How What You Eat Affects Your Thyroid

Your thyroid is responsible for many functions in your body that affect your metabolism and growth. This little butterfly-shaped organ in your throat releases hormones into the bloodstream to properly regulate a variety of bodily functions, including temperature and energy.

Sometimes the thyroid gland fails to release the right amount of hormone and you experience negative symptoms such as sluggishness, weight gain, and hair loss. When the thyroid pumps out too much hormone, you can experience extreme agitation, heart palpitations, and heat intolerance.

Food can’t cure issues with the thyroid, but the nutrients in food are certainly an important part of a comprehensive thyroid treatment plan. Dr. Taylor is committed to helping you find a natural solution to your thyroid problems, so we at Taylor Family Practice want you to understand how what you eat affects your thyroid.

A healthy balanced diet

A diet full of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, ancient grains, and healthy fats — like that from raw nuts and fatty fish – supports healthy thyroid function. If you subsist on junk-y snacks, processed foods, and takeout, you’re not optimizing your thyroid function (or other aspects of your health.)

Nutrients to focus on

Focus on specific nutrients to optimize thyroid function. Iron, for example, supports, your thyroid function and is readily found in cashews, almonds, and pumpkin seeds.

Iodine is also essential for a healthy thyroid. You can get iodine from Himalayan Pink Rock salt as well as from fish and shrimp.

Magnesium, found in abundance in spinach and lettuce, can help reduce many of the symptoms of hypothyroidism, particularly fatigue, muscle cramps, and changes in your heartbeat.

Be cautious of some seemingly healthy foods

Kale is a darling of nutritionists, but it’s known as a mild goitrogen that can prevent your thyroid from getting enough iodine. For most people with thyroid issues, kale isn’t a problem unless you’re getting too little iodine and eating a whole lot of the leafy green. Kale isn’t alone in potentially causing a problem, however. It’s relatives, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower, may also interfere with your thyroid’s ability to get the iodine it needs.

Soy is another potentially anti-thyroid food. Some of the chemicals found in soy products, such as soymilk, can interfere with the ability of your thyroid to make hormones. Usually, soy is only a problem when you don’t get enough iodine and consume large amounts.

Large amounts of a nutritional compound known as lipoic acid can interfere with thyroid function. If you consume a fair amount of organ meats, such as liver and kidneys, you may be getting too much. Lipoic acid can also affect the effectiveness of any thyroid medications you take.

Gluten may be an issue

Gluten is the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. If you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease, remove it from your diet to protect your thyroid and overall health. If you haven’t been diagnosed with celiac, you may still benefit from limiting your intake. There’s some research linking Hashimoto’s disease (which leads to an underactive thyroid) and Graves’ disease (which leads to an overactive thyroid) to gluten intake.

At Taylor Family Practice, we can help you understand how to optimize your thyroid function with nutrition support as well as other natural therapies. Call for an appointment or book online using this website.

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