Natural Ways To Support Thyroid Health
Hypothyroidism is the most common thyroid disorder in Australia, affecting around 1 in 33 Australians.
There are some key nutrients required for healthy thyroid hormones, and these are; selenium, iodine, zinc, magnesium, iron, vitamin D, vitamin A, B vitamins and amino acids, particularly tyrosine. The typical Aussie diet is far too low in essential nutrients to support optimal thyroid health.
Have a look at these thyroid healthy foods and see if you are meeting your dietary needs.
Foods rich in iodine: Oysters, seaweeds, cod, prawns (iodine comes from ocean-based foods). For optimal dietary iodine intake, you should be having two serves of seaweed daily and another iodine rich food daily. Supplementation is often required.
Foods rich in selenium: Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, fish (tuna, halibut, sardines, flounder, salmon) shellfish (oysters, mussels, prawns, clams, scallops), turkey, and beef liver.
Foods rich in zinc: oysters, beef, crab, pumpkin seeds, cashews, and chickpeas.
Foods rich in vitamin A: sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots, mangoes, and beef liver.
Love your guts for better thyroid function.
Getting your nutrition in food form may not be enough. With poor mineral levels in foods produced with modern day agricultural practices and pesticide use putting more pressure on our nutrient reserves, it can be hard to get everything we need into our bodies. Eating biodynamically and organically where possible helps. Thyroid patients can also have impaired nutrient absorption, and ensuring your digestion is working properly is key. It is well established that thyroid hormones and gut function are directly related.
Research in a May 2017 review on Thyroid function found that people living with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis tend to be iron deficient because they may also have autoimmune gastritis, which impairs their ability to absorb iron. Multiple Nutritional Factors and the Risk of Hashimoto's Thyroiditis |Thyroid (liebertpub.com)
Tips to support a healthy gut include avoiding gluten and dairy – especially if you have Hashimoto’s, and incorporating gut healing foods such as bone broth, aloe vera, glutamine, and probiotic foods such as yogurt, kefir, and kombucha. Digestive enzymes can be useful especially if you have chronic digestive issues, but it is best to work with a practitioner to guide you to the correct enzyme formulation.
Stress management should be a daily practice rather than a luxury. Ongoing stress elevates the adrenal hormone cortisol, which down-regulates thyroid hormone production, leading to fatigue, weight gain, and brain fog. Take your pick from the many wonderful stress busting activities available, such as meditation, yoga, massage, sauna, and exercise – to name but a few. Stress management also helps immune system function, high blood pressure, anxiety, and benefits all chronic disease symptoms.
Ouch I'm hurting!
Inflammation is present with all health imbalances – including obesity. Many thyroid patients are living with pain – arthritis, muscle pain, cramping, headaches, back pain. You can improve your body’s inflammation status quite radically with diet. I love the Paleo diet for thyroid patients as it quickly eases symptoms by removing common foods known to trigger inflammation. I also run food intolerance reports for my patients to fine tune their diet even more for fastest results.
At a dietary level, you should ensure that you are having ample Omega-3 fatty acid food in your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA have been shown to reduce inflammation and to also prevent it from starting. Include these foods into your diet daily for these advantages; oily fish (salmon, mackerel, and sardines), flaxseed oil, nuts and seeds.
If you're struggling with symptoms, expert care is needed and you should seek out functional testing and treatment from an expert.
Lucy Herron, CEO The Lucy Rose Clinic
Founded in 2012, The Lucy Rose Clinic is an Australia-wide naturopathic Thyroid and Hormonal Health Clinic. They use a combination of the latest scientific and natural health research combined with state-of-the-art functional testing to identify the cause of their patients’ symptoms. They then use the results of their testing to develop a personalised treatment plan to return their patients to optimal health and vitality.
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