The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck which secretes T-3 (Triiodothyronine) and T-4 (thyroxine) hormones that play the principal role in regulating metabolism, maintaining body temperature, muscle movements and heartbeat.
The state of an underactive thyroid gland is called hypothyroidism and is characterized by symptoms such as weight gain, constipation, fatigue, increased sensitivity to cold, muscle cramps and a puffy looking face.
An overactive thyroid gland results in hyperthyroidism, which is manifested through symptoms like weight loss, hyperactivity, sensitivity to heat, excessive sweating, insomnia and mood swings.
Iodine is an essential component of the thyroid hormones. Since iodine gets easily absorbed by the thyroid gland and mercury possesses a chemical structure identical to iodine, mercury gets absorbed instead of iodine to the binding sites which interfere with the production of thyroid hormones. Apples are a rich source of pectin, a gelatin-like fiber which binds mercury and flushes it from the body through urine thus ensuring proper production of the thyroid hormones.
Oysters are the richest source of dietary zinc with a 100 gram serving of raw eastern oyster providing 37.92 mg of zinc. Zinc plays a vital role in the functioning of the thyroid gland since it is essential for the activation of thyroid hormones. Zinc deficiency can interfere with the conversion of T-4 hormone (inactive form) to T-3 (active form) and subsequently lowers metabolism. Oysters are also a good source of Vitamin D, a nutrient crucial for maintaining optimum functioning of the thyroid gland.
Chicken brims with the goodness of protein and selenium, two essential nutrients for thyroid health. A 100 gram serving of raw chicken breast contains approximately 0.68 grams of tyrosine, a non-essential amino acid which is required for the synthesis of thyroid hormones. Chicken also is a rich source of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps stimulate metabolism and keeps food cravings in check. Vitamin B-12 deficiency lowers conversion of T-4 to T-3 and chicken being a good source of Vitamin B-12 helps maintain the proper functioning of thyroid gland.
Brazil nuts are one of the richest sources of dietary selenium providing 1917 mcg of selenium in a 100 gram serving. Selenium plays a vital role in the functioning of the thyroid gland by stimulating synthesis of thyroid hormones and boosting metabolism. Selenium deficiency lowers the levels of T-3 (triiodothyronine) hormone and reduces the T-3 and T-4 ratio. It also assists in the metabolism of iodine, a mineral which is an integral component of the thyroid hormones as well as plays a role in the conversion of thyroxine to triiodothyronine. Brazil nuts are a good source of arginine which aids in fat loss.
With around 8165 mcg of iodine in a 100 gram serving of kelp granules, seaweed stands amongst the top dietary sources of iodine. The thyroid cells, which are the only cells in the body that can absorb iodine, combine iodine and tyrosine to produce triiodothyronine and thyroxine. Lack of iodine in the diet results in inadequate production of these thyroid hormones which in turn leads to a lowered metabolic rate, improper metabolism of carbohydrates and fat. Seaweed produced from brown algae contains more iodine than the variants belonging to red or green algae.
A perfect blend of B-complex vitamins, eggs help reverse the symptoms of deficiency of B-complex vitamins which reduce the iodine uptake by the thyroid gland. The folic acid content in eggs helps stimulate thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). Since choline levels are low in people suffering from hypothyroidism, which affects mood and cognition, eggs being an excellent source of choline help restore normal choline levels. A medium egg provides 7-gram protein which promotes satiety and spikes metabolism.
Research published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association demonstrated that eating whole grains like wheat, whole wheat pasta, brown rice and millets increase thermic effect of food i.e. energy used to digest food leading to burning nearly 50% more calories as compared to refined foods. Since whole grains are high in fiber, digesting whole grains expends more calories, which spikes the metabolic rate and helps maintain a healthy weight. These foods also help improve and balance thyroid hormone levels. The B-complex vitamins in whole grains aid in proper metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer