Thyroid health (or the lack thereof) has been getting a lot of press lately, and for good reason! Your thyroid is an essential and often overlooked part of the way your body uses food and energy. In case you need a brief biology refresher, the thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck, which releases the hormones that control metabolic function. Your metabolism in turn, relates energy, weight loss, heart rate, cholesterol, breathing, muscle growth, and more. Needless to say, supporting a healthy thyroid is a key piece of maintaining overall wellness.
January is Thyroid Awareness Month, so we wanted to use this opportunity to share with you some natural ways to support your thyroid through nutrition and supplements. Keep reading to learn more!
Common Thyroid Issues
When your thyroid is healthy, it’s easy to forget about it; it just does what it’s supposed to do. However, when your thyroid isn’t doing it’s job, it can cause issues throughout the body such as fatigue, weight issues, anxiety, and extreme reactions to hot or cold temperatures.
The two main thyroid diseases are known as Graves’ Disease (or hyperthyroidism) or Hashimoto’s Disease (or hypothyroidism). Both of these autoimmune issues can be confirmed by a blood test which your doctor can run. This test checks your TSH (thyroid stimulating hormones) and likely your T3 and T4 hormones as well.
Foods to Support a Healthy Thyroid
If you already eat a whole-foods diet – congratulations! You are naturally supporting your thyroid. However, if your thyroid levels are abnormal or if autoimmune antibodies are attacking your thyroid, you make want to make some changes. Both Western medicine and natural health practitioners recommend eating plenty of fruits and vegetables to support your thyroid.
Most also agree that avoiding soy is a good idea for those struggling with thyroid health as it can cause additional imbalance. There are differing opinions when it comes to grains, especially those that contain gluten. Some doctors advocate for a low-grain, gluten-free diet, while others believe that any whole grain is a good choice unless celiac disease is an issue. It’s best to check with your health care provider before changing your diet, especially if you’re battling an autoimmune issue.
Supplements to Support Your Thyroid
Start with Gut Health
You don’t typically think of your vegetables coming from the sea, but iodine rich kelp supplements like Liquid Kelp from Natural Factors may help support a healthy thyroid by balancing the metals throughout the body.
Natural Thyroid Gland Stimulation
As an alternative to synthetic thyroid pills, some patients who are struggling with a thyroid imbalance opt for a more natural solution. Thyroid Gland from Vincos contains natural, freeze-dried New Zealand bovine thyroid tissue which may help regulate your hormone production and minimize symptoms.
General Thyroid Support
It’s hard to get everything you need from diet alone, which is why thyroid supplements, like Thyroid Strength from Megafood can be helpful to fill in the gaps. Containing food-state zinc, copper, and selenium, this supplement is a well-rounded way to support your thyroid. You may also consider checking out Thyroid Care from Terry Naturally, which contains key nutrients to support optimal thyroid function.
Do you struggle to support a healthy thyroid? What supplements and foods have you tried that seem to help? Share your tips with us in the comments section below.