The thyroid gland is the king of metabolism. It regulates energy release, heart & digestive wellness, maintenance of the bone, brain development and muscle control. And hence it goes without saying that thyroid health needs to be given importance. Steps to ensure good thyroid care:
Iodine deficiency hinders with the correct functioning of the thyroid gland. Several years ago the deficiency of iodine had started to affect as much as 30% of certain countries population & hence the govt decided to iodize salt ensuring an easy way of replenishing dietary iodine and preventing thyroid-related disorders like goitre and stunted brain development. Over the years this has become a practice in most countries around the world. So ensure you use iodized salt in your daily cooking.
Also read: Know the Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
Your digestive system plays a significant role in the regulation of the thyroid hormones T3 and T4. While T4 is the main hormone produced by the gland, it is converted to T3 in the body for functional use. In the absence of a healthy gut, the conversion is compromised and even though there may be enough T4 being produced, it may land up just being not completely utilized. This could build a certain thyroid resistance in the body.
Just like the gut, stress levels could also affect the T3 hormone production, hence it’s important to regulate your stresses and sleep well for good metabolism. Exercising regularly can keep stress levels at bay. Remember to nurture a hobby, laugh, keep good company, love and breathe freely to wave stress “goodbye”.
Active sex life can help keep stress levels at bay by the release of endorphins and other hormones that create a good mood. But it’s also true that an impaired thyroid metabolism can interfere with sexual performance. It’s very important to detect any compromises with the thyroid gland and correct them before it interferes with many aspects of your health and life.
Are substances in food that interfere with thyroid metabolism by interfering with iodine uptake by the thyroid gland? In the case of hypothyroidism, avoid goitrogenic foods like cruciferous veggies (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli), moderate the use of millets, peanuts, sprouts, lettuce and dark green leafy veggies. Funnily enough, there is research that shows that the same cruciferous veggies if fermented can nourish the thyroid gland!!
Can improve gut health and is shown to be beneficial to the health of the thyroid gland. Beet kvass, fermented fruits and veggies, Lacto fermented salsa, kimchi, sauerkraut are tasty and wonderful options.
The health of the thyroid gland is of utmost importance. So do all you can to ensure that your thyroid hormones are kept healthy!!
(Inputs by Nutritionist & Food Coach- Anupama Menon)
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