Your thyroid, the butterfly shaped gland in your neck, produces a hormone that is extremely important. It controls the speed of your metabolism, basal metabolic rate (BMR), body heat production, blood pressure, tissue growth and development, nervous system, and reproductive system. That’s one very important gland!
It’s estimated that one in every 8 women has a thyroid that is not functioning properly. Depending on the type of thyroid disorder, symptoms will very. When not enough thyroid hormone is released, the condition is known as hypothyroidism. Symptoms include fatigue, an irregular menstrual cycle, depression, constantly feeling cold, weight gain, dry skin, constipation, and dry hair or hair loss. When the body produces too much thyroid hormone, the condition known as hyperthyroidism, the symptoms tend to be the exact opposite. Symptoms can include nervousness, irritability, weight loss, fast heart rate, constantly feeling overheated, changes in appetite, insomnia, muscle weakness, shorter and lighter menstrual flow, and more frequent bowel movements.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and suspect you may have a thyroid condition, changing your diet can make a big impact. Making just a few changes in your diet will make you feel better and help your body to work properly. As always, start with a healthy diet; avoid fast food, anything deep-fried or heavily processed, and stop drinking soda and other sugary beverages.
Foods to Consume
1.Brazil Nuts. These are the best dietary source of selenium available! Selenium is essential to convert thyroid hormone to its active form, and to help decrease thyroid antibodies. In order to get the maximum benefit, just snack on three Brazil nuts per day.
2.Seaweed. All sea vegetables are rich in iodine. If you have insufficient levels of iodine, an issue develops in the production of thyroid hormones and your thyroid function will be inhibited. Iodine deficiencies are becoming much more common now that iodized table salt is being replaced with healthier and more natural sea salts. Make a seaweed salad with sliced cucumber and sesame seeds, slice up a nori sheet and sprinkle it over salads or wraps for an extra crunch, or make a delicious pasta using kelp noodles.
3.Pineapple. Inflammation decreases both the sensitivity and the number of thyroid hormone receptors. Inflammation also decreases the amount of active thyroid hormone in the body, leaving only the inactive form, which cannot be used by the body. Pineapple is a great way to reduce this inflammation and help your thyroid perform at its optimal level. For an extra anti-inflammatory boost, make a pineapple smoothie with a teaspoon of turmeric added!
Foods to Avoid
- Gluten. In certain individuals, gluten can interfere with thyroid antibody production. You mat want to cut it out of your diet for 4 to 6 weeks and see if any of your symptoms improve. As a reminder, gluten is only found in wheat, rye and barely. Oats do not contain gluten, but are often contaminated with it during harvest, so be sure to check your labels.
- Soy Protein Isolate. Not all forms of soy are bad for thyroid function, but be sure to avoid soy protein isolate. Soy protein isolate is found in products like soy cheese, soy yogurt, energy and protein bars, soy burgers and soy-based “meats.” When choosing a meat or dairy replacement always check the labels, or make your own so you know exactly what you’re eating!Making these changes to your diet can help your body function at it’s best, so you can feel your best. Be sure to eat smart and clean and you just may be able to heal your thyroid without the use of synthetic medication.