Essential nutrients for a healthy thyroid

As a Naturopath, I see a lot of people struggling with thyroid problems, even after they make the decision to go on thyroid medication.

From struggling with energy and weight, to poor concentration and even infertility, your thyroid affects so many aspects of your overall health, so it’s important to make sure it is properly supported with the correct nutrients.

The problem with taking thyroid medication is that it may correct the thyroid hormone levels, but it does not address the cause, or any of the damage done

Here are 4 essential nutrients for a healthy thyroid

  • Selenium

Selenium is a micronutrient which is essential for thyroid hormone production. The thyroid has the highest amount of selenium of any adult organ, and selenium’s role is to regulate hormone synthesis and protect the thyroid gland from oxidative stress.

If you don’t have enough selenium, it’s difficult for your thyroid to make its hormones and harder for your body to convert T4 (the inactive form of thyroid hormone) to T3 (the active form), which your cells require.

High quality seafoods are rich in selenium – the best source being small fish which are low in mercury. Other sources include brazil nuts, free range eggs, poultry and kefir.

  • Zinc

Zinc is a mineral which plays a crucial role in thyroid health due to its healing and immunity properties. It is needed for converting T4 to T3, as well as increasing free T3, the available form of active thyroid hormone.

Many people with underactive or hypothyroidism are zinc-deficient, so it’s important to look at naturally increasing your intake or supplementing.

Zinc-rich foods include spinach, mushrooms, asparagus, almonds, cashews, peanuts, high quality red meats, free-range chicken, high quality seafood, and kefir.

  • Ferritin

Iron is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in people suffering with hypothyroidism. It’s often the reason why people still don’t feel better, even after they go on medication.

Ferritin is the protein that stores iron and releases it in a controlled fashion, so not only is it important to have normal iron levels, it’s also important to have normal iron stores as well.

One of the best ways to improve iron and ferritin levels is to consuming iron-rich foods, including high-quality lamb and beef, green leafy vegetables, tofu, beans, nuts and pumpkin seeds.

  • Vitamin D

Vitamin D is needed for a huge variety of bodily functions, including healthy immunity, bones, muscles and insulin secretion. Recent research has also shown that Vitamin D deficiency is associated with insulin resistance, which can can adversely affect thyroid health.

One of the simplest ways to get more Vitamin D is to go for a 10 minute walk with your skin exposed in the morning or afternoon, while the sun isn’t too hot.

If you’re worried about your skin, you can also get Vitamin D from fatty fish like salmon or sardines, egg yolks or mushrooms.

Keep in mind that while many foods like cereals, milk, and juice are fortified with Vitamin D, it’s much harder to absorb these synthetic vitamins.

If you believe you have an overactive or underactive thyroid, the first step is to determine the cause. You can get familiar with each of these conditions in our comprehensive reports on overactive and underactive thyroid. If you’ve had your thyroid tested and you’re not sure about the results, you may want to read about why your thyroid test may be wrong. 

If you have more questions or would like advice, book a free 15 minute phone chat with a qualified Naturopath. Click here to book now.

Do you want to find out how natural health can help treat your thyroid condition and discover some of the super foods to eat and diet principles to follow to help balance your immune system?

Click here to access our free guide – Natural Remedies for Thyroid Health.

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