A healthy thyroid is vital for a healthy metabolism. A lack of thyroid hormones can make you feel sluggish, tire easily, and lead to weight gain. In order to function well, your thyroid needs the right nutrients. By incorporating these foods into your diet, you can ensure that you’re giving your body what it needs for proper thyroid function and a healthy metabolism.
Seaweed is an excellent natural source of iodine, which is a crucial mineral for thyroid health. Many people would not get enough of it weren’t for iodized salt. If you’re cutting back on table salt, you might be deficient. Try eating nori chips, seaweed salad, or makizushi to naturally boost your iodine consumption instead of reaching for the salt shaker.
2. Apples and Pears.
Apples and pears might seem like pretty basic fruits, but their unassuming appearance hides a secret superpower: pectin. Pectin gives jelly its jiggle, and helps boost the excretion of heavy metals. These metals can behave like iodine in the body, taking up valuable space your thyroid could be using for the minerals it needs. Eat high-pectin fruits to help your body get rid of them.
3. Pumpkin Seeds.
These seeds are good sources of zinc, another mineral your thyroid needs. Try to buy them unsalted, and in the shell — they provide more fiber, and many of their nutrients are in the thin papery membrane just beneath the shell.
If you aren’t a habitual consumer of these small fish, you might want to start. Sardines are rich in selenium, another important mineral. Research suggests that deficiencies in selenium may lead to low thyroid function. Sardines are also high in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, which can help lower the risk of an autoimmune thyroid disorder called Hashimoto’s disease.
Animal proteins are complete proteins, meaning that they have all of the necessary amino acids. This includes tyrosine, one of the components of thyroid hormones. Animal proteins are also a natural source of vitamin B12, which many people with low thyroid function are deficient in.
Oysters are another food high in zinc. Without enough zinc, the thyroid can’t do its job properly. Many overweight people are deficient in zinc, and a mere six oysters a day is enough to help improve blood lipids and body composition.
Yogurt is a source of vitamin D and probiotics. While vitamin D is naturally produced when we’re exposed to sunlight, sunscreen and indoor lifestyles mean that many people don’t get enough of it. Meanwhile, deficiencies of vitamin D are associated with autoimmune disorders, including the thyroid-wrecking Hashimoto’s disease. Probiotics can help by reducing inflammation in the body and improving gut health, further reducing the risk of Hashimoto’s and improving the body’s ability to absorb key vitamins and minerals.
8. Brazil nuts.
Brazil nuts are another selenium-rich food. Selenium works within the body to both convert T3 thyroid hormone to T4, and help protect the thyroid from some of the inflammation-causing natural byproducts of hormone production. These nuts help keep your thyroid hormone levels stable and running smoothly.
Salmon is full of anti-inflammatory fatty acids. While they don’t contribute directly to thyroid function the way iodine and zinc do, they are an important player in the fight against autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s. Consuming healthy fats also boosts the body’s ability to absorb important vitamins found in other foods.
10. Garbanzo beans.
Garbanzo beans, or chickpeas, are a good source of fiber and zinc. The zinc helps improve thyroid function, while the fiber helps remove inflammation-causing waste products from the body.
Your thyroid works hard to pump out hormones that regulate everything from mood and bone health, to the circulatory and digestive systems and metabolism. If it isn’t working at its best, it can cause a whole host of unpleasant symptoms. Even if you aren’t experiencing the side effects of low thyroid function, it’s important to make sure to supply your body with all of the nutrients it needs for healthy, balanced thyroid hormone production.