~Let food be thy medicine ~
Food has often been associated with a feeling of joy, happiness and well, satiety. But almost every culture and traditional wellness remedies and protocols offer medicinal value through the foods we eat as herbs consumed as teas, decoctions, infusions and even raw.
The thyroid, in particular, has been long studied for its response to medicinal herbs and food intake for medicinal properties and this is one area that really deserves a good mention when considering holistic protocols for supporting its wellness. Herbalism, Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy as well as mainstream medicine and dietics often approach at-home habits to include certain foods to support the thyroid. Here are some of the highly recommended minerals, vitamins, foods and categories that you may choose to consider to support your journey towards thyroid wellbeing.
1. Iodine is an essential nutrient for the production of thyroid hormone, and if you don’t have enough in your diet, thyroid function is compromised. Sea vegetables like kelp, nori, kombu, and wakame are the richest sources of iodine, which can also be found in scallops, shrimp, and yogurt.
2. Because vitamin D deficiency is closely tied to insufficient thyroid function, it’s important that you get plenty of sunshine (our body’s main way of absorbing vitamin D). The best dietary sources of vitamin D are fatty fish, especially wild salmon, which is also a good source of iodine! Vegetarian and vegan sources may be found in mushrooms, soy and almond milk as well as fortified orange juice
3. Selenium is another key nutrient that plays a protective role in supporting thyroid function. Brazil nuts are a particularly rich source of selenium, and research shows that Brazil nuts are even more effective at increasing blood levels of selenium than taking selenium capsules.
4. Copper, iron, and zinc are all important for healthy thyroid function, and sesame seeds are a great source of all three of these essential nutrients.
5. Coconut oil has shown some promising hope in the case of hypothyroidism and slow metabolism. The fatty acid chains that are abundant in coconut oil – medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) or medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), offer wonderful health benefits. For the hypothyroid sufferer the MCTs rev up the body’s sluggish metabolism.
6. In Ayurveda, Charaka recommends barley, moong dal, Bengal gram, cucumber, and milk products to help with goitre.
Luvena Rangel, RYT200, a1000yoga