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      Pregnancy Nutrients: Iodine


      Pregnancy Nutrients: Iodine

      Brain Builder

      The importance of iodine

      Iodine is a key nutrient for pregnancy. As well as being involved in many functions and processes of the body, it is vital for your baby’s brain development. Learn what this trace element does and how to include it in your pregnancy diet.

      Typical values per 100ml    
      Energy 285 KJ
        68 kcal
      Fat 3.1 g
      of which saturates 1.3 g
      of which unsaturates 1.8 g
      of which LCPs† 0.02 g
      of which arachidonic acid (AA) 0.009 g
      of which docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) 0.009 g
      Carbohydrate 8.6 g
      of which sugars 6.4 g
      of which lactose 6 g
      Fibre 0.6 g
      Protein 1.4 g
      Salt 0.05 g
      Vitamin A 66 μg (RE)
      Vitamin D3 1.4 μg
      Vitamin E 1.2 mg (α-TE)
      Vitamin K1 5.1 μg
      Vitamin C 9.4 mg
      Thiamin (B1) 0.05 mg
      Riboflavin (B2) 0.11 mg
      Niacin 0.44 mg
      Pantothenic acid 0.37 mg
      Vitamin B6 0.04 mg
      Folic acid 12 μg
      Vitamin B12 0.17 μg
      Biotin 1.5 μg
      Sodium 21 mg
      Potassium 66 mg
      Chloride 43 mg
      Calcium 66 mg
      Phosphorus 37 mg
      Magnesium  4.7 mg
      Iron 1 mg
      Zinc 0.6 mg
      Copper 0.041 mg
      Maganese 0.007 mg
      Fluoride ≤0.003 mg
      Selenium 1.4 μg
      Iodine 13 μg
      L-carnitine 0.79 mg
      Choline 10.5 mg
      Inositol 4.9 mg
      Taurine 5.8 mg
      Nucleotides 3.2 mg
      GOS/FOS ◊ 0.8 g

      Iodine helps to support:
      Normal cognitive development

      Iodine: A vital nutrient for good health

      Iodine is a trace element found in dairy foods, fish and some other foods. One of the less well-known nutrients, it has a vital role to play in your everyday health and your baby’s incredible journey from conception to birth.

      Iodine is needed to make thyroid hormones. These hormones affect the way your cells function, affecting the processes of your body, including heart rate and metabolism.

      During pregnancy, your baby’s cells also rely on your iodine intake, including the cells in their rapidly developing brain.


      Grilled Fish
      Fish and dairy foods are sources of iodine

      Why you need more iodine during pregnancy

      Iodine is important during pregnancy for three reasons:

      • You need thyroid hormones for your own body processes
      • Your body provides your baby with iodine
      • It is thought that you might naturally lose more iodine than usual during pregnancy
      Soured Cream
      Yogurt is an excellent source of iodine which has a vital role to play in your everyday health along with your baby’s development.

      Building a healthy brain

      With your baby’s brain developing rapidly throughout pregnancy, a good supply of iodine is essential to building this complex organ.

      well-balanced diet that includes a healthy intake of iodine will support your baby’s developing brain, contributing to their learning and motor skills, and helping to set the stage for all future development.

      Which contains more iodine, organic cows’ milk or regular cows’ milk?

      Regular Milk

      Correct answer

      Regular milk contains an impressive 50-80mcg of iodine per 200ml serving.

      Organic Milk

      Incorrect answer

      Organic milk only contains 30-65 mcg of iodine per 200ml serving.

      Guidance on how much iodine to eat when pregnant

      Despite being present in many foods, a 2013 study found that iodine deficiency is a public health concern.

       The World Health Organization recommends that pregnant women get 250mcg per day.

      White fish is an excellent source of iodine, as are dairy foods, including yoghurt. It’s worth noting that the iodine content of dairy varies depending on the season, due to variations in how cows are fed throughout the year. Higher levels of iodine have been measured in milk over the winter when cows are fed on winter feed rations, compared with the summer, when lower levels have been measured. These seasonal changes have been linked to the amount of iodine in maternal diets. Because the best sources are animal-based, vegetarians and vegans may be at a higher risk of deficiency. Talk to your midwife about taking a pregnancy-safe iodine supplement if you think you might not be getting enough in your diet.

      Before taking any supplement during pregnancy, it’s important to discuss it with your midwife.

      You can also increase your intake by replacing your regular salt with an iodised version. However, you shouldn’t increase your salt intake just to get more iodine. Iodised salt is just a fortified version.

      Foods containing iodine:

      Food Portion Average nutrient quantity (mcg)
      Cow's milk 200ml 50-80
      Organic cow's milk 200ml
      Yogurt 150g 50-100
      Eggs 1 egg 20
      Cheese 40g 15
      White fish 100g 115
      Oily fish 100g
      Shellfish 100g
      Meat 100g
      Poultry 100g
      Nuts 25g 5
      Bread 1 slice 5
      Fruit and veg 1 portion 3


      Boost your intake with the following iodine-rich meals and snacks:

      • Kedgeree made with white fish and boiled eggs
      • A bowl of yogurt with sliced almonds
      • Prawn cocktail made with yogurt
      • Jacket potato topped with cottage cheese or sardines
      • A mug of hot milk before bedtime

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      Your baby's future health begins here

      Your baby's future health begins here

      At Aptaclub, we believe that experience helps to build resilience; that
      each new encounter, whether in pregnancy or after birth, can shape your
      baby’s future development. With our scientific expertise and one-to-one
      round the clock support, we can help you and your baby embrace tomorrow.

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