Foods to Make Your Thyroid Happy
Your thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck, but it has more influence over you than you could ever imagine. It is responsible not only for the healthy development and growth of your body, but it also controls the most important organs within your body including--but not limited to—your brain, heart, kidneys, liver, and skin.
So why are we talking about the thyroid, just one of many important glands? The American Thyroid Association reports that one in eight women will be afflicted by a thyroid disorder. With such high risk and integral functions, you must pay some special attention to your thyroid by including specialized nutrients in your everyday diet, such as selenium, magnesium, and iodine. It is important to recognize which foods cause inflammation and which foods provide antioxidants.
A handy trail mix can meet all your thyroid health needs. Each component of a healthy trail mix has a lot to offer your thyroid.
Brazil nuts provide selenium, which forms a protective barrier against oxidative damage to your thyroid gland. The iodine found in pink salt is required for the production of triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine and almonds provide magnesium, which is essential for regulating hormonal levels and managing stress. Honey naturally anti-inflammatory and helps contribute to hormonal balance maintenance and function, while dark chocolate contains antioxidants that prevent tissue damage. Trail mix is generally gluten and sugar-free, ensuring it does not contribute to or cause inflammation that disturbs hormonal levels.
Cruciferous vegetables are your thyroid’s most beneficial food group because they are a rich source of cancer-inhibiting phytonutrients. Not only do they support thyroid health, but they are a great source of countless vitamins and nutrients.
Iodine is key to the production of thyroxine because it combines with tyrosine, an amino acid, for its formation. A low level of iodine can be a limiting factor in the production of thyroid hormones, impeding your thyroid function. Sea vegetables are rich sources of iodine and you can prepare sea vegetables in exciting ways: nori wraps with avocado, which is another thyroid healthy food; fish, such as salmon, with sweet potato or sprouts; a pumpkin seed and kale salad with the addition of hijiki; or add some wakame or dulse to your soup.
Maca root is a powerhouse of nutrients that help balance and regulate the glands that control the thyroid. If you thought the thyroid was important, maca root affects the regulators of the controller itself. Maca root helps maintain healthy levels of thyroxine in circulation. It also contains nutrients such as vitamin B, iron, and zinc that further optimize levels of the thyroid hormones produced.
What Not to Consume
While it is important to know what to consume, it is also important to know what not to consume. These include foods that may upset the level of thyroid hormones produced or cause inflammation. It is a good idea to stay away from excess gluten and sugar. Gluten intake produces thyroid antibodies, which lead to thyroid autoimmune diseases. You should also avoid soy protein isolate in soy-based foods such as soy cheese and meats.
Fiona is a Degree accredited Naturopath practicing online worldwide and in clinic at Dynamic Health Kensington Park South Australia.