3 Iodine-Rich Recipes for Your First Trimester

Iodine is a fundamental nutrient during the first stage of pregnancy. In today's article, we'll show you how to get the iodine you need for your baby's development during your first trimester. Just the same, be sure to talk with your doctor to know if you need an extra dosage of this element.
3 Iodine-Rich Recipes for Your First Trimester

Last update: 18 November, 2018

Most women know that iodine consumption is fundamental during the first trimester of pregnancy. But do you know where to find it or why it’s so relevant? Besides revealing the answers, we’ll offer three iodine-rich recipes to help you cover your iodine needs during the first three months of pregnancy.

Why is iodine so important while pregnant?

First of all, iodine is a fundamental nutrient when it comes to turning foods into energy. It’s also key in extracting the beneficial properties of foods for our bodies.

During pregnancy, therefore, it’s of the many contributors to your baby’s development as well as your own well-being.

In regards to fetal growth, iodine is extremely important for brain development. In fact, some studies relate iodine insufficiency to low intelligence and hyperactivity.

Iodine is also an important element for the functioning of the thyroid glands and the production of thyroid hormones. 

At this point, your baby doesn’t produce these hormones, meaning that your body has to do it for both of you. Iodine is also important in the prevention of congenital iodine deficiency syndrome and other mental disorders.

In cases of pregnant women where hypothyroidism occurs due to a lack of iodine, complications may result. The risks include miscarriage, as well as learning difficulties in the future of their children.

It can also cause developmental delays, including in regards to intrauterine growth. Hearing loss and other congenital defects can also be the result of iodine deficiencies.

Iodine-rich recipes for the first trimester of pregnancy

The World Health Organization, UNICEF and other organizations suggest that women increase their iodine intake by 200 grams per day. However, this decision lies exclusively in the hands of the medical professional that evaluates each case.

In accordance with this general recommendation, the following iodine-rich recipes can help women get the nutrition they need during this first stage of gestation.

1. Cream of spinach and carrot


  • Salt.
  • 1 carrot.
  • 1/4 onion.
  • 1/2 potato.
  • Olive oil.
  • 1/2 cup of spinach.


  1. Peel and slice the carrot and potato.
  2. Wash and cut the spinach and the onion into strips.
  3. Sauté the vegetables on low heat (except the potato) in a frying pan with olive oil.
  4. After 4 minutes, cover them with water. Add the potato and salt, and cover.
  5. Cook for 20 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
  6. Pour into a blender and blend well.
3 Iodine-Rich Recipes for Your First Trimester

2. Deviled eggs with tuna and tomato


  • Salt.
  • 2 eggs.
  • 1/2 liter of water.
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce.
  • 1/2 can of tuna.


  1. Boil the eggs in water with a tablespoon of salt. Once the water boils, cook for 10 more minutes.
  2. Remove the eggs, rinse with cold water and peel.
  3. Cut the eggs in half. Remove the yolks and mix them with the tomato and tuna.
  4. Place the mixture back inside the egg whites and serve.

Note: You can also add parmesan cheese and prepare the eggs au gratin if you prefer. We also suggest complementing this dish with a salad rich in iodine. For example, you can include carrots or chard.

3 Iodine-Rich Recipes for Your First Trimester

3. Garbanzo beans with chard and cod fish


  • Salt.
  • 2 potatoes.
  • 1/2 onion.
  • 2 tomatoes.
  • Olive oil.
  • 2 garlic cloves.
  • 1 sage leaf.
  • 1 slice of bread.
  • 6 stems of chard.
  • 1 1/2 cups garbanzo beans.
  • 1 1/2 lbs. cod (without salt).
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika.


  1. Sauté the garlic in olive oil and then place in a mixing bowl.
  2. Brown the bread in the same olive oil for one minute and add to the mixing bowl.
  3. Fry the paprika as well in the remaining oil, then add it to the fried bread.
  4. Add a bit more oil and mix in the peeled tomato and strips of onion. Cover and cook for approximately 10 minutes. Add the mixing bowl.
  5. Add a bit of water and grind up.
  6. Pour one liter of water into a pan and boil. Once it’s hot, add the garbanzo means and sage.
  7. Wash the potatoes and chard and add to the pan, as well as the ground bread mixture.
  8. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
  9. Add the cod and cook for 10 minutes on low heat. If necessary, adjust the salt at the end.
  10. Serve carefully, as the cod can easily break.

You can also obtain this nutrient by eating walnuts, hazelnuts, and saltwater fish. Certain fruits like pineapple, apple and figs also offer iodine. Last but not least, you can use iodized salt.

Always be sure to talk to your OB/GYN about your specific iodine needs.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Zimmermann, M. B. (2012). The effects of iodine deficiency in pregnancy and infancy. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3016.2012.01275.x

  • Velasco I., Bath SC., Rayman MP., Iodine as essential nutrient during the first 1000 days of life. Nutrients, 2018.
  • Ann Bell M., Ross AP., Goodman G., Assessing infant cognitive development after prenatal iodine supplementation. Am J Clin Nutr, 2016. 104 (3): 928-34.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.