Thyroid Diet Foods and Nutrients

It is estimated that at least 10% of the population have some degree of thyroid dysfunction (some estimations put the figure as high as 40% in Australia!).

Problems with your thyroid gland may result from nutritional factors (nutritional deficiencies, anti-nutrients, allergies, food sensitivities, alcohol consumption), environmental factors (heavy metals, hormones, medications) and lifestyle factors (stress, smoking, sleep quality, lack of exercise).

Since thyroid hormones affect the functioning of all body cell, thyroid dysfunction may result in a wide range of symptoms. These include:

Symptoms of Low Thyroid

In this article we will examine the best thyroid diet foods as well as the nutrients that are required for optimum thyroid functioning. By knowing what the required nutrients are and how they are involved in thyroid functioning you can then take the first step towards ensuring they are present in your diet and therefore ensure your thyroid gland functions as well as possible.

Once you have taken care of this area by providing your thyroid gland with all the nutrients it requires, the next step is to examine other nutritional factors as well as environmental factors and lifestyle factors that may also be having an effect on your thyroid gland.

Probably the most well-known nutrient required for optimum thyroid function is iodine. The human body contains around 20-30mg of iodine with approximately 75% being stored in the thyroid gland. Iodine is essential for manufacturing thyroid hormones in the body.

A woman getting her thyroid gland tested

The best food sources of iodine are: oysters, seaweed (used for the outer coverings of sushi rolls), fish, eggs, cheese, and iodised salt.

In order to get iodine into the thyroid gland a transport system is used that relies on vitamin C. Rich sources of vitamin C include: strawberries, oranges, kiwi fruits, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts), kale, spinach, thyme, parsley, chilli, and guava.

The other major component of thyroid hormones is the amino acid, tyrosine. Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid (it can be made in the body). However, some people may lack the necessary enzyme required to manufacture tyrosine. Foods high in tyrosine include: chicken, turkey, fish, nuts, seeds, and dairy foods.

There are various other nutrients that are required for thyroid hormone production. These include: magnesium, zinc, vitamins B2, B3, and B6. These minerals and vitamins are found in the following foods: green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish, certain fruits, beef, oysters, cocoa powder, dried herbs, cheese, and garlic.

The thyroid gland produces two hormones: T4 (thyroxine) and T3 (triiodothyronine). Approximately 95% is T4 and 5% is T3. T3 is the 'active' form of thyroid hormone whilst T4 is considered to be 'inactive'. Since T3 is considerably more biologically active than T4, it is essential that T4 is converted into T3 effectively.

This process occurs primarily in the liver and relies heavily on the mineral, selenium. Selenium is found in shellfish, Brazil nuts, fish, meat, eggs, and poultry. The process of converting T4 into T3 also requires zinc, iron, magnesium, folate, B vitamins, vitamin A, and Vitamin C. These nutrients are found in: beef, green leafy vegetables, carrots, sweet potatoes, grains, and cruciferous vegetables.

Fruits and vegetables are great sources of vitamin C Furthermore, the absorption of the thyroid hormones into cells requires cell membranes that function properly. This means that an adequate intake of omega-3 fats, calcium, magnesium, and potassium is required. Therefore, consuming an adequate amount of fish, fish oil, flax, flax seed oil, and green leafy vegetables, as well as nuts, seeds, dairy products, avocadoes, and bananas is essential. All of the foods that you require for optimum thyroid functioning are available from your local IGA supermarket.

Also, it seems that as we age we tend to lose our ability to convert T4 into T3. This may be due in part to our body's inability to absorb nutrients properly in addition to a reduced efficiency of bodily functions. Therefore, supplementing your diet with all of the required nutrients for optimum thyroid functioning becomes even more important as we get older.

One of the very best supplements to use in order to optimise thyroid function is BCN's Thyron. It contains almost all of the required nutrients for optimum thyroid functioning in therapeutic dosages. The nutrients it doesn't contain and that are required for optimum thyroid functioning, i.e. omega-3s and magnesium, are required in amounts that exceed what can be supplied in the limited space of a single tablet or capsule.

Thyron is available from health food stores and pharmacies everywhere.

Click here to go to What Causes Thyroid Disease Symptoms?
from Thyroid Diet Foods and Nutrients

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Here is the complete list of thyroid articles:

Can You Get Off Thyroid Medication?

T3 and T4 Thyroid Hormones

Thyroid Disease Caused By Inflammation

5 Common Thyroid Problems

The Ideal Thyroid Diet For You

Thyroid Diet Foods and Nutrients

The Importance of a Healthy Thyroid Gland

What Causes Thyroid Disease Symptoms?

Do You Have Low Thyroid Symptoms?

Alternative Thyroid Treatments

How Stress Affects Your Thyroid

What is Hashimoto Thyroiditis?

Reverse T3- The Hidden Cause of Thyroid Problems

Should You Use a Thyroid Supplement?

The Causes of Thyroid Problems

Underactive Thyroid and Nutritional Deficiencies

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