Your thyroid is one of the most important endocrine organs in your body. This butterfly-shaped gland sits near the base of your neck, and plays an integral role in regulating your hormones. It controls several aspects of your metabolism, body temperature, and cell growth. Millions of people have been diagnosed with clinical thyroid issues, primarily underactive thyroid, and these conditions affect nearly 10x as many women as men. While Western medicine has a few treatment options, most people still continue to suffer symptoms long into the future. Thankfully, there are ways that you can heal your thyroid naturally!
Thyroid dysfunction may present in a variety of ways, but many people experience these signs and symptoms of underactive thyroid:
- Weight gain
- Cold hands and feet
- Dry hair and skin
- Hair loss or change of texture
- Muscle aches or weakness
- Low libido
- Depression or mood changes
- Increase of LDL or “bad” cholesterol
These symptoms are fairly generalized, so thyroid diseases are typically confirmed with blood tests following a physical exam. Your doctor may order tests to check the level of certain hormones, primarily thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), and possibly triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). If they are outside the normal ranges, you will likely be put on hormone replacement medication. These are usually synthetic or isolated thyroid hormones.
Whether you are newly diagnosed with an underactive thyroid, or you’ve suffered symptoms for many years, it’s important to know that you have options. And that you can heal naturally! By incorporating the best thyroid healing foods, and the best natural supplements for thyroid health, you can take charge of your wellness. Using a blend of foods, supplementation, and lifestyle changes can give your body a chance to regain hormonal balance over time, and stay there!
Thyroid Healing Foods
When it comes to thyroid healing foods, fresh, whole, and unprocessed foods are the best place to start. If you have an underactive thyroid, including foods that are high in iodine is essential, so that’s why this one special food comes in first on the list of foods to heal the thyroid:
Iodine is an essential mineral that’s used to make thyroid hormones in the body, so it’s important to find it in food sources. Seaweeds and sea vegetables like kombu, wakame, dulse, nori, and bladderwrack are packed with iodine, and can support thyroid health and prevent iodine deficiency.
Another critical nutrient for the thyroid is selenium, which is found in foods like Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, pumpkin seeds, and hazelnuts. Moderate amounts of these nuts can boost hormonal function, while supplying healthy fats and protein.
Rich in antioxidants, flavonoids, and other thyroid-protecting compounds, berries have long been esteemed as superfoods. Wild blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and others can benefit your endocrine system, as well as your cardiovascular and immune systems.
Sustainably-caught seafood from clean sources can provide a wealth of nutrients to support thyroid health. Salmon and sardines, along with things like oysters and mussels, offer zinc, choline, iodine, selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for hormonal regulation.
5. Leafy greens
Rich, dark-colored greens are packed with nutrition, giving you greater amounts of protein, minerals, and vitamins per calorie than most other foods. Add spinach, kale, chard, collard greens, or dandelion greens to your daily recipes for a thyroid boost.
The humble apple can do more for your health than you realize! Apples contain antioxidants, as well as a particular type of fiber that has been shown to improve digestive detoxification and reduce cholesterol levels, helping remove potential compounds that may interfere with thyroid function.
7. Coconut oil
This tropical oil contains medium-chain fatty acids that not only boost metabolism and brain function, but also can nourish the thyroid gland. Pure, virgin coconut oil is a great way to stay satisfied with your meals, while getting the healthy fats needed for your hair, skin, and nails.
These thyroid healing foods are just the beginning, but it’s often more important to think about what not to eat, when you’re dealing with an underactive thyroid. However, anyone, even those with healthy thyroids, can benefit from staying away from things like processed sugar and flour, gluten, soy products, vegetable oils, caffeine, and fast food.
Appropriate Thyroid Supplementation
Making dietary changes can dramatically help with thyroid symptoms, but the healing doesn’t stop there! A quality thyroid supplement can support your hormones, especially if you would rather not take a pharmaceutical thyroid replacement or are concerned about side effects. Natural thyroid glandular extracts are popular options for great reasons- these are pure, naturally-occurring extracts that aren’t made in a lab.
An appropriate amount of thyroid gland extract, especially if combined with other glandulars like in the Professional Formulas Thyro Complex, can work wonders. Of course, it’s important to talk with your doctor first, before trying any thyroid supplement, particularly if you are already on thyroid medication.
Glandular extracts are freeze-dried, desiccated organ supplements that contain all the bioactive compounds that are normally found in an organ such as the thyroid. These typically come from bovine or porcine sources, and there is nothing synthetic or altered about them! For these reasons, supplements like the Professional Formulas Thyro Complex are popular with people trying to heal their thyroid naturally. Plus, this particular formula includes other supportive extracts from adrenal, pituitary, spleen, thymus, and hypothalamus tissue, for whole-body synergy.
Taken along with a nourishing diet and stress-reducing lifestyle, a thyroid glandular supplement can be a powerful way to boost your thyroid function and start feeling energized again. Many people report better mental clarity, more stamina, and happier moods when taking these steps to health their underactive thyroid.
Remember that even if you’ve been diagnosed with clinical hypothyroidism or thyroid dysfunction, there is still hope! Bring in some thyroid healing foods and a quality supplement, and make time for things like rest and movement, and you’ll be well on your way to wholeness.