Have you been neglecting your thyroid health? You may have been if you haven’t been getting the right nutrients in your diet.
The thyroid gland is responsible for producing the hormones that regulate your metabolism, digestion, heart, muscles, moods, and heart function, among other things. If your thyroid gland is overactive it causes a condition known as hyperthyroidism, and if it’s underactive it causes hypothyroidism. Eating the right foods can help regulate your thyroid and keep it working properly.
The two specific nutrients that the thyroid needs to function are iodine and selenium. Iodine deficiencies have been linked to thyroid diseases including cancer. Selenium plays an important role in hormone regulation and deficiencies can cause hormone imbalances.
With that in mind, here are six foods rich in iodine, selenium, or both, that can positively impact your thyroid health if you add them to your diet.
Seaweed, in particular, kelp, kombu, and wakame, is rich in iodine thanks to its immersion in seawater. Seafood is a common ingredient in Japanese cuisine and has gained popularity around the world.
In addition to sushi, seaweed can be used as an ingredient in salads, soups, and even as a stand-alone snack in the form of seaweed chips. It may also be used as a seasoning. Adding seaweed to your diet will ensure that you don’t have a deficiency of iodine.
#2: Apples and Pears
Apples and pears aren’t good sources of iodine or selenium, but they perform two important functions for thyroid health. First, they are rich in pectins, a type of fiber that has been shown to cleanse the body of heavy metals like mercury. Mercury can suppress thyroid function.
Second, both apples and pears are good sources of fiber, which can relieve constipation – a common complaint amount people with hypothyroidism.
Eggs are one of the best foods to eat to support your thyroid. They are rich in both iodine and selenium. In some cases, their iodine content is boosted by feeding chickens iodine-enriched feed.
One egg contains approximately one-fifth of the iodine and selenium you need in your daily diet. It is important to eat the entire egg to get the benefits since the yolk is where the iodine and selenium are found.
#4: Dairy Products
Dairy products are a good source of iodine when the milk used to make them comes from cows that eat iodine-supplemented feed. Some dairies even used iodine-based cleansers to purify their milk.
Some of the best dairy products for your thyroid are milk, yogurt, and cheese. Lactose-free products are still a good source of iodine if you have difficulty digesting lactose.
#5: Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are the single best nutritional source of selenium. In fact, just one Brazil nut contains approximately 90 micrograms of selenium or about half of the daily requirement.
Brazil nuts are high in fat like most tree nuts, so it’s important not to overdo it. However, eating one or two Brazil nuts per day will give you the selenium you need without overdoing it on fat consumption.
#6: Fish and Shellfish
Like seaweed, saltwater fish and shellfish are naturally high in iodine – just like the seawater they live in. During their lives, they absorb some of the iodine in the water.
Oysters and fish are both especially good sources of iodine. Shrimp is also rich in iodine, and it contains a healthy dose of selenium, as well.
Keeping your thyroid health is essential if you want your hormones to stay in balance. Eating the six foods on this list will support your thyroid and ensure that it works properly.