Nutrition Tips to Boost Your Thyroid and Metabolism

Nutrition Tips to Boost Your Thyroid and Metabolism

Underactive thyroid (or hypothyroidism) is a common concern in Western culture. In fact, the Thyroid Foundation of Canada estimates that thyroid disorders affect one in twenty Canadians and that most thyroid disorders are 5-7 times more common in women than men.

Symptoms of an underactive thyroid include: weight gain, lethargy, cold intolerance, menstrual irregularities, depression, constipation, and dry skin…amongst others.

Recently, I was asked the following question by one of our Eating for Energy clients: ‘What natural fruits and vegetables would you recommend for underactive thyroid problems?’

First off, let’s look at some of the factors leading to low thyroid function:

Iodine deficiency
Not having enough iodine in the diet impedes the synthesis of thyroid hormones since iodine is a key component of the T3 and T4 hormones.

High consumption of goitrogens
Goitrogens are foods that suppress thyroid function.  They include most of the members of the brassica family (ie. broccoli, cauliflower,  brussel sprouts, cabbage, kale) and others such as soy, pine nuts, millet, and peanuts.  The irony is that these same foods also inhibit the growth of cancer – go figure!

Mercury toxicity
Mercury attaches to the thyroid hormone receptors and thus block thyroid hormone utilization.

Adrenal fatigue
Since the adrenal gland’s stress hormones have the same amino acid base as the thyroid hormone (tyrosine), adrenal fatigue may shunt away tyrosine from thyroid hormone production into stress hormone synthesis.

Diet for an Underactive Thyroid

If you know that you have an under-active thyroid then you will benefit from these dietary guidelines.

– Avoid dietary stressors (food additives, excessive animal fats, non-foods, coffee, etc…) since any additional stress on the liver will compromise thyroid function even further.
– Avoid goitrogenic foods (see above) or at least lightly cook them as this seems to disable their goitrogenic properties.
– Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
– Eat plenty of sea vegetables – an incredible source of iodine.
– Eat 1-2 brazil nuts each day – they are the highest food source of selenium, another essential mineral for proper thyroid function.
Written by Yuri Elkaim, BPHE, CK, RHN
 for more tips on how to live a healthy and energetic life.

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