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5 Ways to boost thyroid health

Megan Roosevelt is a fun loving foodie and Registered and Licensed Dietitian known as the “Healthy Grocery Girl®”. She is a nutrition coach and consultant, spokesperson, public speaker, author, regular TV nutrition expert, including her ...

January is Thyroid Awareness Month!

If you’ve noticed a difference in your ability to lose or gain weight, are sensitive to temperatures (you are always too cold or too hot), difficulty sleeping, and changes in your mood such as anxiety and irritability, it’s important to read on.

Woman not feeling well

What is your thyroid?

The thyroid is the largest gland in your endocrine system. Your endocrine system regulates your hormones. Your thyroid gland is located in your neck and when functioning optimally, produces two hormones known as T3 and T4, which are regulated by TSH within the body. Some of the functions of your thyroid include controlling how your body makes energy and proteins, and how your hormones communicate with one another.

Hypothyroidism is a low-functioning thyroid. Symptoms can include chronic fatigue, loss of appetite, low body temperature, weight gain, elevated cholesterol, painful premenstrual periods, heavy periods, fertility problems, dry scaly skin, constipation and even depression.

Hyperthyroidism is an overactive thyroid. Symptoms can include sudden weight loss, increased appetite, nervousness, anxiety, irritability, menstrual changes, difficulty sleeping, heat sensitivity, rapid heartbeat and fatigue.

In summary, your thyroid is responsible for helping your metabolism and hormones functional optimally. When your metabolism and hormones are imbalanced this can make it difficult to lose or maintain a healthy weight and you may experience infrequent or painful menstrual cycles, as well as acne and breakouts.

1

Eat less of these foods

  • Corn
  • Canola oil
  • Soy
  • Raw cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli and kale; eat these vegetables cooked
  • Coffee

These foods can slow and suppress thyroid function. Some of these foods, such as soy, can mimic hormones within the body that can affect hormone production and thyroid health.

2

Eat more of these foods

  • Apricots
  • Dates
  • Parsley
  • Raw seeds
  • Whole grains
  • Organic unrefined coconut oil

These foods are great healthy choices in general, and also contain nutrients such as iodine, selenium, iron and vitamin A, which support hormone production and a healthy thyroid.

3

Exercise and be active every day

Exercise improves blood circulation, which can help hormones produced by the thyroid circulate throughout the body, including hormones that help regulate metabolism, which in turn helps us regulate our weight.

4

Avoid processed and refined foods
such as white flour and sugar

Eating processed and sugar-laden foods can compete with or replace what would have been a healthier choice. These types of foods also cause inflammation, reduce circulation, can mimic or interfere with hormones, and reduce thyroid function.

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5

Do yoga or mediation regularly
to reduce stress and anxiety

Many medical and health experts agree that our fast-paced and high-stress lifestyles can and do take a great toll on our overall health. Many yoga poses specifically can stimulate the thyroid and supportive surrounding glands (good for those with hypothyroidism). Yoga and meditation help us to de-stress, slow down and breathe. These techniques support an overall healthy body, which is key for a healthy thyroid.

Make a Note

If you are concerned or curious about your thyroid health, please see your health care provider for appropriate testing, care and treatment plan.

More on thyroid health

The warning signs of thyroid disease during pregnancy
Angie Everhart has thyroid cancer
Mom story: I had thyroid cancer

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