The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that sits low on the front of the neck. Your thyroid lies below your Adam’s apple, along the front of the windpipe. The thyroid has two side lobes, connected by a bridge (isthmus) in the middle. When the thyroid is its normal size, you can’t feel it. The thyroid secretes several hormones, collectively called thyroid hormones. The main hormone is thyroxine, also called T4. Thyroid hormones act throughout the body, influencing metabolism, growth and development, and body temperature. During infancy and childhood, adequate thyroid hormone is crucial for brain development.
Dr. Oz had a segment on natural ways we can level out and even boost our metabolism by feeding our thyroids with natural foods. If you’re gaining weight, low on energy, moody all the time and can’t figure out why, your thyroid may be to blame. Symptoms like these can be indicative of an imbalance in your thyroid hormones. Nutritionist Haylie Pomroy came up with this 28-day plan to boost your thyroid naturally by simply changing aspects of your diet. Apply these four tips to your daily diet for the next month for an increase in energy. If your symptoms do not improve, you may want to consider seeing a doctor to have your thyroid checked out.
- Start your day off every morning with a thyroid-boosting smoothie. This smoothie uses three key ingredients — tyrosine, greens, and antioxidants — to blend together and form a nutrient powerhouse. Tyrosine, which is found in seeds like sunflower or flax (regulates), greens like kale and spinach (boosts), and antioxidants such as those in raspberries or blueberries, can reduce inflammation in your body. Pick your favorite one out of each category (don’t be afraid to switch up flavors each day!) and enjoy for breakfast.
- Protein is super helpful when it comes to boosting your thyroid hormones, metabolism, energy, and focus. Making sure to get protein during lunch ensures positive things will come for the rest of the day. Make sure to eat 30 grams of lean protein, which means loading up on skinless chicken and turkey. A general rule to follow is to eat a portion that is the size of your three middle fingers put together.
- Add a pinch of sea salt to your foods. Thyroid cells are the only cells in the body that can absorb iodine. Use only sea salt.
- Snack on Brazil nuts–contain selenium which is essential for a healthy thyroid. Selenium is also good for the heart and mood. You only need to eat 2 a day to improve your health.
Trembling hands, muscle weakness, light or short menstrual periods and weight loss, even with increased appetite, are symptoms of thyroid disorders, according to WebMD. Elevated blood pressure, heart palpitations, increased heart rate, excessive sweating and nervousness are additional symptoms. Increased frequency of bowel movements, sometimes accompanied by diarrhea, may also indicate thyroid problems.
According to WebMD, there are several conditions that can lead to serious problems if not addressed. The conditions are: Goiter (iodine deficiency), Thyroiditis (inflammation), Hypothyroidism (low production), Hyperthyroidism (excessive production), Graves Disease (autoimmune deficiency), Cancer, Nodules, and Storm (which can cause serious illness). All of these conditions need to be addressed and monitored by your family doctor.
Photo courtesy of Dr.Oz.com