What is the thyroid gland anyway?
The thyroid gland is an essential endocrine gland that produces hormones that regulate metabolism, growth and development, and body temperature. There are three main functions of the thyroid gland:
- Metabolism regulation: The thyroid gland produces hormones called thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which help regulate the body's metabolism. These hormones play a role in the breakdown of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, and help to increase the body's energy production.
- Growth and development: Thyroid hormones are important for normal growth and development, particularly during childhood and adolescence. These hormones help to regulate the body's use of energy and the synthesis of proteins, and are necessary for normal brain development.
- Body temperature regulation: The thyroid gland helps to regulate body temperature by controlling the body's metabolism. When the body's metabolism is increased, it produces more heat, which can raise body temperature. Conversely, when the metabolism is slowed down, body temperature may decrease.
If you're looking to improve your thyroid health, nutrition is everything!
Here are 10 key nutrients to make sure you're getting enough of:
Iodine: This essential mineral is used to create thyroid hormones T3 and T4, but it's important to maintain the right balance in your body. Too little or too much iodine can lead to thyroid problems. Good sources include kelp and other sea vegetables like dulse and nori seaweed.
Selenium: This mineral helps convert T4 to T3 and supports the enzyme that degrades inactive thyroid hormone. It also helps reduce thyroid antibody formation and supports antioxidant pathways. Brazil nuts are a great source, as are sardines, pasture-raised poultry, and eggs. If you have a serious thyroid condition, consider supplementing with high-quality L-selenomethionine to restore healthy levels.
Zinc: This trace mineral is needed for thyroid hormone synthesis and supports immune and antioxidant function. Good food sources include eggs from pasture-raised chickens, wild-caught salmon, grass-fed beef and organ meats, pumpkin and chia seeds, spinach, and almonds.
Vitamins A, D, E, and K2 all play important roles in thyroid health.
Vitamin A: Helps produce and secrete thyroid hormones and aids in converting T4 to T3. It can be found in orange vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes, as well as dark leafy greens like spinach and kale.
Vitamin D: Is important for bone health and may reduce the risk of hyperthyroidism. Wild-caught salmon, sardines, egg yolk, fermented dairy, and mushrooms are all good sources.
Vitamin E: Has antioxidant benefits that can help normalize autoimmune responses and is found in nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils.
Vitamin K2: Activates proteins that are important for bone and cardiovascular health and can be found in fermented foods like cheese and natto, as well as egg yolks and liver.
Iron: This mineral is necessary for the production of thyroid hormones and can help prevent anemia. Good sources include red meat, poultry, seafood, and beans.
Copper: This mineral supports thyroid hormone metabolism and helps with the absorption of iron. It can be found in nuts, seeds, and legumes.
Manganese: This mineral is important for the synthesis and metabolism of thyroid hormones and can be found in whole grains, nuts, seeds, and leafy greens.
B vitamins: These vitamins are important for proper thyroid function and can be found in whole grains, nuts, seeds, and leafy greens. Omega-3 fatty acids: These healthy fats have anti-inflammatory properties and can be found in fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel, as well as flaxseeds and walnuts. L-tyrosine: This amino acid is a building block of thyroid hormones and can be found in protein-rich foods like meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy.
Making sure you get adequate nutrition to support your thyroid gland is almost effortless when follow the The Alpha Program found right here at thebodymaster.ca! Keep your thyroid healthy and your body happy the way nature intended.
United in health,
The Body Master