Your thyroid is your body’s centre of energy and metabolism and is fundamental to your overall health, as it keeps all your cells ticking.
Hypothyroidism, or low thyroid function, is a silent epidemic, meaning you could be suffering from symptoms for years without being diagnosed.
Also, in most cases, hypothyroidism isn’t a thyroid problem in the first place. It’s an immune issue, whereby the immune system attacks thyroid tissue.
So you can get back your immunity and strengthen your thyroid, you need to get to the source of the imbalance. Here’s how:
1. Make a diet change
It might sound like a broken record but truly, making a diet change is one of the most important things you can do to improve your overall health. But don’t be mistaken: crash dieting doesn’t count. Some people skip from diet to diet, however following a permanent healthy eating regime with plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, red meat and protein is the only way to see benefit. Many with hypothyroidism experience fatigue and brain fog, which makes them reach for sugar and caffeine – two of the ways to burn out your thyroid.
2. Get more protein
Protein transports thyroid hormone to all your tissue, so including a bit at each meal can help normalise your thyroid function. Proteins include nuts and nut butters, quinoa, grass-fed meats, free range eggs, and sustainably-farmed fish, and legumes.
3. Increase your nutrients and omega-3s
While nutritional deficiencies may not always be the cause of hypothyroidism, not having enough nutrients and minerals can aggravate symptoms. Ensure you are keeping up your intake of vitamin D, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, zinc, copper, vitamin A, the B vitamins, and iodine.
4. Look for food sensitivities
Your hypothyroidism could flare up due to food sensitivities that you may not have known existed. If you’ve felt some strange symptoms or have a feeling about a particular food, you might be on to something. See your doctor and have a proper test.
5. Practice relaxation/meditation
The thyroid is a very sensitive gland and is exceptionally reactive to the stress response – find time every day to breathe deeply and truly relax. Colouring-in is one of the most popular forms of pseudo-meditation at the moment and is also really fun! Try to eliminate your stress by tackling issues head on.
6. Lower your carbohydrate intake
Lower your intake of sugars and grains and replace them with healthy fats. Many women consume far too many carbs which increase oestrogen and negatively effect the thyroid. Instead consume healthy fats that will balance hormones, like: coconut oil, coconut milk, avocado, grass-fed beef, salmon, chia and flaxseeds.
7. Coconut oil
Coconut oil contains fatty acids that help improve thyroid functioning, as well as stimulation of your metabolism and a good boost of energy. There are a few ways you can add coconut oil to your diet, including in your cooking as a substitute for canola or vegetable oils, or straight from the jar.
8. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar may also help deal with hypothyroidism as it aids detoxification, restores acid alkaline balance, facilitates weight loss, and helps regulate hormones and improve their energy metabolism.
Drink two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water and mix in a little honey. Drink this daily to feel relief.
9. Slow down your eating
As the thyroid gland is located in your throat area, it is important to treat the area well. When you rush while eating, the food moves so quickly from mouth to stomach that it can irritate the area. This is good health advice no matter what: sit down, slow down, breathe and chew your food. Since the thyroid controls your metabolism, eat slowly so it can record the message that food is entering the body.
Tell us, do you have a thyroid issue? How do you manage symptoms?