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With Pride

GIVE YOUR METABLISM A KICK START BY 

SUPPORTING YOUR THYROID

Thyroid and metabolism

15 April 2021

Written By 

Shae Louise Abel (she/her) 

Founder, Director & Naturopath

Most of us have heard of hypothyroidism (underactive) and hyperthyroidism (overactive) and the symptoms associated with both. We all often think about the foods we can eat to support for example our immune system or overall energy production, but the nutrients that our Thyroid needs to function at its best is often overlooked.

Particularly when trying to lose weight many focus on the eating less, fasting, counting calories etc, however the function of our Thyroid is key to ensuring metabolism is effective and processing as it should. You don’t have to have an abnormal TSH (Thyroid-stimulating-hormone) pathology test to establish that your Thyroid could be working better. For example, if you have established that there is no presence of pathological causes, been actively exercising or been dieting and nothing is shifting it could be a sign that including more foods in your diet to support your thyroid, and in turn your metabolism, may be where you need to put your focus in regard to your food intake.

The nutrients iodine, selenium, zinc, Vitamin E and tyrosine have been scientifically well-established as essential nutrients for the production and conversion of the Thyroid hormones T4 & T3.

So how do these thyroid hormones effect metabolism?

T3 & T4, at a cellular level are responsible for converting oxygen and calories into energy, so, as you can imagine without good thyroid function and ultimately good levels of T3 and T4, your metabolism could be sluggish and not working at its peak performance if you are nutrient deprived.

What can we do about it?

Below you will find a list of the above-mentioned nutrients that are required for good thyroid function and the foods that contain them. Try and consume at least one food a day from each group, this will help to ensure that your metabolism is working at its best.

NOTE – Selenium is a nutrient found in the soil where our food is grown. Most over farmed land that does not have nutrients put back into the soil following harvest will be deprived of Selenium.

TIP – Choose Organic or Bio-Dynamic food sources, particularly for the list of foods under the section for Selenium, this way you are more likely to be buying foods where the soil is nutrient rich and hasn’t been over farmed without replenishment.


NUTRIENTS & THE FOODS YOU CAN FIND THEM IN

IODINE

Cod, shrimp, tuna, milk, boiled eggs, turkey breast.

Vegetarian/vegan options

Salt (iodized), navy beans, potato unpeeled and baked, seaweed.


SELENIUM

Tuna, oysters, clams, halibut (flatfish), prawns, salmon, crab, pork, chicken, milk.

Vegetarian/vegan options

Brazil nuts, brown rice, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, oatmeal, spinach, lentils, cashews.


VITAMIN E

Sunflower oil, safflower oil, corn oil, olive oil, soybean oil, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, cranberry juice, apricots, avocado, asparagus, broccoli.


ZINC

Cheddar cheese, milk, yoghurt, chicken, pork, turkey, crab, beef, oysters.

Vegetarian/vegan options

Beans, almonds, chickpeas, brazil nuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, cashews, pine nuts, soybeans,


TYROSINE

Protein 101 – Protein is made up of building blocks called amino acids. Amino acids are grouped into two categories, these are Essential and Non-Essential. Simply put essential means we can only get this amino acid from food, non-essential means that it can also be synthesised (made) in the body if the right nutrients are available to do so. Essential and Non-Essential does not refer to whether our body needs it or not.

Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid. Meaning that in the presence of Phenylalanine (another amino acid) Tyrosine can be synthesised in the liver. Tyrosine combines with iodine to make T3 & T4, your thyroid hormones responsible for metabolism and energy production.

FOOD SOURCES OF TYROSINE

Strong or aged cheeses, such as aged cheddar, Swiss, Parmesan; blue cheeses such as Stilton and Gorgonzola,

cured meats, Egg whites, beef, pork, fish, chicken, turkey, milk, quail, duck.

Vegetarian/vegan sources

Beans, seeds, nuts, whole grains, Soy products (all) & oats.


HERBS KNOWN TO INCREASE THYROID FUNCTION

Ashwaganda/Withania (Withania somnifera)

Withania has been found, through clinical research, to increase the thyroid hormones T3 & T4 at a statistically significant level.


Always consult with a Healthcare Professional before taking any nutritional or herbal supplements!


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