I regularly receive questions about the thyroid gland and inquiries about natural treatments available to improve its functioning.
When the thyroid is not working properly, there can be a multitude of health problems. The main deficiency of this gland is what is called hypothyroidism, when it works too slowly, but sometimes it will be too active and then it will be hyperthyroidism.
The various symptoms of thyroid deficiency are: feeling cold, weight gain (even without big appetite) and difficulty in losing weight, feeling tired, hair loss, exhaustion, irritability and mood swings, constipation, irregular heartbeat, and in women there may be an irregular menstrual cycle.
Foods to promote
There are different ways to improve the functioning of the thyroid gland. In terms of food, it is important to consume foods such as garlic, onion and seafood rich in iodine (fish and shellfish, but also seaweed which is a very good source of iodine and many minerals necessary for the proper functioning of the thyroid). Pumpkin seeds seem to be an excellent choice. According to a recent study, 50% of patients with a deficiency of the thyroid gland, have seen their condition improve after consuming a supplement of zinc. The pumpkin seed is very rich in zinc and also contains good amounts of tyrosine and selenium, two nutrients that are necessary for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland.
Foods to avoid or limit
Some plants, especially the cruciferous , that is to say, the Brussels sprouts , the cabbage , the cauliflower , broccoli, kale, but also mustard greens, rutabaga , radish , horseradish, cassava, sweet potatoes, soybeans, peanuts and millet contain natural chemical nutrients called goitrogens, which can slow down the functioning of the thyroid gland.
Normally, cooking these foods inactivates these goitrogens.
It is also important to limit the consumption of soy products, such as tofu or soy beverage, to a daily portion. If you are on hormone therapy (synthroid) and you consume a soy product, consume it only 3 hours after taking your medicine.
Stimulate the thyroid
At the plant level, Ashwaganda , a plant widely used in Ayurvedic medicine, would be a wise choice for its properties to stimulate and regulate the activity of the thyroid (see this plant in our herbarium).
As we have already mentioned, zinc (25 to 50 mg) and selenium are two essential minerals for the proper functioning of the thyroid. Normally a daily dose of selenium of 200 mcg per day is sufficient to maintain good health, but studies have shown that in cases of thyroid insufficiency, doses of 300 to 1000 mcg per day may be required. These doses, however, can not be consumed without medical supervision. selenium becomes toxic in high doses.
The B6 Vitamins for Thyroid Health also promotes the proper functioning of the thyroid gland.
This plant is rich in canonic acid that is used by the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones.
An effective supplement
Normally I mention very rarely the name of products in our pages, I do it only when the product is really quality and know him personally with the hindsight to recommend it. In Canada there is an excellent supplement to stimulate the functioning of the thyroid gland, it is ThyroSense from Lorna Vanderhaeghe. This supplement contains a mixture of the essential elements (Ashwaganda, L-tyrosine, Gugul, copper, pantothenic acid, iodine) to stimulate the thyroid, it is enough to supplement it with a 200 mcg tablet of selenium. You can find this natural supplement at most health food stores or by searching the Internet.