HYPOTHYROID FOODS TO EAT: EAT YOUR WAY TO A HEALTHY THYROID!
We all have them, but most of us aren’t really sure why a healthy thyroid is so important. This butterfly shaped gland sits right at the base of your neck and works to make thyroid hormones. These hormones then travel through the blood to all parts of the body where they do some very important work which include controlling how your body uses your food for energy and regulating your metabolic rate. This basically means how fast or slow your brain, heart, muscles, liver, digestive system and other parts of your body work.
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If your body works too fast or too slow, don’t expect to feel so great. Not having enough thyroid hormone can result in hypothyroidism, a very common condition that can have you feeling tired, cold and sluggish. In addition, you may notice brittle nails and hair, issues with slow digestion and constipation and have a really tough time dropping weight. On the other hand, having too much thyroid hormone can result in hyperthyroidism, which is less common, but just as important to identify and treat. Common symptoms of this include increased heart rate, anxiety, feeling nervous, jumpy or over heated and having difficulty keeping weight on.
What if I said you could eat your way to a healthier thyroid? Following plans like this Hypothyroid Meal Plan from Holistic Nutritionist and Master Trainer Lyzabeth Lopez will see to it that you are on the right track.
A happy thyroid requires a wide variety of nutrients and minerals needed for healthy hormone conversions to actually happen so you can start feeling your best. Below are a few of the most important ones and how you can start feeling great as soon as your next meal!
HYPOTHYROID FOODS TO EAT: 4 IMPORTANT FOODS TO INCLUDE!
Iodine Rich Foods
Did you know that iodine deficiency is the leading cause for hypothyroidism? Guess we can blame it on the lack of fresh ocean goodies here in Toronto, but this sea mineral is essential for making thyroid hormone so making sure to get it in your diet or as a supplement is a must. My favourite source of iodine are sea vegetables such as kelp, dulse and seaweed which you can toast up and add to salads or eat as is and use in broths for soups and stews. Not feeling the seaweeds? Try adding 1 tbsp of the super food Spirulina into your next smoothie for a major boost of minerals including iodine, as well as protein and omega 3’s!
Selenium Rich Foods
After iodine, selenium is the next most common mineral deficiency leading to a sluggish thyroid. Correct this by snacking on foods such as Brazil nuts and sunflower seeds or incorporating more seafood into your diet, especially oysters! Other foods include tuna, turkey, lean beef & mushrooms.
Iron & B12 Rich Foods
Iron and B12 deficiencies are also very common amongst those with a struggling thyroid. Both of these nutrients play vital roles in healthy thyroid hormone conversion as well as energy production – a big reason why fatigue and lack of energy is high on the symptom list. Food sources include good quality red meat such as grass fed beef, bison and lamb as well as organ meats, poultry and seafood. Vegetarians can obtain these nutrients from a variety of foods such as swiss chard, spinach, lentils, kidney beans, blackstrap molasses, pumpkin seeds and dried apricots to name a few. *Tip* cooking with a cast iron skillet is another easy way to pump up your iron intake!
Omega 3 Fats
These good fats have an endless list of benefits and supporting thyroid health is high on that list. Preventing and reducing inflammation are the major roles of these fatty friends and they also work to improve the body’s ability to detect and respond to thyroid hormone. More importantly, these fatty acids are essential to our cellular health and since our bodies don’t make them, it’s crucial to get them from diet. Best sources of Omega 3’s include fresh fish such as wild salmon, sardines, trout & mackerel. If seafood isn’t your thing, opt for flax, pumpkin and chia seeds for a plant based boost of these healthy fats.
If you are hypothyroid or suspect to be one, try adding the above foods and monitor your symptoms! Nutrition can go a looooong way in helping you balance your hormones!
I would also recommend picking up a holistic meal plan made for those with hypothyroid (like this one here!)