The thyroid seems to have a snowball effect on almost everything—sluggishness, weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, and even down to your quality of life. Everyday I see patients who suffer from a thyroid illness. Whether it is Hashimotos Disease or simply a sluggish thyroid, if your levels are off, you’re off. Thyroid disease encompasses 12% of Americans today, and over half of this percentage is unaware that their thyroid is the culprit. Thankfully, there are foods that can help boost the thyroid for optimal functioning. These foods, coupled with knowing where your levels are and how to go about treatment that is right for you, will help you reclaim your health and get back to the heart of you.
Here are some foods from my kitchen that can naturally help boost your thyroid so that you can reap the health benefits:
- Stick to a diet high in omega-3s, zinc, vitamins A, D and B, selenium, and iodine. Here are some of my favorites on the list:
- Eggs: They provide a major source of building blocks for thyroid support, such as protein, cholesterol, B vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins, and minerals. Packed with selenium and iodine in both the yolk and white of the egg, you don’t want to pass up this thyroid-friendly food.
- Avocados: We live in a fat-phobic world, but when used properly, healthy fats are essential to brain and endocrine health. When you up your health fat intake, your hormone levels will start to level off, and in turn giving your thyroid a much-needed boost.
- Sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds: Sesame and pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of tyrosine, an amino acid used to produce sufficient amounts of thyroid hormones. If we don’t get enough tyrosine in our diet, an underactive thyroid can develop.
- Leafy green veggies: Greens are high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, zinc, and Vitamins A, C, E and K, all minerals your thyroid loves!
- Garlic and onions: Many thyroid sufferers notice that with thyroid disease comes decreased immunity function. Eat up on garlic and onions (with a piece of gum to follow!) for immunity-boosting properties with anti-inflammatory and antiviral benefits. They have also been shown to help improve LDL / HDL cholesterol balance.
- Avoid foods that contain goitrogens and isoflavones, chemicals that can reduce the function of the thyroid gland:
- Soy: Soy contains isoflavones, which may block the absorption of synthetic thyroid hormone and interfere with thyroid functioning.
- Gluten: There is a strong connection between gluten-intolerance and autoimmune thyroiditis. I know everyone is tired of hearing about gluten, but it can seriously increase the autoimmune attack on your thyroid. Avoid it at all costs for optimal thyroid function.
- Cruciferous vegetables: Foods like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, brussel sprouts, radishes, turnips, and collard greens can interfere with the thyroid, due to goitrogens. Don’t worry, you don’t have to cut these greens out of your diet completely, but definitely make sure to cut down.
Healing the thyroid is a journey, as many thyroid patients know, but eating the right foods can help get you on the right path.