by Hannah Kuenzi
The thyroid is a small endocrine gland, located just below your Adam’s Apple, and is often described visually as a butterfly (having two halves or lobes).
The thyroid releases hormones that influence many bodily functions such as physical growth and development, metabolism, puberty, organ function, fertility, and body temperature. These functions depend on two hormones released from the thyroid gland: tri-iodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4).
Often overlooked if not considered to be a “severe case”, if the thyroid isn’t producing enough of either of these hormones, it can causes disruptions in an individual’s body and affect the overall quality of life.
So how does one know if their thyroid is functioning correctly? Naturopathic doctor, author, and Dr. Oz guest Natasha Turner breaks this idea down into a simple and easy checklist.
Sluggish Thyroid Checklist
If you are experiencing 3 or more of the below symptoms, you may be suffering from a sluggish thyroid.
Ways To “Kick Start” Your Thyroid
For proper thyroid functioning, one needs the elements tyrosine, iodine, and selenium. Simply put, the amino acid tyrosine is one of the building blocks necessary for thyroid hormone production. This amino acid pairs with the chemical element iodine, another building block, to aid in creating the inactive thyroid hormone T4. Selenium then assists in converts T4 into the active thyroid hormone T3, which your body needs to regulate its essential processes (1)*.
Healthy Eating For A Healthy Thyroid
Given your thyroid’s importance to overall health and well being, it is crucial that one gets enough of these elements. The good news? It can be easy and paired with eating! Since we know that you all eat (and probably love doing so), we hope that this is good news. Find your thyroid hormone building blocks in the following foods:
- soy products
- fish & salmon
- beans & whole grains
- nuts & seeds
- sea vegetables
- brazil nuts
- shitake/white button mushrooms
- lima/pinto beans
- chia seeds
- brown rice
- sunflower seeds
- flax seeds
- sesame seeds
According to Dr. Turner, starting your day with a protein-rich breakfast (approximately 30 grams) will feed your thyroid with nutrients it needs to stimulate the hormones that control your appetite, as well as supply your body with dopamine (which you need to feel happy!).
Want to boost your day with protein and get your daily dosages of tyrosine, iodine, and selenium? Try a strawberry smoothie, with a scoop of nut butter and a handful of spinach (recipe here!).
An adaptogenic herb commonly utilized to support those suffering from depression and anxiety, Ashwagandha assists your body in regulating cortisol levels. Cortisol, a stress hormone, is a necessary component to your bodies inherent “fight or flight” response, but when present in excess can be detrimental to thyroid health.
A sea vegetable that is a prime source of iodine, Bladderwrack supports overall thyroid functioning and health. Not common in the standard western diet, Bladderwrack can be found in supplements such as Native Remedies Thyroid Assist™.
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