The thyroid is a small gland located in the front of the neck. It produces hormones which control metabolism, the system that helps the body utilize energy. Thyroid disorders can either slow down or accelerate metabolism by disrupting the production of thyroid hormones. If too low or too high, the hormone levels produce a wide range of symptoms.
Enlargement or swelling in the neck is a definite sight that something may be wrong with the thyroid. A goiter can happen with either hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.
There are various nutrients which are critical to optimal thyroid health, such as iodine, selenium, and zinc, all of which helps the body “activate” thyroid hormones. So, it is evident that healthy and well-balanced diet that is high in these nutrients can go a long way in promoting thyroid health. Here are the top 11 nutrients and foods that heal the thyroid:
Zinc: As mentioned above, zinc, selenium, copper, and other trace minerals are critical to thyroid health. Zinc deficiency is associated with hypothyroidism. According to one study, 26mg of zinc a day can fight hypothyroidism.
Vitamin D: Low vitamin D is associated with Hashimoto`s and other autoimmune diseases. As hypothyroid patients tend to have low vitamin D levels, a supplement may be necessary.
Vitamin A: According to one study, 25,000 IU of vitamin A significantly reduced TSH blood levels (high TSH levels typically indicate hypothyroidism). However, be extra cautious when it comes to vitamin A supplements as high doses can be toxic.
Apples: Heavy metals like mercury are linked to hypothyroidism. The good news is that apples, pears, plums, and citrus fruits are high in pectins, a fiber that helps reduce these metals in the body by staggering 74%.
Chickpeas: Fiber-rich foods like chickpeas help control constipation often associated with hypothyroidism. Additionally, chickpeas are high in zinc, a nutrient that is critical to thyroid health.
Brazil Nuts: It has been scientifically shown that deficiency in selenium is one of the major causes of hypothyroidism. Brazil nuts are packed with this nutrient, so use them in recipes or snack them. Selenium supplements can be toxic if taken in large amounts, so avoid taking it unless your doctor prescribes it.
Pumpkin Seeds: Pumpkin seeds are recommended for people with hypothyroidism, as they are high in zinc. Other sources of zinc to include in your diet include nuts, legumes, sunflower seeds, lobster, and oysters.
Guggul: Multiple studies have shown that guggul prevents hypothyroidism by turning certain hormones into a more powerful form.
Seaweed: As already discussed, iodine is essential mineral for healthy thyroid. If you are dealing with iodine deficiency, good sources include seaweed, eggs, fish, and dairy.
Yogurt: Hashimoto`s is a common cause of hypothyroidism and it is associated with a deficiency in vitamin D. Combat this by having a cup of yogurt a day! Other great sources of vitamin D include egg yolks, pork, salmon, and SUNLIGHT.
Sardines: Sardines are packed with omega-3 fats which reduce inflammation, boost immunity, and lower the risk of developing autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto`s.