my instagram feed never to be seen again. But I loved the idea and often make them for lunch, the filling ideas are mine. 

Sushi Sandwich

1/3 cup cooked rice per person (I used brown)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Any sushi fillings of your choice, here are some of my favorites 
Fried tofu or tempeh
A few fried mushrooms 
1 Tomato diced and soaked, mixed with 1 tsp tamari, 1 tsp plum or rice vinegar and 2 tsp dulse flakes 
Sliced cucumber
Sliced red capsicum 


  1. As soon as the rice is cooked add the apple cider vinegar mix and let the rice cool.
  2. Place the nori sheet in front of you with the long side facing you. Place a thin layer of rice in the middle of the nori and make a square shape at a 45° angle facing you. Then add your filling and put another thin layer of rice on top of the filling.
  3. To shape the sandwich take one of the corners of the sushi and fold it into the centre of the rice and place on top. Do that with all of the corners so you end up with a square shape. Turn it over and press it down. Leave for 5 minutes so the rice and seaweed stick together. Then cut in half so you have 2 x ½ sandwich shapes.

# If you make this recipe please share on facebook or instagram to #veetsvegancookingschool

Market Research

I am doing market research interviews for my new business model. I am hoping to speak with women and non binary people who are:
  • Self employed
  • Interested in their own health and their environment
  • Wanting to make sure they are cooking meals that provide them with all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals they need on a daily basis. 
I am hoping to ask some simple questions of people who may be a fit for my business. It will involve a short zoom interview of 20 - 30 minutes (and in return for your time) I would love to offer you a free 30 minute session. Email me if you can help, to book in a time. Thanking you in advance.

Have a wonderful week everyone.


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Duration 6mths-1year
Cost $10,413
Gain professional chef skills, get hands on training experience, and work with organic and locally sourced plant-based produce in the biggest growth market in food today: Vegan Cuisine.

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Come along for a fun filled 3 hours learning how to make Vegan Aranchini with a Tomato Sauce and Pesto, and Vegan Gluten Free Ravioli from scratch with 3 fillings.

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Learn how to make Tofu and Miso from scratch. It’s a hands on class where you get to take home what you make. You also get morning tea and a tote bag full of goodies. A workshop not to be missed. 



Categories:Mains Snacks/Sides

Tags:seaweed brown rice

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