What You Should Eat To Improve Thyroid Health

happy-healthy-woman-beach

this article has been taken from MindBodyGreen.com written by Dana James, you can read the original article here

You knew you had a thyroid issue. It just took your labs a couple of years to catch up. If you were lucky, you were prescribed magic pills and you shed your excess weight, your energy bounced back, your bowel movements became regular, and your bouncy shining hair landed you in a Pantene commercial.

If you weren’t so lucky, the pills didn’t work. You felt like a frumpy, fatigued and constipated version of yourself. Caffeine and sugar became your energy crutch.

Then some glowing beauty arrived. She handed you a green juice with kale, spinach, cucumber, ginger and lime. You sucked up this godlike elixir feeling it re-energize every cell in your body. Green juices became a daily practice. You felt invigorated.

You started reading blogs about food and your thyroid. Then you saw it: don’t eat raw cruciferous vegetables if you have a hypothyroidism. WHAT? I mean, what was in your green juice? Raw cruciferous vegetables. How could these babies be bad for your thyroid? They were making you feel so good.

But as you continue reading, you see contradictions. Eat broccoli, kale and spinach to help boost glutathione levels to restore thyroid function. You’re confused. You push the green juice away in disgust! You eat a gluten-filled sandwich because you feel sorry for yourself and the blogs told you not to eat gluten, but you just don’t know anymore!

As a nutritionist and a woman who reversed her own sub-clinical thyroid condition in three months, I’d like you to have a broader picture of food and your thyroid.

Here’s what to eat (and why) to improve your thyroid function:

1. Cruciferous vegetables.

Eat them raw, cooked or juiced. I know you’ve been advised not to eat them raw, but doesn’t it strike you as strange that plant foods with the richest source of cancer-preventing phytonutrients would inhibit thyroid function? It did to me. If this was true, what was the mechanism behind it and where was the research on humans?

Back in the 1950’s, scientists questioned if certain foods had goitrogenic properties, which is the ability to produce a goiter because they suppressed thyroid function. Cruciferous vegetables were implicated because their raw glucosinolates (the precise phytonutrients that are cancer protective) might inhibit the intake of iodine. Might inhibit the intake of iodine? If that’s the reason, you’re missing out on a whole host of benefits from eating cruciferous vegetables on the possibility that they might knock out iodine. The far more sensible approach is to ensure sufficient iodine levels (see point 3).

In terms of human research, studies suggesting a strong link between cruciferous vegetables and thyroid disease are limited. Type “raw cruciferous vegetables” and “thyroid” into the ncbi database and you’ll find one incident from 1945 when a Chinese woman who ate 3.3 pounds of raw bok choy daily for several months and suffered myxedema. The vast majority of the research supports the consumption of cruciferous vegetables to prevent thyroid cancer.

Ask questions any time plant-based food is implicated in a negative health condition. Ask how it works and where the research on humans is, then make your decision.

2. Brazil nuts.

These are the richest dietary source of selenium, which is essential in converting thyroxine to its active form, T3. Sometimes people with Hashimoto’s are advised to avoid selenium. You need selenium for glutathione production to help decrease thyroid antibodies. Snack on three Brazil nuts per day.

3. Sea vegetables.

Sea vegetables are rich in iodine. Iodine attaches to tyrosine (an amino acid) to form thyroxine. If you have insufficient levels of iodine, it becomes a rate-limiting step in the production of thyroid hormones and you’ll inhibit your thyroid function. Snack on nori dusted with sea salt, make nori wraps filled with avocado, wild salmon, sweet potato, sprouts and mache, add hijiki to a kale and pumpkin seed salad, eat wakame in a miso soup or add dulse to a butternut squash soup.

4. Chlorophyll.

Drink a shot of chlorophyll upon waking to help boost energy levels and remove heavy metals that may be inhibiting thyroid function.

5. Maca.

Helps to balance the hypothalamus and pituitary, which release TRH (thyroid-releasing hormone) and TSH respectively. These hormones regulate thyroxine levels. Maca also contains zinc, B vitamins and iron, which are all required for optimal thyroid production.

6. No gluten.

If you have Hashimoto’s, you must avoid gluten, because it can initiate thyroid antibody production. I’ve seen TPO levels drop from the 1000s to less than 30 just from removing gluten.

7. No soy protein isolate.

While the research on fermented soy and thyroid function is mixed, soy protein isolate should be avoided. This means no junky soy foods like soy cheese, soy yogurt, energy bars with soy protein isolate, soy burgers and soy-based “meats.”

Eat clean and smart, take the right supplements, manage your stress levels and avoid environmental toxins, and you’ll have the ability to potentially reverse your thyroid condition.

To understand more about your thyroid, I recommend reading Dr. Amy Myers’ post on Ten Signs You Have A Thyroid Problem.

How to Maintain a Healthy Weight While on Holidays

While I count the days until my first holiday in over 4 years, I’m planning on not gaining any weight. Yes, I plan on eating delicious food and drinking while soaking in the incredible history, landscapes and traditions and sunshine of Bali, Indonesia. Here’s how to lose weight and keep your fat-burning metabolism revved up while on vacation.

how good is coconut water - so refreshing

Step #1 – Eat more protein: Lamb, chicken, steak, calamari, salmon, eggs, turkey, pork, and even some dairy products have played a main role in my diet. Research shows that animal protein boosts your metabolism and helps you lose weight. So don’t skimp on protein, ever, especially on holiday. It also keeps you full, longer. I’ll be honest, I love food, and I know that not everyone will do this on holiday, but it is NOT that hard if you prepare, if you eat a high-protein diet, and you learn to enjoy real food treats (the locals know how to do it, with their traditional eats that you can get in the market…delicious!).

Step #2 – Stay Active & Have Fun: Get up on your feet. Walk the area. Take in the sights and smells and sounds of where you are visiting. Kick off your day with a short workout. Even on the busiest of holidays you always have time for a 4-Minute Success Session, even if it’s “just” 8 rounds of Punisher Squats done in place in your hotel room. No excuses! You can do it. Even your kiddos will have fun joining in for a few minutes, and then you can head off to Disney parks, the beach, Grandma’s, or tours of the city you are visiting knowing that your fat-burning metabolism will be running as fast as possible even as you “take the rest of the day off”.

Step #3 – Ignore What I Said in Step #1…some of the time… And have a reward meal day…once per week. Save up your treats and indulgences for one day. (But keep your protein intake up 7 days a week.) Enjoy your favorite holiday treats. Take the kids for ice cream, or a banana split as we used to enjoy with me back in the early 80’s when we’d spend Sunday evenings sitting around the fire in the backyard with a big bowl. Make memories through special occasions. But remember, not every meal has to be a cheat with treats. Besides, too much junk makes you tired. Stick to Step #1 most of the time, and then get your camera ready and cherish the moments of these extra-special meal occasions. These 3 simple steps, taking very little effort, will help you lose weight for life, while working and while on vacation.