Your thyroid gland controls hormonal responses within the body that affect your mood, energy, metabolism, focus and vitality. It also affects your weight, adrenal glands, skin appearance, and your overall digestive health. When your thyroid isn’t working properly, things start to slow down pretty quickly.
An underactive thyroid can lead to fatigue, depression, headaches, weight gain, dry skin, loss of hair, constipation and lack of focus. Though an overactive thyroid can also occur, it’s much less common than an underactive thyroid, which is what most people suffer from today. So what’s the best way to take care of your thyroid? Mostly by what you put on your plate each day.
Choosing the right foods is key to a healthy thyroid
The best way to take care of your body is to regularly eat foods that support the thyroid gland and that will help prevent an imbalance from occurring. These are real, whole foods we’re talking about, which are excellent for anyone wishing to seek better health, including thyroid support. To help get you started towards eating more thyroid-friendly, whole foods, here are six great choices you can easily implement into your routine:
Nature’s most wonderful oil is very well-known for improving thyroid health. Coconut oil’s medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) support thyroid function, liver health, brain function, hormonal health, and help speed up metabolism naturally. So try adding a couple of teaspoons (or tablespoons) to your daily diet, but be sure to choose organic and extra virgin coconut oil as the best option.
Coconut butter is much like coconut oil, except it is the whole flesh of the coconut — not just the oil. Coconut butter retains all the fiber, protein and enzymes found in whole coconut meat. If your system does not digest dairy well, you can easily use coconut butter to replace dairy butter. Coconut butter contains beneficial MCT saturated fats and amino acids (protein), which both nourish the thyroid glands on a cellular level. These fats also promote lean body mass, a healthy metabolism, and a healthy mood.
Whole eggs aren’t just great for creating delicious meals — they’re also fantastic for optimizing your thyroid. Eggs contain choline, vitamin D, B vitamins, easy to digest protein, and healthy fats, which all nourish the thyroid gland and promote optimal brain health. Did you know that your thyroid can’t thrive without enough healthy fats? Cholesterol is actually the building block of hormones, so don’t fear the fats in whole eggs — enjoy them! Fats propel energy in the body and keep digestion humming along too, so skip all those egg white omelets and use some whole eggs once in a while!
Brazil nuts are a top source of selenium. In fact, just one of these delightful nuts contains 100 percent of your daily needs. Selenium is often forgotten about for optimal health, but this one mineral is necessary for a well-functioning thyroid, liver, skin health, and even a healthy body weight. Consume one Brazil nut a day and you’ll be set to go!
Leafy greens contain an array of B vitamins, amino acids, and minerals, like magnesium, which your body needs to function well. You may have heard that kale and other cruciferous greens and veggies hurt your thyroid. While this can be true if they’re consumed in excessive amounts, the key is to consume a variety of greens to ensure a balance, and so that you’re not consuming too much of one type. Try greens such as romaine, spinach, rocket (arugula), collards, and spring mix lettuces to switch things up. When you go this route, a little kale and cabbage now and again will do the body good and are less likely to negatively affect your thyroid. Balance is key!
Wild salmon is a great food for your thyroid due to its high omega-3 fatty acid profile. Salmon is also a great source of B vitamins, amino acids, magnesium, selenium, and zinc. Be sure when you choose salmon to opt for wild fish from Alaskan or Norwegian waters. Farmed salmon and those that are cultivated in other parts of the world can be filled with toxins, pesticides, antibiotics and more, which do not promote optimal health.
More options to choose from
Other great foods for your thyroid include tuna (rich in protein and selenium), organic yogurt and/or kefir (great sources of good bacteria, protein, and B vitamins), avocados (excellent sources of B vitamins and healthy fats) and flaxseeds (filled with plant-based omega-3 fatty acids).
Remember that the best thing you can do for your thyroid is to always choose whole, real foods that are nourishing on a cellular level. Embracing healthy fats, protein, fruits and vegetables will simply take things up a few notches. For a healthy thyroid, and a healthy body overall, be sure to avoid gluten, grains and soy-based options, along with refined sugar and most processed foods.
Have you ever had thyroid troubles? If so, what worked for you?
— The Alternative Daily