The thyroid is an important gland. The hormones it produces regulate our metabolisms, keeping us from gaining or losing weight regardless of the food we consume. A state of imbalance in the thyroid can have multiple adverse health effects. Those who have overactive thyroids can be prone to restless and irritability, as well as weight loss. An underactive thyroid can cause chronic fatigue, constipation, aches and other symptoms. Here are 4 vital nutrients that support healthy thyroid function:
Glutathione is an important antioxidant found in many animals as well as plants and fungi. It plays an important role protecting cells against damage by reactive oxygen compounds. A drop in glutathione can contribute to autoimmune conditions that weaken the thyroid, so it is important to consume foods such as spinach and walnuts that are high in this particular antioxidant.
Arginine is an amino acid that plays a role in stimulating hormone production in the thyroid. Seeds such as sesame and spinach are two foods that are comparatively high in arginine.
Iodine plays an especially important part in healthy thyroid function. Many thyroid conditions are prompted by iodine deficiency. The thyroid gland synthesizes two vital hormones, T3 and T4 from iodine and other chemicals in the body. You can increase your iodine levels by eating foods rich in the nutrient. Sea vegetables (including kelp, arame and wakame) are particularly good sources, and can be obtained in supplement form.
Besides being essential for healthy production of red blood cells, iron also plays an important part in thyroid function. It delivers oxygen to the thyroid. This helps the gland convert T4 hormone to T3. If the thyroid cannot perform this process properly, it can lead to an underactive thyroid and attendant symptoms such as tiredness. Thus make sure you are getting enough iron by eating iron-rich foods such as dark leafy green vegetables and (if you are not vegetarian or vegan) organic, lean meat.
Hormonal imbalance can create many niggly symptoms. Eating for thyroid health and getting enough of the four vital nutrients described above will help you maintain balance.