5 Good Foods for General Thyroid Health

List of Foods to Boost Thyroid Function

The thyroid is a gland that produces two important hormones called triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). Hormones produced by the thyroid are responsible for controlling metabolism of your body cells. To take care of thyroid health, you should provide it with sufficient essential nutrients such as iodine, zinc, tyrosine, vitamin A and also good amount of antioxidants. In addition, B-complex vitamins and iron are also vital as supporting nutrients. The following are some good foods for thyroid health. 
  1. Seaweed
    Seaweed has been consumed for generations as a food to enhance thyroid function because it contains great amount of iodine. The natives have been including the sea vegetable to their traditional diets to protect themselves from goiter. Intake of sufficient iodine is extremely important to thyroid health, otherwise your body cannot produce thyroid hormones such as T3 and T4. However, taking too much iodine can also ruin your thyroid function. Therefore, you should take iodine-rich foods in moderate quantity and not too much. According to Oregon State University website, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of a normal adult for iodine is 150 mcg. For pregnant women and breast-feeding mother, the RDAs are 220 mcg and 290 mcg respectively.

5 Foods for Thyroid Health

  1. Spirulina
    Rich in iodine, spirulina is one of the best superfoods to promote proper metabolism and your overall wellbeing. Additionally, it is packed with beta-carotene which is converted to vitamin A in the body to support thyroid health. Its health benefits can also be extended to liver cleansing and a healthy liver is vital for the wellness of the thyroid. The liver is responsible mainly for the conversion of hormone T4 to hormone T3, even though the process happens throughout your whole body. Apart from that, an amino acid called tyrosine is found abundantly in spirulina, making it a good food for thyroid health.

  2. Coconut Oil
    Although coconut oil is a type of saturated fat product, it is formed by medium chain tryglycerides or MCTs, which promote metabolism -- good for people with hypothyroidism. Coconut oil is fabulous as it is stable and does not trigger oxidative stress in your body. Unlike long chain fatty acids, coconut oil does not require any breakdown by enzymes and more importantly, it does not interrupt the conversion of hormone T4 to T3.

  3. Cod Liver Oil
    Cod liver oil not only offers you omega-3 essential fatty acids, but also other useful nutrients such as vitamin A and D. Although using coconut oil alone helps boost thyroid function, but when cod liver oil is also consumed together, it provides the essential vitamin A needed for the thyroid to function even better.

  4. Tuna
    Do you like tuna recipes? Adding tuna to your diet can help maintain your thyroid health. Tuna contains selenium, a type of mineral that is beneficial to people with hypothyroidism. Presence of selenium helps your body converts hormone T4 to hormone T3, which can be fully utilized by your body. Besides regulating thyroid function, the nutrient also helps enhance your immune system.

    If you are looking for other selenium-rich sources, you may go for fish like herring and swordfish or seafood like oysters. However, please remember that excessive intake of selenium can be toxic. For a normal adult, the RDA for selenium is 400 mcg.

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