The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped organ that sits at the front of the neck. It’s the primary regulator of the metabolism and impacts our endocrine function. If you’re experiencing symptoms such as memory loss, sudden weight gain or a slowing down of all processes, a sluggish thyroid may be to blame. One of the biggest reasons our thyroid slows down, in addition to aging, is lack of iodine. Our bodies aren’t able to make iodine naturally, so we rely on our diet to support a healthy thyroid.
Iodine is important but so is adding foods rich in zinc, selenium,, zinc, iron, copper and the anti-oxidant nutrients to your diet. These will also help give your system a boost!
Here are some examples of the best sources of these nutrients:
Iodine: sea veggies such as dulse, kelp, nori and wakame as well as seafoods such as haddock, clams, oysters, prawns, sardines.
Selenium: Tuna, brazil nuts, mushrooms, soybeans, sunflower seeds
Zinc Walnuts, almonds, soy beans, spinach, whole grains
Anti-oxidants [vitamins A, C & E]: Vitamin A (Beta-carotene): Green leafy veg, carrots, , sweet potatoes, liver, pumpkin; Vitamin C: green leafy veg & highly coloured fruit & vegetables; Vitamin E: Peanuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, beans and soybeans, asparagus, leafy green vegetables, whole grains, liver
As you can see there is a large crossover in the foods as mother nature has combined great nutrition in one vegetable, fruit, nut or protein source. But there are also foods which may inhibit iodine metabolism and if you need to increase the iodine content of your diet you will need to watch for these. Unfortunately it is mainly the green leafy veg, soy beans and peanuts so whilst they will give you the other nutrients you need alongside the iodine, you need to eat in moderation.
If you aren’t suffering from a thyroid condition, try to eat more thyroid-boosting foods as much as possible, as thyroid function declines with age. It’s crucial to our health to obtain these much needed nutrients from our diet. When was the last time you ate fish, sea veggies or had a handful of brazil nuts?
References: Mindbodygreen.com, Breanne Rice June 13, 2015; Womentowomen.com, Marcelle Pick, 2015