Thyroid is a butterfly shaped endocrine gland situated on the front side of the neck. Its primary function is to control the metabolism of the body as well as the synthesis of protein. The thyroid gland releases the hormones T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine) and are controlled by another thyroid hormone TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). An excess of one hormone leads to the deficiency of another, and vice-versa. Excess of thyroid hormone is known as hyperthyroidism, whereas underproduction thyroid is referred to as hypothyroidism.
Thyroid disorder is very common, especially among women. About 30 percent of women experience some sort of thyroid dysfunction during their life time. Thyroid directly or indirectly control and stimulate the functions of all the cells, tissues and organs of the body. Therefore, it is essential to maintain a balance in the secretion of thyroid hormones, which impacts the stimulation of all other hormones. While it is important to see the doctor for medication, some changes in lifestyle like exercise and diet can help in managing thyroid functions. In this article, we shall discuss some food which can improve the thyroid functions.
Seaweed is rich in iodine, which is vital for the thyroid gland to function properly. Most of the table salts found in the market are in iodized form, as recommended by WHO. However, since salt should be taken in moderation, it is important to go for other healthier options for iodine intake. Seaweed is one of them. It consists of a compound known as alginate which aid in the suppression of fat digestion.
2. Vitamin B
Vitamin B is crucial for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. Deficiency in vitamin B, especially Vitamin B12 has been associated with thyroid problems. If you have been diagnosed with thyroidism or if it runs in the family, it is important to include vitamin B rich foods along with supplements in your daily diet. It is often recommended to have 100 micrograms of supplement every day.
3. Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are a rich source of selenium, which aids in the process of utilizing thyroid hormones for stimulation of various metabolic and other functions of the gland. Selenium found in Brazil nuts helps in protecting the thyroid gland and enhances the generation of oxygen and also provides a safeguard against antibodies from creating thyroid dysfunction or diseases. Apart from selenium, it is enriched with many essential vital nutrients like protein, dietary fiber, manganese, phosphorus, vitamin E, iron, calcium, potassium and much more.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar helps in boosting thyroid function and maintaining hormonal balance in the body. It has detoxification properties and aids in maintaining pH balance. Most importantly, it promotes metabolism. To get the best results, add 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon honey in a glass of lukewarm water and drink it every day.
5. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil improves thyroid function and boosts metabolism. The lauric acids and the fatty acids present in it in the form of medium multiple chain improves the functions of the thyroid gland. Coconut oil contains saturated fats instead of polyunsaturated fats found in many foods. Adding one quarter cup of coconut oil in your daily diet helps in improving metabolism and manages weight, which is quite difficult, if you have thyroidism.
6. Fish Oil
Fish oil stimulates the secretion of thyroid hormones. It is very effective in the case of hypothyroidism. It is also a great source of fatty acids like Omega 3 which boosts immunity in the body. It is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties. However, fish oil should be strictly avoided if you have hyperthyroidism as its consumption would result in secretion of more thyroid hormones.