If you are working with a sluggish thyroid resulting in restless sleep, dull & dry skin, thinning hair, fatigue, constipation, and/or weight gain, you are often handed a list of “no-go” foods.
This list includes everything from cruciferous vegetables (I have my own opinion on this one!…and it’s to eat them) to a variety of nuts and fruits, and (thankfully!) all the processed crap (white sugar, white flour, processed oils, soda, fruit juices, and dairy) that you shouldn’t be having whether you have a tired thyroid or not.
But where does that leave you, other than confused and overwhelmed?!
So I’m here to tell you what you CAN and should eat to support optimal health for the thyroid and entire endocrine system. This is a list of the minerals and foods that will nutritionally fuel you and allow your body to function how it is meant to – with energy, vitality, and zest.
Thyroid supplements are useful as well, but you may as well start with your food.
1) Iodine: Did you know that 1/3 of our population is deficient in iodine? Or that iodine is a critical mineral to support healthy thyroid hormone production?
The thyroid gland is uniquely different from the adrenals and ovaries/testes because the thyroid makes hormones from iodine while the adrenals and gonads both produce fat soluble hormones made from cholesterol. So it’s easy to see that in order to have the thyroid producing thyroid hormones, we need iodine in the body! Of course whole food supplementation is always an option and so is just going ahead and eating the food itself (I personally recommend a blend of both).
Food sources of iodine: Seaweed & sea vegetables. I know these are unfamiliar foods but take the time to Google them and learn about their health benefits and how to incorporate them into your diet.
2) Selenium: Selenium helps support the conversion of thyroxine (T4) to triiodothyronine (T3), the two primary thyroid hormones. You can think of it like this – T4 is Clark Kent (non-active) and T3 is Superman (active) and the liver is the phone booth that Clark Kent enters into to become Superman. Make sense? So we need adequate selenium in the body to convert T4 to T3 (mostly done in the liver) so the thyroid can actively produce thyroid hormones for optimal wellness and vitality!
Food sources of selenium: Brazil nuts. Aim to include 2 – 3 per day
3) Sodium: Sodium is important in regulating fluid volume, proper muscle contraction, and electrolyte balance. A deficiency in sodium can cause symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, nausea, and muscle cramps. Proper sodium levels in the body also helps regulate the pH of the body. Celtic sea salt is full of minerals needed for optimal function of the thyroid. Use it as much as desired on your meals throughout the day. No more salt fear…winning!
Food sources of sodium: Celtic sea salt 1 tsp. per day
4) Zinc: Zinc is one of the most important trace minerals and is required by the body for immune function, decreasing inflammation, cardiovascular support and function, mineral absorption, fertility, and for the skin.
Food sources of zinc: Oysters, grass-fed beef, spinach, cashews, beans, buckwheat, mushrooms, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, grass-fed lamb, lentils, and turkey.
5) Iron: Remember how we spoke earlier on the importance of T4 to T3 conversion for optimal thyroid health and functionality? Well, low iron levels slows down that conversion process.
Food sources of iron: grass-fed meats, liver, eggs, green leafy vegetables (spinach, collard greens, kale), clams, pumpkin seeds, lentils, raw almonds, sardines, turkey, and wheat germ.
Are you including these foods in your diet?
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