Kelp is especially favored for its high—but not too high—iodine levels. The recommended dietary allowance for iodine is 150 micrograms per day, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). “The problem is that we don’t get enough iodine in our diet,” Rountree says. While iodine supplements may help some people increase their intake, they may cause others to exceed the recommended value, which can increase the risk for hyper- or hypothyroidism.
To take the guesswork out of it, Rountree says kelp is the best source of iodine. “It’s organic. It’s going to be processed in a way that your body can use it. And it’s very difficult to overdose from kelp,” he explains.
Along with kelp, Rountree recommends the green algae chlorella. “They have a particular type of polysaccharide in them that actually binds to heavy metals and toxins,” he says. Studies show by binding to heavy metals, chlorella can help rid the gastrointestinal tract, muscles, ligaments, connective tissue, and bones of too much mercury.*