Did you know that we’re exposed to radiation every day? According to the CDC, small amounts of radioactive fallout are still present in all parts of the world from nuclear weapons testing that happened in the 60s.
So, everything from the air we breathe to the water we drink exposes us to trace radiation levels on a daily basis.
Be that as it may, the human body does a fantastic job at repairing itself against damage caused by radiation. In most cases, it’s able to detoxify itself when exposure is minimal – like when getting an x-ray, for example.
Still, what about when the radiation is more severe — like if you’re exposed to nuclear fallout? Unfortunately, this is a growing concern worldwide.
It’s more or less the general opinion that the threat of nuclear war feels more real today than it has in almost half a decade. As a result, people have become interested in adding more iodine to their diets as a way to help the body eliminate radiation naturally.
Related: 16 Remedies for Radiation Exposure
In fact, people all over Europe are buying up large quantities of iodine due to fears of nuclear fallout from the war in Ukraine.
European iodine sales as a whole have skyrocketed since March of 2022 with many pharmacies already reporting low stock. One can only assume this rise in sales is a consequence of widespread fears of nuclear disaster.
For this reason, as soon as you know you’ve been exposed to radiation, you should act fast. Ideally, you will want to have enough iodine levels built up in your body before being exposed.
Still, if you haven’t been eating iodine rich foods for at least one year, several supplements can help prevent damage from radioactive fallout.
For example, one of the more popular supplements is KI03 potassium iodate (a stable form of iodine) which can offset the effects of exposure to radioactive iodine in the air.
However, as demand for iodine tablets or KI03 supplements increase, they will likely become harder to find. This is why getting enough iodine in your diet now will help your body to process and eliminate radiation to the best of its ability in the event of exposure.
How Does Iodine Help?
Iodine is a naturally occurring essential micronutrient that’s found in soils, ocean water, and certain types of food. This essential element is important for proper endocrine and thyroid function.
Consequently, it’s highly effective at protecting the prostate, thyroid, and other parts of the body from radiation damage.
This means that if you’ve been meeting your daily iodine dietary needs for some time, it can prevent your body from absorbing the radiation.
However, the human body doesn’t produce iodine on its own, so it’s important to get enough iodine-rich foods into your diet as a general practice.
How Much Iodine Do You Need Daily?
The daily recommended dose hovers around 150 mcg/day for adults. The maximum dose limit is around 1 mg/day.
Some doses can be much larger depending on the type of radiation emergency, your proximity to ground zero, and your iodine levels.
Unfortunately, this kind of health information can be hard to measure on your own. However, it is easy to meet your daily dose by adding certain foods to your diet.
Additionally, it’s important to note that although high doses of iodine are typically tolerated well by the human body, taking large doses when you already have thyroid problems can be dangerous.
I am not a doctor and the information presented in this blog are for information purposes only. Please consult your doctor before taking large doses of iodine or iodide, especially if you have thyroid problems or related medical conditions.
Since nutrients from whole foods are typically better absorbed by the body than supplements are, try including these 5 iodine-rich foods in your diet to help manage radiation effects.
Dried seaweed is probably the largest source of iodine from food. While different seaweed types have different levels of iodine, a one-gram sheet of dried seaweed kelp averages at about 3,000 mcg.
Although this far exceeds the daily goal, some sources claim that you can cut the iodine content in half by boiling it in water for 15-20 minutes. To get even more use out of the remaining seaweed water, try freezing it for later to make iodine-rich soups and stews.
Those who prefer dried seaweed suggest grinding the sheets into a powder and adding ½ teaspoon or so to foods like smoothies and homemade salad dressing. While plenty of people eat dried seaweed sheets with no problems, not everyone will be able to tolerate such high doses.
If you don’t like the idea of eating seaweed or if you have an existing thyroid concern, it may be a good idea to take it slow or consult your doctor when adding this iodine-rich food to your diet.
Preppers and homesteaders alike know how beneficial it can be to keep chickens. So, if you have hens, this will be an easy way to get more iodine in your diet.
According to the USDA, one large hard-boiled egg provides around 51.4 micrograms of iodine.
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What’s more, if you keep your own egg-laying hens, you can increase the iodine content of their eggs by feeding them certain foods – like fishmeal or seaweed – over a prescribed period.
This allows you to harvest two-fold: the yolks and the shells.
So, not only do you get yolks with a boosted iodine content, but you can also use the enriched shells for things like DIY calcium supplements, compost, or soil additives.
Since iodine is present in all soil at various levels depending on your geographical location, using iodine enhanced eggshells for your soil could increase the iodine levels in your garden over time. This will help your plants fend off radiation and prevent trace amounts from being passed along to you.
Beef liver is one of the most nutrient-dense organ meats.
It comes as no surprise that it’s also rich in iodine.
A 2 oz. serving of beef liver will provide you with around 20-35 mcg of iodine along with a full list of other beneficial nutrients.
Although there are a lot of other foods that have more iodine than beef liver, this organ meat boasts an impressive nutrient profile. It provides you with a good dose of B vitamins, Vitamin A, potassium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc.
These nutrients work in tandem with iodine to prevent deficiencies and may lessen the risk of radiation effects as a result. Plus, you can use beef liver to make liver jerky which is a valuable survival food to have in your emergency food stockpile.
Related: The 10-Dollar Jerky Maker
Did you know not all salt has iodine in it? If you’re worried you’re not getting enough in your diet, try cooking with iodized salt.
Iodized salt, or table salt, is by no means considered a “healthy” mineral-rich salt by most people, but it’s an easy way to get your daily dose.
A single ¼ teaspoon of iodized salt has an average of 40-70 mcg of iodine which is about a third of your recommended daily dose.
Plus, whereas iodine from foods is only absorbed by your body up to a certain amount, iodine from table salt is almost 100% bioavailable.
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Of all the dairy products that you might find at your local shop, grated parmesan cheese has the highest iodine content. To be fair, adding any dairy product to your diet will provide you with a pretty good source of iodine. However, it’s important to remember that our bodies only absorb a certain percentage of the nutrients we consume.
Therefore, choosing dairy products with the highest iodine content is your best bet at managing possible effects from radiation.
Parmesan cheese has around 78.3 micrograms per ⅓ cup or 100g serving. It is the easiest way to add more iodine from dairy to your diet.
Plus, this long-lasting cheese product will last for around 1-2 years if unopened and kept at room temperature.
At the end of the day, it’s a good idea to keep supplements like KI03 potassium iodate on hand to manage the effects of fallout in the event of a full-blown nuclear blast.
However, the most effective way to protect yourself against the effects of radiation in the long-run is to make sure you have high enough iodine levels built-up in your body over time.
This way, you can be ready way before fallout ever happens.
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