Iodine

Iodine is particularly important for your baby's brain development and your requirements increase during pregnancy. Sources of iodine include fish, eggs, milk and milk products, with dairy contributing around one third to average daily UK iodine adult intake. Vegetarians and particularly vegans are at risk of iodine deficiency as they do not eat rich iodine sources (fish and/or dairy products). Soya and dairy alternative drinks are not typically fortified with iodine (check label) and therefore sources are limited.
Vegan sources of iodine include:

  • In some countries, iodine is added to salt. However, this does not occur in the UK and there is a government recommendation to reduce salt intakes. Therefore, iodised salt should not be relied upon as a means to increase iodine intakes.
  • Although seaweed is a concentrated source of iodine, it can provide excessive amounts (particularly brown seaweed e.g. kelp) and therefore eating it more than once a week is not recommended, especially during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
  • Iodine supplements are available.