Do you know what your thyroid does, or why you should care about it at all? If you've heard of it before, you probably recognize it as the hormone responsible for our metabolic rate. It actually controls the rate which your body cells use oxygen and energy.
The thyroid gland is also responsible for how the body uses energy sources from food. This why the thyroid is talked about in relationship to weight loss so often.
It is so much more than just our weight loss or weight gain mechanism. It has a role in so many other systems that, when it goes haywire, it causes problems all over the body. It is responsible for bone, skin hair, and nail growth, as well as muscle function. It also affects respiratory and heart rates, along with our moods.
Now that we know how essential the thyroid gland is, let’s look at foods that keep the thyroid function balanced and normal.
If you have been diagnosed with thyroid problems like hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, or Graves' disease, then you are going to want eat from this list weekly. There are also certain minerals that are essential for the healthy function of the thyroid gland.
We can look to the sea for foods containing iodine. Seafood, kelp and seaweed are good sources of iodine. If you have a thyroid problem, don't go overboard on kelp as it is high in iodine and it may make your condition worse.
Iodized salt, or common table salt, is another way to get iodine. Most rock salts have iodine added. Now there are sea salts that have them added, too.
For those people that have salt-restrictive diets, stick with the seafood or dairy products.
Greens, greens and more greens — that's the key to getting magnesium for food. Leafy greens are all good examples of magnesium-based foods. Though pumpkin seeds aren't green, they're a great source, too.
Iron and Selenium
Pumpkin seeds, as well as nuts like cashews, almonds and Brazil nuts contain iron. Brazil nuts and shrimp have selenium. Iron and selenium are used to convert the inactive form of the thyroid gland to the active form.
I want to add small list of foods that you should avoid if you have thyroid problems. They are considered goitrogen, foods that inhibit the synthesis of thyroid hormones. Goitrogenic foods enlarge the thyroid in addition to inhibiting the synthesis of the gland.
Many members of the cruciferous vegetable family when eaten raw are goitrogens, such as Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, cabbage, turnips, rutabagas, kale and cauliflower. However, when cooked they no longer cause inhibition to the gland.
There are other foods that are considered goitrogens like strawberries, radishes, peaches, millet, corn, sweet potatoes, carrots, peanuts and walnuts.
If you are not getting enough iodine, it could cause soy to become a goitrogen, too.
In addition to eating these foods make sure you are eating a good whole food diet avoiding processed foods and excess sugars. This combination is the perfect way to use food as a good prescription for your thyroid health.
Dr. Daemon Jones