Sluggish, battling depression and steadily gaining weight without cause? Or maybe you have a low body temperature, experiencing brain fog, thinning hair and joint pain? These conditions are often the cause of low thyroid function or hypothyroidism, unfortunately, this is often overlooked as a root cause.
How to Check Thyroid Function
A simple blood panel can reveal the state of your thyroid health. This should be a full thyroid panel, including free T3 and reverse T3, as well as Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies and Thyroglobulin Antibodies.
Why is Thyroid Health Important?
The thyroid regulates your metabolism, heart rate, body temperature and many hormone levels. Keeping your thyroid in optimal condition requires attention to diet to ensure proper levels of key nutrients are consumed regularly and additionally requires regular water consumption and eight to ten hours of quality sleep.
Food to Improve Thyroid Health
Below are six foods to regularly eat as part of your healthy diet to improve your thyroid function and overall health.
- Sea Vegetables
Seaweed, such as kelp, nori and kombu are high in iodine, which is vital for proper thyroid function. Many of us have turned to pure salt with its high micronutrient content and have begun bypassing the iodized table salt so frequently used by many in the past. This has led to a decline in iodine in our diets that leads to a sluggish thyroid. Use seaweed as a wrap, in soups or sushi. Seaweed salads are acceptable on occasion but should be limited to no more than twice weekly.
- Yogurt and Kefir
Full of beneficial bacteria, yoghurt and other fermented dairy products also provide an adequate dose of iodine. Live cultured yoghurt of any style and probiotic-rich kefirs also aid in maintaining a healthy digestive tract, a necessary part of assimilating vitamins and minerals for use in the body. Use yoghurt and fermented dairy products such as kefir alone, as a condiment or as a base for smoothies.
- Sprouted Seeds and Nuts
Snacking on sprouted seeds, such as flax, chia or hemp seeds, provides essential omega-3 fats that are necessary for proper hormonal balance. Most tree nuts also contain sufficient omega-3s and have a second nutrient vital for good thyroid health, selenium. Selenium is used in conjunction with glutathione to eliminate thyroid antibodies. Brazil nuts have the highest amount of available selenium. Consuming just one brazil nut provides 96 micrograms of selenium, twice the daily suggested intake.
- Red Meat
Whether served as a steak, as a roast or as a burger, beef and other red meats provide zinc, another mineral essential for healthy thyroid function. Moderate portions of red meat supply up to 7 milligrams of zinc per serving or try adding bone broth to your diet which not only supplies zinc but supplies additional amino acids that promote a healthy thyroid.
One whole egg contains moderate amounts of iodine and selenium as well as a host of other vitamins and minerals that boost overall health. The yolk contains the highest concentration of iodine and selenium.
Berries are well known as superfoods and the title holds true when feeding your thyroid. Containing high levels of antioxidants, berries reduce free radicals in the body, which are more numerous in those with low thyroid function. Berries, such as strawberries, goji berries and cranberries, are also great for a sweet snack while watching your weight.
Adding moderate amounts of these foods to a clean, healthy diet can stimulate a sluggish thyroid and help to maintain a healthy one. A well-functioning thyroid is essential for a well-balanced life. If you find that you're still struggling with low thyroid function, try some natural Molecular Iodine Colloid to help boost function - after all, almost 60% of your bodies iodine is found in your thyroid glands!
...and remember, qualified nutritionists at Healthy Being are available to offer further general advice to help guide you in selecting the right products. So please, feel free to contact us at any time!
Jessica is a natural lifestyle coach who specialises in green living. A regular contributor to HB Insights, she's passionate about sharing with others how transitioning to a natural lifestyle provides benefits to themselves, their communities and their environment.