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Weighing in at less than one ounce, your thyroid is a little bow-tie-shaped gland near the Adam’s apple in your neck.
Although the thyroid is tiny in size, it has the power to wreak havoc on you anywhere from head to toe.
That’s because the human body has about 37 trillion cells in total, and most of them have thyroid hormone receptors.
Because of this, poor thyroid performance can trigger a wide range of issues throughout the mind the body.
While one person with thyroid problems might feel extremely tired (physical), another might feel extremely depressed (mental).
What does the thyroid do?
Your thyroid is controlled by the pituitary gland — a small peanut-sized gland at the base of the brain. The thyroid’s function is to take iodine and convert it into thyroid hormones: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3).
If the levels of T3 and T4 drop too low, the pituitary gland produces thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), which basically orders the thyroid to increase production of hormones.
This multifaceted machine regulates your metabolism and controls every bit of the energy you use, from scratching your head to running a marathon.
It’s truly a fascinating system of the body, but a severely problematic one if the levels are off by even the tiniest amount.
What’s more, due to the abundance of processed foods and increasingly sedentary lifestyles, the majority of Americans are dealing with thyroid malfunctions in some way, yet they don’t even know it.
And why is this hidden epidemic so common in Americans? Well, for one because standard testing has yet to catch up to the problem.
The tests that most doctors use don’t offer a complete assessment because they focus on the TSH levels and not the more crucial T3 and T4.
This is why I would request my clients to get a full thyroid panel when clients are showing symptoms of thyroid trouble.
If you suspect you’re thyroid is under-active, I recommend asking for a full thyroid assessment from a doctor or holistic health professional who truly understands the complexities of the gland.
“Let food be thy medicine”
So how could the foods you eat for vitality be silently zapping your stamina or draining your mental cognition?
Let’s move back to the sometimes misleading super foods and talk about some thyroid-supporting foods to add to your diet.
7 Foods That Slump Energy
Kale (And other cruciferous vegetables)
This hearty green superstar can do no wrong . . . unless your thyroid isn’t functioning properly. Kale is a “goitrogen”, meaning it can actually prevent your thyroid from getting the iodine it needs to run properly.
Remember how I said the thyroid’s function is to take iodine and convert it into hormones? Iodine is irreplaceable for healthy thyroid function.
If you have low iodine, which many people unknowingly do, kale may be a contributor to your thyroid problems.
The same is true for other cruciferous vegetables like:
As you know, these vegetables do have other benefits so a solution could be to up your iodine with a supplement in order to keep these vegetables in your diet.
Strawberries (And other fruits containing thiourea)
It’d be nice to think all things growing from the ground are automatically good for you, but a malfunctioning thyroid shifts that notion.
Some fruits have a compound called thiourea, which poses the same problem as the cruciferous vegetables mentioned above.
Functioning as a goitrogen, the compound can hinder the iodine needed to produce thyroid hormones and worsen thyroid problems in the process.
If you can’t imagine meals without your favorite fruits, consider a daily iodine supplement.
Other fruits that contain thiourea are:
Although marketing campaigns would have you believe otherwise, soy products are health foods.
Soy milk has long been the answer to people who are dairy intolerant, but it comes with its own laundry list of problems.
For starters, some chemicals such as isoflavones, found in soy products like soy milk or edamame, can intercept your thyroid’s ability to make hormones if you’re not getting enough iodine.
(Not to mention it’s No. 1 on the list of genetically modified foods — GMOs.)
If you must drink soy milk due to a dairy intolerance, consider a daily supplement with iodine to give your thyroid some help if the gland is already taxed.
You know the ones. The highly addictive foods that taste heavenly but can literally take years off your life.
Foods like burgers, french fries, bacon, nachos, pizza — you can’t miss them thanks to the trail of grease.
These foods contribute to low energy and fatigue when they’re a regular part of your diet and greatly hinder the duties of a weary thyroid.
Americans love their sugar fixes, especially foods containing refined sugar, which is the worst of them all — candy, ice cream, sodas, cookies.
When you have a compromised thyroid, the last thing you want to do is amp your system with sugar because the higher you go, the further you’ll fall.
This is a tricky boomerang situation that I see with many of my fatigued patients. They get a surge of energy with sugary foods and soon after.
If you have a sweet tooth that won’t quit, opt for natural, non-processed sugars found in foods like dates or figs.
Much like sugar, caffeine gives you a false boost in energy before the steady dip into fatigue.
The thyroid is incredibly sensitive to stimulants, which serve to confuse an already overworked system.
Limiting yourself to one cup of coffee a day is generally a fair compromise.
As for caffeinated soda, this beverage is a double-whammy with the sugar content on top of the caffeine, so taking it out of your beverage rotation is the best way to go.
If it’s bubbles you crave, buy soda water without sodium and squeeze a lemon or lime into it.
Although it sounds less appealing at first, your taste buds will soon adjust — and your thyroid will thank you.
Plain and simple, packaged foods have added preservatives and few nutrients. Chips, cookies, cereals, crackers — foods that come in a bag or box that have been processed at a facility.
Cook at home using whole ingredients as nature intended them. I understand this isn’t always possible but it’s an excellent goal to aim for.
The less you eat packaged foods made of who knows what, the more they begin to taste too salty or become unappetizing in general.
So what’s good for thyroid health?
OK, so we’ve talked about foods that hinder thyroid function — what about those that promote this vital gland?
In order for the thyroid to function properly, you need healthy levels of vitamins and minerals, which you can get from the following foods...for more on the thyroid please sign up below on the contact form and I will send you out the 8 foods that promote Healthy Thyroid Function....