Iodine deficiencies are very common, especially where the soil and food supply have low iodine levels. Your body uses iodine to make thyroid hormones. That’s why an iodine deficiency can cause hypothyroidism, a condition in which the body can’t make enough thyroid hormones. The good news is that an iodine deficiency is easy to prevent.
Read on to learn more.
WHAT IS A THYROID GLAND? And what are some of the common symptoms of having a sluggish thyroid? Find out here.
How does hypothyroidism affect your metabolism?
The thyroid hormone helps control the speed of your metabolism. The faster your metabolism, the more calories your body burns at rest. People with an underactive thyroid make less thyroid hormone, which means that they have a slower metabolism and burn fewer calories at rest. This causes many of the symptoms listed above. Research shows that aerobic exercise can help boost your thyroid hormone levels. Additionally, eating more protein may help boost your metabolism.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Do a thyroid self-exam.
Stand in front of your mirror and look out for an enlarged thyroid gland. Move your head back, take a sip of water, and as you swallow, examine your neck below the Adam’s apple and above the collarbone. Look for lumps, then repeat the process a few times. If you see a lump, then you need to visit your GP as soon as possible.
If you think you have an iodine deficiency and symptoms of a thyroid problem, it is best to ask your GP if you should be tested.
Make lifestyle changes to support iodine levels, thyroid health and weight loss:
1. Cut out simple carbs and sugars
- Focus on complex carbohydrates like starchy vegetables and legumes.
- Avoids simple sugars like sweets and fizzy drinks.
- Foods refined grain products and sugary drinks have a high glycaemic load and may increase inflammation in the body.
- Eat enough calories. If you don’t, it can cause a stress response and result in less production of T3 (triiodothyronine – the active thyroid hormone) production.
2. Eat more iodine rich foods like
seaweed, fish (cod), plain yoghurt, prawns/shrimp, eggs, canned tuna, dried prunes. By simply adding a dash of iodized salt to your main meals, should help you meet your requirements. (39Trusted Source).
3. Eat more anti-inflammatory foods
- Anti-inflammatory foods can help ease joint aches and pains as well as depression, all of which can result from an underactive thyroid.
- And anti-inflammatory foods can help support the immune system, which is often in overdrive in people with hypothyroidism.
- Anti-inflammatory foods support the intake of the essential nutrients needed for healthy thyroid function. These include magnesium, B vitamins, zinc, selenium, iron, and vitamin C.
- Eat more leafy green vegetables, tomatoes, fatty fish, nuts, fruit, and olive oil – help inflammation. Less burden on the liver.
- Healthy liver function vital as it is responsible for converting 60 percent of T4 [the thyroid hormone thyroxine] to T3.
4. Stick to small, frequent meals
- A sluggish thyroid means a slower digestion, so eating smaller balanced meals, more frequently, is advisable. This will help support balanced blood sugar levels and decrease cravings.
- A diet high in healthy fats, moderate proteins, and moderate to low carbohydrates is best for thyroid function.
5. Keep a food diary
- Logging your daily food intake will help you keep track of how much food you consume and it will help make sure that you are eating a balanced diet
6. Move your body
- Exercise is important to build into your lifestyle. It will help burn calories and keep your weight an health in check.
7. Take the right supplements
Herbs that promote thyroid health:
- Fucus vesiculosis (Bladderwrack) and Withania somnifera (Winter Cherry / Ashwagandha), help balance thyroid hormone production for thyroid health.
Trace minerals that promote thyroid health:
- Added iodine and selenium promote normal thyroid hormone production, enabling your thyroid to increase your metabolism to help you lose weight and alleviate other uncomfortable symptoms.