Sometimes the mightiest things come in small packages. Enter the thyroid. The powerful gland (located in your neck) is not-so-large-but-very-much-in-charge of all performance areas of your life, from metabolism and bone growth to hair and nail production. For something we’re so reliant on, it might be surprising to know that thyroid dysfunction runs rampant in the U.S. Even more surprising is that of the 30 million that experience this abnormality, over half of those are undiagnosed.
Your thyroid is quite the impressive act: it spends its days converting nutrients to energy and contributes to regulating body temperature, aids in digestion, and enhances cognitive ability.
The most common and officially recognized test to evaluate your thyroid is based on a measure called TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone), which is the standard in baseline thyroid testing. This is a basic blood biomarker and can’t always pick up when a person’s thyroid is malfunctioning, but it’s a great start. WellnessFX also offers an Advanced Thyroid package that includes several additional biomarkers to give clear insight into thyroid function for those that need that deeper dive. Through the creation of TSH, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) are produced, resulting in an active and fully functioning thyroid. The nutrient essential to forming both T3 and T4? Iodine. If a person’s iodine intake falls below approximately 10–20 mcg/day, the result is hypothyroidism.
What is Hypothyroidism?
When too little TSH is released, the thyroid becomes under-active, resulting in fatigue, sensitivity to cold, excess weight gain, poor circulation, dry skin, loss of hair, depression, and poor digestion. The great news? TSH levels can be maintained through proper nutrition that regulates your iodine intake, as well as provides you with other essential vitamins and nutrients, which include tyrosine, B vitamins, vitamin A, selenium, zinc, magnesium, and essential fatty acids.
What’s on the menu?
From the necessary vitamins and minerals that support thyroid health, we’ve highlighted a few different foods where they can be found. Some foods can even be found in multiple categories – how’s that for efficient nutrition!
- Iodine: Sea vegetables (e.g. kelp, wakame), cranberries, organic yogurt, navy beans, strawberries, iodized salt, shellfish
- Selenium: Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, fish (halibut, sardines, flounder, salmon), shellfish (oysters, mussels, shrimp, clams and scallops), meat (beef, liver, lamb and pork), poultry (chicken and turkey), eggs, mushrooms (button, crimini, shiitake)
- Tyrosine: Found in foods also high in the necessary iodine and selenium, such as tuna and cod, sea kelp, grass-fed dairy products, bananas, avocados
- B vitamins: Asparagus, spinach, turnip greens, grass-fed dairy products, chicken, turkey, salmon, shellfish, eggs
- Zinc: Beef and lamb, spinach, pumpkin and squash seeds, pork, chicken
- Vitamin A: Seafood, lean meats, green and root vegetables (e.g. cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower), nuts, grass-fed meats
- Magnesium: Dark, leafy greens like spinach, nuts and seeds, mackerel, beans and lentils, avocados
- Essential fatty acids: Grass-fed butter, fish, shellfish, flaxseed, leafy vegetables, walnuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, chia seeds
Now that you have some foods to add to your grocery list, get creative and have fun with it. Lemon grass-fed butter on top of poached wild salmon with a side of broccoli? Roasted pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top of organic yogurt? Turkey burgers on a bed of spinach with raw cranberry sauce? Raise a fork to thyroid health – cheers to higher energy, better sleep, and better weight management.
How WellnessFX Can Help with Your Thyroid
Thyroid imbalances are traditionally difficult to identify and diagnose, so WellnessFX has addressed this growing need by creating a specialty package, Advanced Thyroid. This panel will help identify and improve thyroid challenges, especially for women. The information you learn here can put you on track to higher energy, better sleep, and better weight management.
The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.