Thyroid Awareness Month is here! While not necessarily a digestive disorder, thyroid issues tend to disrupt vital organs of the GI system. We've seen the natural food community advertise natural ways to reduce or completely eliminate thyroid issues. Before we dive into that, let's discuss exactly what role the thyroid plays in the human body. First and foremost, the thyroid gland's primary function is metabolism control. Metabolism determines the rate as which cells are produced, nutrients are absorbed and energy is used. Health food and fitness communities spend top dollar getting the word out there on the importance of a fully functioning thyroid gland. Not only will all of your nutrients be absorbed, but your energy levels and appetite will be at a normal rate, allowing you to exercise, maintain weight, and fight off illness much faster. But what if you begin to experience problems? According to thyroid.org, more than 12 percent of the U.S. population will experience a thyroid condition in their lifetime. What natural options are available to those in need?
Before prescription medicine, supplements or surgery are options, one must start with alterring their diet. Fortunately, many natural foods support healthy thyroid function. More specifically, sea vegetables such as kombu, kelp granules, and nori wraps (used to wrap sushi) are excellent at maintaining and elevated thyroid functionality. Other cruciferous vegetables, such as Kale, are a smart choice as well. Bonus tip: be sure to cook your cruciferous vegetables through, as this will help keep the giotrigens out of the vegetable. Giotrigens have long been known to disrupt the thyroid if consumed in large quantities.
2. Chew Your Food
Last week, we dedicated an entire blog article to this subject. We can not stress enough the importance of slowing down and chewing your food as much as possible. One of the major health benefits of this happens to be controlling thyroid regulation. When your thyroid is not functioning properly, nutrients may not be absorbed fully. Chewing your food allows this process to begin in your mouth, not in your stomach. Your saliva will begin to work at absorbing nutrients right away, putting less of a burden on the rest of your body, and thyroid, to do the same. Bonus tip: The slower you eat, the better your thyroid can communicate with your brain and begin setting your metabolism at a healthy rate. The faster you eat, the faster you will confuse your thyroid.
3. Reduce Stress
Primarily through exercise, yoga, and meditation, thyroid levels have shown in individuals to return to normal levels when stress is reduced. Work, relationships, or family stress can interrupt your daily life, throwing everything out of wack. In some, their thyroid begins reacting negatively to all of this incoming stress. We suggest yoga and exercise as two of the healthiest stress reducing options available to you at any given moment.