Because your thyroid gland helps control almost every aspect of your well-being in one way or another – your appetite, sleep and energy for example – thyroid disorders and thyroid disease can have a negative impact in many area of your life. Most people suffering from thyroid disorders aren’t even aware that this is the root cause of their symptoms, which can range from depression to fatigue.
What is the thyroid gland exactly and where is it located?
The thyroid is a small gland located near the base of the throat. It has numerous vital functions, helping to control your metabolism and mood. The thyroid produces certain hormones that travel through the bloodstream and convert both oxygen and calories into useable energy, which in turn supports your stamina, calorie-burning abilities, and your general outlook on life. When the thyroid is producing too high of levels of these hormones, hyperthyroidism occurs. The opposite is also true – when the body isn’t producing enough thyroid hormones, hypothyroidism takes place.
What’s the role of iodine in thyroid disease?
One thing that most people aren’t aware of is the role that iodine plays in thyroid health. Iodine and amino acids (from protein food sources) are converted by the thyroid key hormones, but just a slight deficiency in iodine, or consuming too much, can alter the way the thyroid works. Choosing the right foods, which can help reduce inflammation and regulate hormonal balance. Increasing your iodine intake can help your thyroid produce more of its needed hormones if you’re suffering from hypothyroidism. One of the best ways to get more iodine in your diet naturally is by including more kept in your meals, a type of algae seaweed that contains high levels of iodine as well as more than sixty other vital nutrients!
Here are other ways to support thyroid health through your food choices:
Best Foods for Thyroid Health:
• Wild-caught fish – salmon, mackerel, sardines, etc. All of these provide omega-3 fatty acids which help with thyroid function. Also include different sea vegetables and algae.
• Nuts and Seeds – Flax, chia and hemp seeds provide a type of omega-3 known as ALA, as do walnuts.
• Bone broth – stock made from the bones of beef and chicken contain numerous important minerals that leech out from the bones and into the liquid, including amino acids that help repair hormonal health.
• Fresh Fruits and Vegetables – These are high in antioxidants as well as vitamins and minerals that help balance hormones and reduce deficiencies. Try consuming these in smoothies or juices to make this easier.
Foods to Avoid:
• “Goitrogens” Vegetables – vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, soy, and Brussel sprouts naturally have compounds called goitrogens that can sometimes interfere with thyroid function when eaten in large amounts. Eat these moderately and make sure to cook them first.
• Gluten and dairy – Some people with thyroid issues are sensitive to gluten and dairy, which are common allergens.
• Refined and Added Sugars – Too much sugar worsens hormonal balance, so stick to fresh fruit only. Reduce processed foods in general to cut out artificial ingredients and chemicals.