Last week we discussed what your thyroid gland does and why it is so important for feeling your best. In case you missed it, you can check it out here. Today we’re going to dig into how your food can help you do just that!
Hippocrates once said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Well, I couldn’t agree more! Like I always say, you are what you eat (and absorb).
That’s why the health of your gut is SO important. If you can’t properly break down and absorb what you eat, then you miss out on the healing properties of that food. And because your thyroid influences your entire digestive system, making sure that you are eating foods that support your thyroid gland is very powerful.
So I made a list of 5 thyroid-boosting foods that are supported by current research. BUT, you know that one-size doesn’t fit all! Some of these foods may not agree with you for numerous reasons (because you’re already struggling with your digestion, you have food sensitivities, they throw your biochemistry off, etc). I encourage you to listen to your body whenever you are trying out anyone’s suggestions no matter how much research backs it up!. I want you to help you discover where your best health has been hiding and keep you there. To do that, it’s really important that you listen to your body.
5 Thyroid Boosting Foods
Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
Leafy greens are packed with nutrients that people with thyroid problems can especially benefit from them.
Dark green leafy vegetables are an excellent source of fiber, folate, carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin K, and minerals such as iron, calcium, and magnesium. All these nutrients are good for your thyroid gland (and the rest of your body). But of all these mentioned nutrients, magnesium stands out.
Let me explain why.
Triiodothyronine (T3) and Thyroxine (T4) are the hormones produced by the thyroid gland and are responsible for the metabolic process in the body–that is converting food into energy. T4 is inactive and needs to be converted into the active T3 in order to act on your body cells, and this is where magnesium comes in. It helps in the conversion of T4 into its active T3 form!
Selenium is another trace mineral that has important function in thyroid hormone production and metabolism. Brazilian nuts are high in fiber and selenium. In fact, only 2 Brazilian nuts a day provides 100% of the daily amount of recommended selenium for an adult.
Seafood and Sea Vegetables
Your thyroid gland uses iodine to make your thyroid hormones T3 and T4. Seafood such as fish, shrimp, and seaweed is a great source of iodine. Low iodine in the diet can lead to reduced thyroid function (hypothyroidism). Eating seafood can help balance the iodine levels in your body and support your thyroid. Also, good quality sea salt has some iodine in it (as well as other minerals).
However, while we consider iodine to be essential for thyroid health, those with hyperthyroidism need to check with their health practitioner before consuming iodine-rich food. In hyperthyroidism, the thyroid produces excessive amounts of T3 and T4 and lead to overstimulation. See how one-size doesn’t fit all?
Most of the foods that are to be avoided when you have a thyroid problem are foods that cause leaky gut–gluten, sugar, alcohol, and sometimes dairy, soy, corn, and eggs. As we have learned previously, when intestinal contents leak through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream, it triggers inflammation, which can flare your thyroid condition and even cause other chronic diseases. You can help heal your gut by using collagen powder.
Collagen powder is a formulation made from animal bone, skin, connective tissue, etc. to supplement your body’s needs for collagen (high in protein building blocks that repair damaged tissue in your body). You can incorporate it into your smoothie, soup, or other beverages. Here are some great options for collagen and gut healing.
Onions and Garlic
It might be common knowledge that the liver is our body’s detoxification organ, but did you know that a healthy liver also supports thyroid health?
Thyroid hormone conversion happens in the liver. It is, in fact, responsible for converting inactive T4 thyroid hormones into the active form T3 that activates the thyroid receptors in your cells and makes them work. If your liver is not functioning well, T4 won’t convert into T3 in time. This leads to hypothyroidism because there is a shortage of the active T3 that your cells need.
Onions and garlic provide the sulfur your body needs to support your liver. You might consider adding a bulb of roasted garlic in your diet every week or caramelized sliced onions in some meals. I recommend introducing these foods gradually to avoid disrupting your gut (sometimes a little goes a long way!).
Eggs and meats are also a great source of sulfur, so if onions and garlic don’t agree with you, you’ve got other options. I had a massive food sensitivity to both onions and garlic for years! It was such a bummer because I love the taste, but they really didn’t make my tummy feel well. Thankfully after healing my gut, I am able to enjoy them once again.
It is my passion is to work with people like you whose health symptoms–like low energy, gut/digestive issues, excess weight, mood imbalance, chronic infections, and skin & sleep problems–are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully. I hope that these thyroid boosting foods are helpful to you.
Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!