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How Your Diet Can Help Support Thyroid Health

By Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN, RN

How much do you understand about your thyroid, and how the foods you choose impact its critical functions? If you answered, “not enough,” then you need to know about the thyroid diet and how it can help improve thyroid function!

Thyroid Function for Women

The thyroid is one of the most important, and often mismanaged, glands we have working in our body. Located in the front of our neck, this butterfly-shaped gland secretes hormones that control some major functions including weight management, how we use energy, how we metabolize food, and even how we sleep. For women, hormones can shift out of balance during childbearing, menopause, and even under chronic stress. This means that women have a higher rate of thyroid conditions than men, and it impact them in many stages of their lives.

Before you begin to worry too much, let me reassure you that there are many ways to support thyroid health easily and naturally, utilizing food and nutrients to encourage proper functioning. The way we eat can actually help, or hurt, our thyroid gland. The nutrients our thyroid needs are easily accessible in many foods and dietary supplements. With the right information, we can make simple choices to improve thyroid health. Here’s how you can improve your thyroid function with the thyroid diet.

The Thyroid Diet

The thyroid gland needs specific vitamins and minerals to properly do its job. Since we are all unique in how our hormones are functioning, the best way to get a handle on what our body specifically needs is to have a full thyroid panel done to help pinpoint where individual levels may be off balance. Research shows us that there are a few key nutrients that are highly valuable for everyone, namely:

  • Iodine
  • Selenium
  • Zinc, Iron, and Copper
  • Antioxidants and B vitamins

There are many foods that can help you increase your intake of these nutrients. Seafood and shellfish, like salmon, tuna, oysters, and even kelp are surprisingly rich in thyroid support! Fresh vegetables like leafy greens, carrots, and split peas can also provide vitamins essential to thyroid health.

However, these foods listed below may disrupt your thyroid function:

  • Soy
  • Brassica Vegetables (like brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage)
  • Gluten

When we support our thyroid naturally, like with the thyroid diet, we can improve the way we feel on many levels. It may seem complicated, but once we learn which foods help and how to support our thyroid with the micronutrients we need, it will become second nature. Isn’t it great to know that the choices you make can have a huge positive impact on the way you feel?

 

The contents of this article are the views of the contributing author and do not necessarily represent the views of Genexa. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should not be relied upon for specific medical advice.

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