Guest Post: By Emlyee Modestino
The thyroid gland regulates a lot of things inside your body, such as metabolism, blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature. The thyroid also indirectly influences other hormones, including serotonin and dopamine, which manage moods and energy levels. Thyroid health is important to overall health.
An imbalance in the group of hormones the gland releases can cause health complications or thyroid disorders. While there are many types of thyroid disorders, hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism are two frequently diagnosed.
In this blog, we will discuss some top foods and nutrients to support thyroid health naturally.
Facts About Thyroid Health
Proper diagnosis and treatment can manage hyperthyroidism and hyperthyroidism effectively. While it is important to address the disorders immediately, and while thyroid issues are quite common, the symptoms are often misdiagnosed.
The thyroid gland releases two types of hormones, Thyroxine (T4) and Triiodothyronine (T3). To maintain the production of these two hormones, your body needs enough micro and macronutrients, particularly Iodine, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Zinc, and Selenium.
- According to the American Thyroid Association, around 25 million Americans suffer from thyroid-related problems.
- Around 65% of the patients are wrongly treated because the symptoms coincide with other health issues.
- Most often lab tests show normal reports. Therefore, to find a more accurate diagnosis, besides the THS test (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone test), you must get T3 and T4 tests done as well.
- These tests determine the type of thyroid you have – autoimmune thyroid disorder or a reversible thyroid disorder.
- According to Thyroid Org’s survey, thyroid imbalance is more common in women than in men and in their lifetime, one in eight women will be affected by thyroid imbalance at some point. Thyroid disorders are prominent right after pregnancy, delivery, and menopause according to Women’s Health, Department of Health and Human Services, US.
- A study by the Journal Magazine, shows that stress can significantly aggravate existing thyroid disorder. Besides, nutrient deficiency and environmental toxins are two other major contributors to thyroid imbalances.
Symptoms of thyroid disorders are often miscalculated. Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) is a common type, which can cause varied symptoms like weight gain, weakness, fatigue, dry skin, hair loss, constipation, depression, muscle pain, and irregular periods.
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include increased heartbeat, heart palpitation, anxiety, panic attack, weight loss, insomnia, weak muscles, nervousness, and irregular periods.
How to Combat Thyroid Disorders
Untreated thyroid disorders can contribute to several other health problems, including increased risk of heart disease and heart problems, vision problems, and in the worst case, vision loss and cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.
A healthy diet, food supplements along with good lifestyle habits will help improve thyroid levels drastically without medications.
Superfoods for Thyroid Disorders
While there is no particular cure for a thyroid disorder, research shows certain foods can improve the levels of this group of hormones.
Iodine is required to make T3 and T4 hormones. Iodine deficiency can cause hypothyroidism. Seafood not only contains iodine but also is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and selenium. Include iodine-rich seafood in your meals, particularly shrimp, shark, salmon, cod seaweed, and haddock.
Green Leaves and Vegetables
Green vegetables and leafy greens are the best sources of magnesium. Magnesium is a 5-Star mineral that secretly works on the well-being of your Thyroid. Lack of magnesium can cause fatigue, racing heartbeat, muscle cramps, and insomnia. Spinach, broccoli, lettuce, kale, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower are rich in magnesium and iodine.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are delicious awesomeness, packed with flavors and nutrients. Include almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, and pumpkin seeds in your everyday meal to boost your iron level and selenium, two important minerals that support thyroid functioning. Since these are micronutrients, you don’t need them excessively in value. A small portion of them will be more than enough to cover your daily dose.
Dairy and Yogurt
All dairy products contain iodine. While iodine is essentially found in salt, you cannot just live on salt alone. You need to substitute with iodine-rich food, such as dairy products. Include milk, frozen yogurt, ice-cream, cottage cheese, and other dairy variants in your diet.
Eggs are one of the low-cost sources of comprehensive nutrients. They are packed with minerals, irons, vitamins, and a good amount of iodine and selenium, both required for a healthy thyroid gland.
The most important nutrient you need to contain thyroid disorders is iodine. You can avail plenty of iodine through the foods you eat. You particularly don’t require any iodine supplement for your daily dosage. Moreover, research states that iodine supplements can cause adverse effects if you have other health issues, like hypertension.
Besides Iodine, your thyroid gland also needs Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Iron, Zinc, and Selenium to fight and prevent thyroid disease.
Red meat, legumes, fish, eggs, beans, and dairy products are wholesome foods that help thyroid regulate body functions effectively.
Nutritionists and dietitians recommend getting your essential nutrients from the food you have rather than depending upon supplements. However, if you are following a restricted diet and your meals are not able to provide the nutrients, you can incorporate key thyroid supplements with the help of your practitioner.
-Selenium supplements are very useful if you suffer from autoimmune thyroid disease. In a day, you can take up to 200 mg of selenium but do not cross the limit unless it is prescribed by your healthcare provider.
- Vitamin A supplements can help you fight autoimmune thyroid disease caused because of obesity, pregnancy, and pre-menopause, according to a study.
- Zinc supplements are also a good way to maintain healthy T3 and T4 hormone levels.
- Include a whole food based multi-vitamin/mineral, omega-3, and antioxidant formula for thyroid support and strength.
Some supplements work and some don’t, especially when you are on thyroid hormone medications. Therefore, a well-rounded and healthy diet is the best way to provide necessary thyroid-support nutrients and avoid synthetic supplements. Get yourself tested and start medication immediately if you observe sudden elevation in the symptoms.
Emylee is a wellness lifestyle writer. She loves sharing her thoughts and personal experiences related to natural remedies, yoga and fitness through her writing. She currently writes for How To Cure. She can connect with others experiencing health concerns and help them through their recovery journeys through natural remedies.