Feeling sluggish with perpetual brain fog? What about weight gain, depression and hair loss? If suffering from these ailments, a lethargic thyroid may be the culprit. Modern lifestyles and toxins as well as gluten can wreck havoc on the gland and, in turn, health. Yet the ill effects of modern living can be counteracted with a few simple adjustments. Two of the best methods are though diet and stress reduction.
On of the largest glands in the body, the thyroid is located on the front side of the neck, sitting just below the Adam's apple. It produces hormones that influence metabolism, digestion and immune response. When the thyroid is stagnant, it leads to:
- Malabsorption and elimination issues
- Weight gain and fatigue
- Cognitive decline
- Poor glucose utilization
- Depression and mood disorders
- Malfunction of the liver and gall bladder
- Diminished absorption of vitamin B12, folic acid and iron
- Decreased T-cell activity
- Increased inflammation
It is believed between 50-90 percent of all hypothyroid cases are linked with an autoimmune disfunction where the body attacks the gland. Classified as Hashimoto's Throiditis, numerous factors can aggravate the condition, including:
- Low levels of vitamin D
- Gastrointestinal infections
- Surges of estrogen and insulin
- Heavy metal toxicity
Stress also exerts a profound dampening influence on the thyroid. Managing this modern lifestyle poison is imperative for healing the gland. Drinking purified water that is void of fluoride and sound dietary measures are essential as well.
Beyond adopting a way of life that incorporates stress reducing habits like yoga, meditation and relaxation techniques, enjoying a nutrient dense diet is also helpful. Reducing sugar and refined carbohydrates is necessary as both suppress the gland. Amping up fat and protein consumption is important too. Beneficial choices include organic coconut and olive oils, pastured butter, free-range eggs and meat, cold water fish, avocados and nuts - especially soaked almonds and walnuts.
Since gluten can encourage an autoimmune attack on the gland, it's crucial to avoid wheat, barley, rye and triticale. Also, beware of goitrogenic foods which interfere with thyroid function. Examples include broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, millet, spinach, strawberries, soybeans and peanuts. Cooking helps to partially inactivate troublesome goitrogens.
Consuming a diet rich in glutathione promoting compounds can protect and heal thyroid tissue as well. Focus on foods like asparagus, peaches, garlic, squash and grapefruit. Sea vegetables are another stellar choice. Loaded with iodine, they are one of the finest foods around for thyroid health. Herbs, vitamins and minerals are also beneficial for rebuilding and replenishing the gland, namely:
- Maitake mushroom
- Bacopa monnieri
- Coleus forskohlii
- Vitamin D
And Marcelle Pick, author of "Eating to support your thyroid - simple ways to naturally preserve thyroid function," offers a final word of guidance:
"This is perhaps one of the most overlooked pieces of advice in our modern lives: sit and enjoy your food! ... Give your mind, your body, and your thyroid a break by sitting in a comfortable space while you eat. Enjoy your meals in peace with friends and family, and talk, laugh, and allow the food you consume to nourish your thyroid, too. You deserve this break, and your body will thank you for it!"