One crucial part of the body that most people tend to overlook is the thyroid gland. It is accountable for the overall development of the human body. It contributes to better heart rate, cholesterol levels, digestion, body weight, muscle function, energy levels, menstrual regularity, fertility, and surprisingly – our mood. So better take care of that thyroid gland if I were you!
But before we tell you how, let’s know why we need our thyroid gland in tiptop condition. First and foremost, its main function is to produce hormones such as triiodothyronine (T3), tetraiodothyronine (T4), and calcitonin. Some bodies may need more thyroid hormones and some may need less. That’s why the thyroid gland works hand in hand with the pituitary gland to prevent thyroid disorders. The latter is responsible for telling the former that there’s an imbalance of thyroid hormones.
Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) is when the thyroid gland produces too many hormones and underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) is when it does the opposite.
Simply put, the only way to protect your thyroid and to improve your health is to make sure the body is supplemented with the right amount of thyroid hormones. And here are 6 ways and tips to maintain a healthy thyroid.
6 WAYS TO MAINTAIN A HEALTHY THYROID
1. Eat Balanced Meals
Do you remember the Go, Grow, and Glow Pyramid our primary school teachers keep on reminding us? Well, let’s thank them for it. An evidence-based study from a 2013 European Journal of Endocrinology proved that one of the causes of thyroid cancer is obesity. That said, make sure you eat at least four servings of vegetables, at least three servings of fruits, and lots of lean meat. And oh, don’t forget the healthy fats from olive oil, nuts, and avocados!
2. Break a Sweat
The thyroid gland is responsible for your metabolism. So it’s essential to get it into high gear all the time. This, not only prevents obesity but also improves your overall health. And as you know, metabolism slows down with age and we’re not getting any younger. One way to give your metabolism an extra push is to hit the gym or do circuits at home. Whatever you can do to break a sweat and keep those muscles working.
3. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
In layman’s terms, don’t worry too much about things that aren’t important. This leads to stress which might develop into overactive thyroid. Also, feeling stressed out all the time is not the best feeling in the world, is it? But since it’s inevitable sometimes, what you can do is do some simple yoga poses and breathing exercises once a day.
4. Manage Iodine Levels
Our body needs iodine to help make thyroid hormones and since our body doesn’t naturally produce iodine, we can get these from iodine-rich food sources such as:
• Iodized Salt
• Lima Beans
5. Iron and Zinc Supplements
Taking in thyroid supplements is also a great idea. Since our body needs T3 to support our digestive system, let’s help our body produce more of this hormone. Zinc and iron help turn T4 into T3. Ensure that your body doesn’t have zinc and iron deficiencies by eating the right food.
• Liver and Other Entrails
• Red Meat
• Pumpkin Seeds
• Seeds and Nuts
• Whole Grains
• Green Beans
• Dark Chocolate
• Crabs and Lobsters
6. Balance Estrogen Levels
According to the American Thyroid Association, one in eight women is likely to experience a thyroid disorder in her lifetime due to an estrogen imbalance. If you’re a woman reading this article, don’t fret. Here are some simple ways to balance your female hormones:
• Minimize Endocrine disruptors such as oral contraceptives, hormone creams, and medications which are hormone-based.
• Detoxify your body by drinking plenty of hydrating fluids and green juices.
• Avoid sugar-laden food and commercialized meat. Choose food with anti-inflammatory properties.
• Improve your bowel movement to detoxify your body by eating fiber-rich food.
Maintaining a healthy thyroid doesn’t have to be a difficult task. It becomes second nature if you adhere to these practices. And although these easy tips are surefire ways to protect your thyroid gland, visiting your doctor regularly is still the smartest method in the book.
Sarah Brooks, driven by the passion for blogging, writes about health, beauty, fashion, food, travel and more. She loves to spend her time travelling. She also blogs at KemperMedical, one of the leading national and global distributor of premium medical products including radiation protection products and radiology/ medical imaging supplies.