Various sea vegetables on teal background for iodine source

Bring On the Veggie Sushi—Easy Ways to Find Vegan Iodine Sources

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Are you concerned about iodine deficiency? What is iodine, and how can you find the mineral quickly and easily without killing or stealing from animals? Some iodine supplements are made with dead animals and/or are coated with gelatin or “pharmaceutical glaze” (shellac), but animals get their iodine from plants. So why not cut out the middle fish, leave them in peace, and get this essential mineral the kind way? PETA’s got the lowdown.

Why Is Iodine Important?

Iodine helps your body make thyroid hormones and regulates your metabolism. It also plays a role in fetal and infant skeletal and central nervous system development. Because iodine is an essential nutrient, it’s important that everyone, including vegans, include it in their diet.

How Much Do You Need?

The amount humans need depends on age and circumstance. On average, we need around 150 micrograms each day. Thankfully, there are many vegan sources for it, so you can leave slaughtered sentient beings off your plate.

5 Easy Ways to Get Iodine From Vegan Sources

1. Supplement With Vegan Vitamins

A simple way to ensure that you’re getting enough of the mineral is to find a vegan multivitamin that includes it or to take an iodine vitamin. Just be sure not to exceed the upper limit of 1,100 micrograms for adults. See any unfamiliar ingredients? Check the label to make sure that they’re plant-derived, and search for the brand on PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies database to ensure that the supplements aren’t tested on animals. With our easy search engine, you can get essential nutrients without supporting brands that torment and kill mice, rabbits, and other animals in cruel tests.


2. Iodine Salt

The easiest and most common way to get enough of this nutrient is through iodine-fortified table salt. And a little goes a long way! To get your daily dose of 150 micrograms, you only need one-half to three-fourths of a teaspoon of salt. Find ways to add iodine to your meals while showing kindness to animals with this list of top vegan dishes.

3. Sea Vegetables

Veggie sushi lovers, rejoice! Sea vegetables such as kelp, nori, kombu, wakame, and arame provide more than enough daily iodine. Common vegan thickeners such as carrageenan and agar-agar contain the mineral, too. Because the levels of iodine vary in sea vegetables, it’s not necessary to eat them every day.

Although fish flesh does contain iodine, poisonous heavy metals like mercury accumulate in their system and can cause serious health issues in humans. Fish also have unique personalities and form social networks. So instead of eating a sentient being, get the mineral from the same sources fish do. Mix up your weekly recipes by using sea veggies in sushi, miso soup, seaweed salads, or rice bowls.

Seaweed salad with avocado

4. Seaweed or Kelp Tablets

Did you know that chemists originally discovered iodine while extracting salt from seaweed? Nowadays, it’s even easier to get the mineral with vegan seaweed or kelp tablets. As with other vitamins, make sure that the brand contains an adequate amount of the nutrient and that it’s in PETA’s animal test–free database.

5. Vitamin-Fortified Vegan Foods

Instead of getting iodine by stealing baby cow’s milk, which is also filled with cholesterol and acne-inducing hormones, find a fortified vegan milk like EdenSoy. Some brands will fortify vegan bread with the mineral as well, usually in the form of added salt. To find out if your vegan food contains iodine and how much, look for it on the nutrition and ingredient label.


Going vegan saves nearly 200 animals a year and is great for your health. For more tips and suggestions on different vitamins and minerals, check out PETA’s essential nutrients guide.

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