Importance of the Thyroid Gland
Your thyroid is a gland in the back of your neck that makes and releases hormones. When working properly, your thyroid plays a crucial role in regulating metabolism and weight. Today, millions of people struggle with a disorder called Hypothyroidism—a hormonal imbalance where not enough thyroid hormone is made. This imbalance causes issues maintaining weight and increases your risk for heart disease. Below, are five foods to eat to help combat low thyroid hormone levels. By eating mindfully and staying active, you can manage your hypothyroid symptoms or lower your risk for thyroid disorders. Below, are five foods to help you get started!
- Limit, but don’t eliminate: Cruciferous vegetables contain a natural chemical called goitrin. Goitrin can weaken the thyroid’s ability to synthesize hormones, even if iodine levels are sufficient. Examples: Kale, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, etc.
- Fruits and vegetables to increase: Think bright colors! Vibrantly colored fruits and vegetables such as: berries, sweet potatoes, red/green/yellow peppers, and more are high in antioxidants, which lowers your risk of heart disease (and further thyroid issues).
- Fortified Milk: Vitamin D deficiency is believed to be a cause of hypothyroidism. Fortified milk has added vitamin D and Iodine.
- Nuts: Nuts are rich in selenium. Selenium is important in thyroid health. Studies have found it helps protect the thyroid gland from too much iodine exposure.
- Fish: Trout, tuna, salmon, and sardines are high in Omega-3 Fatty Acids and selenium, both have been found to help reduce inflammation and risk of heart disease.
Iodine warning: Since hypothyroidism can be caused by an iodine deficiency, it is recommended that iodized salt be used when possible.