Boosting the Thyroid Gland for Optimal Health
BOOSTING THE THYROID GLAND FOR OPTIMAL HEALTH
You may have heard about the importance of your thyroid gland, in fact the thyroid gland controls the way you metabolize food, the way you use energy, lose and gain weight, how well or poorly you sleep, and much, much more. Today’s post will explain how to support your thyroid to boost your metabolism and balance your body!
Women are more prone to thyroid conditions than men, and that many of these problems first manifest during times of hormonal flux, such as peri-menopause and childbearing. It is best to proactively approach these transitions providing the body with what it will need to support the gland in high demand. Lifestyle also plays a role in thyroid health since your hypothalamus and pituitary (aka stress) glands play a role in regulating production of T4 and T3. Common causes of hypothyroidism are due to autoimmune conditions (Hashimoto’s, Ord’s, Grave’s), iodine deficiency, and stress or hormonal imbalance.
Like every cell and organ in our bodies, the thyroid requires specific vitamins and minerals to carry out everyday functions. Though there are several nutrients the thyroid uses, there are four (4) food types that research shows to be most crucial in boosting thyroid function:
The essential thyroid hormones that circulate in our bodies, known as T4 (also called thyroxine) and the more active T3 (triiodothyronine), are the only iodine-containing hormones in humans. The process of converting to active thyroid requires Iodine.
Sources: sea vegetables (kelp, dulse, hijiki, nori, arame, wakame, kombu) and seafood (clams, shrimp, haddock, oysters, salmon, sardines), as well as iodized sea salt.
Selenium-containing enzymes function in a protective “detox” capacity, preserving the integrity of the thyroid gland when we’re under all kinds of stress — oxidative, chemical, even social stress! Selenium also helps the body to more efficiently recycle its iodine stores and function as an antioxidant preserving function of the organ.
Sources: Brazil nuts, tuna, organ meats, mushrooms, sunflower seeds
3. ZINC, COPPER, IRON:
When zinc is low in the body, TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone), T4, and T3 can in turn become low in the body. Copper and Iron play a role in making TSH
Sources: Fresh oysters, sardines, beef, lamb, turkey, split peas, whole grains, sunflower seeds, pecans, Brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts, ginger root, maple syrup. organs, dark chocolate, crabmeat, tomato paste, pearled barley, nuts, beans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, molasses
4. ANTIOXIDANTS, B-VITAMINS:
These foods work to neutralize the oxidative damage of physiological, psychological and environmental stress on the gland In emotional, psychological or physiological stress, the body will convert excess T4 to reverse T3 (rT3) as a means of conserving energy for healing and repair.
Sources of Vitamin A, E and B Vitamins (B2, B3, B6): Whole grains, almonds, winter squash, beans, sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds, peanuts, liver, leafy green vegetables, asparagus, egg yolks
FOODS THAT SHOULD BE LIMITED DUE TO INTERFERENCE WITH GLAND:
Soy and foods with I3C (cruciferious foods): these can inhibit or block thyroid peroxidase (TPO), which is responsible to pull in the iodine and activate the hormone.
Goitrigenic foods: be mindful of these foods, but if eating in balance may not have to limit. One food I do recommend limiting is gluten due to a strong correlation of autoimmune conditions, thyroid, and gluten intolerance.