10 Natural Foods To Boost Your Thyroid Health

thyroid disorders

Our thyroid plays a huge role in functioning of the body. It produces hormones that regulate metabolism, mood, energy levels, heart rate, body temperature and blood pressure. Many health problems start emerging when our thyroid stops working optimally. Along with taking thyroid medication, you can boost your thyroid function by eating right food.

Thyroid needs specific nutrients to function optimally. The first and foremost essential nutrient that is needed for optimal thyroid function is iodine. Other important nutrients you need for proper thyroid function are selenium, zinc, and iron.

Following 10 foods are best dietary sources of these essential nutrients. These foods are also high in nutrients like high quality probiotics, proteins, antioxidants and necessary vitamin needed for hormone production.

1. Sea Vegetables

Sea vegetables are good source of iodine. Seaweed has high concentration of iodine, a nutrient essential for production of thyroid hormone and for optimal thyroid function. Lack of iodine inhibits thyroid function. Sea vegetables are also high in potassium and protein. Include in your diet dulse seaweed, nori, Kombu, sea palm and wakame for nutritional benefit of iodine, fiber, vitamin A, B, E, C and K and calcium.

2. Fish

Fish is another great source of dietary iodine. Deep sea fish like cod and haddock contains highest densities of dietary iodine. Tuna, Salmon sardines are also excellent choice. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish is also beneficial for thyroid health. Unmanaged hypothyroidism increases the risk of heart disease. Omega-3 found in fatty fish contributes to healthy heart, reduces inflammation, and increases immunity. Fish also contains nutrient selenium essential for thyroid health. It supports the conversion of thyroid hormone T4 into T3 (the usable form).

3. Eggs

Egg ranks the top, when we are looking for foods that help us to balance the hormone and support thyroid function. The thyroid supporting nutrient the egg provides is protein, B vitamins, cholesterol and minerals. It is considered the best food for thyroid as a whole contains about 16% of iodine and not less than 20% of selenium, two essential nutrients you need to keep your thyroid functioning smoothly. Both egg white and egg yolks are excellent source of selenium. B vitamins also help to balance blood sugar and the energy levels. So eat whole eggs instead of eating only egg whites, unless your doctor has restricted you.

4. Dairy

Research shows that people with underactive thyroid are usually vitamin D deficient. Low-fat milk and dairy particularly yogurt, milk and cheese are fortified with vitamin D and also contain calcium, iodine and protein. Yogurt being naturally rich in vitamin D acts as a shield for thyroid. Not getting enough vitamin D, increases the risk of thyroid disease. Yogurt is also high in probiotics which helps to balance good bacteria and keep digestive system healthy and boosting immunity help thyroid function optimally.

5. Beans

Beans are another versatile food with loads of vitamin, minerals, antioxidants and complex carbohydrates and fiber that will help your thyroid to function effectively. Eating beans will provide your body energy, fight constipation.

6. Nuts

Nuts are great source of selenium, protein, vitamins and minerals and fiber and can be eaten as snack anytime. Almonds can provide good amount of nutrients to work thyroid efficiently like they are high in protein, selenium, zinc and B vitamins. Brazil nuts are the richest source of selenium which is needed for converting thyroxin to T3. But restrict the portion size as nuts are high in fat; eat 2-3 Brazil nut and a small handful of other nuts every day.

7. Dark Green Leafy Vegetables

Green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, Swiss chars, collard, mustard, turnip greens are excellent source of B vitamins, iron, which are needed for creation of iron. Besides this they also provide vitamin A, C and D and mineral like potassium and magnesium needed not just for thyroid health but for overall health.

8. Whole Grains

Whole-grain cereals, rice, bread, pasta are loaded with nutrients along with fiber which help keeps functioning thyroid health and aid in regularity of bowel movement which is often found compromised in individuals with thyroid.

9. Fresh Fruits And Vegetables

Eating fresh fruits are great way to get the required antioxidants and nutrients and best way to keep weight in control. One of major symptom of hypothyroidism is weight gain. Frits like cherries, blueberries, oranges, and grapefruit will not only provide you with nutrients for optimal thyroid health but help to keep your heart healthy.

10. Oysters

Oysters are known to be a best dietary source of zinc-which is one of the essential nutrient bodies, needs to activate thyroid hormone. Deficiencies of this mineral can lead to sluggish metabolism (10).

Bacopa for Increasing Concentration

Bacopa for Increasing Concentration_01

I tend to lose my concentration from time to time and one of the herbs I like to use to make a medicinal herbal tea to help improve my concentration is Bacopa. Some of you may know Bacopa as water hyssop. Bacopa is an herb that contains compounds in it known as bascosides, which contain medicinal properties that help increase the level of neurotransmitters in the brain to help increase concentration levels so a person has the ability to focus on the task they need to focus on.

The herb also acts as adaptogen and helps the body cope with stress levels physically and mentally, which makes this herb perfect for treating anxiety, panic attacks and sometimes even asthma attacks due to the calming effect it has on the body.

Preparing Bacopa Medicinal Tea

I find the best way to prepare the finest potent bacopa medicinal tea is by taking a teaspoon of dried bacopa and placing it inside a small tea ball and place it into a large teapot with a liter of boiling water. Then I place the lid on the teapot and allow the herb to steep in the water for 10 minutes to help draw out the medicinal properties as well as the light golden yellow color and earthy, yet slightly bitter taste the tea has to it. If you dont like bitter tasting medicinal teas you can mellow the flavor of bacopa tea out by adding a teaspoon of raw honey or nectar syrup into it.

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Once the tea is made I find it best to sip on it slowly one cup at a time until I am focused and back to the task at hand that needs to be done, or until my asthma attacks has begun to ease away. Typically, my asthma attacks are caused by stress and anxiety and drinking this tea helps ease the stress and anxiety naturally by acting as a natural sedative and adaptogen.

Other Health Conditions Bacopa Can Help Treat

Not only can bacopa help treat the lack of concentration as well as panic, anxiety and asthma attacks, but the herb is also useful for treating hypothyroidism, inflammatory diseases within the body, epileptic seizures, digestive disorders, drug induced liver damage, insomnia and memory loss. The herb has even been used to help prevent cancer, rid fungal infections from the body and help treat mild to moderate depression in people. Some people even use the herb to ease aches in pains in the body because the herb can act as a natural sedative.

Other Forms of Bacopa That Can Be Taken

If your not a fan of sipping on bacopa medicinal tea or simply don’t have the time to make it you can get the same health benefits from it using other forms such as tablets, capsules and tinctures. My personal favorite bacopa supplement to use is Herb Pharm Bacopa because it is made with pure organic bacopa and is a tincture that is easy to take.

Bacopa Medicinal_01

However, it does have a slight bitter taste to it that I always rid from my mouth by sipping on some juice afterwards. Now, you do not have to use this particular bacopa supplement to treat your common health conditions. You can use any supplement that works best for you and your body, but it is best to talk to an herbalist or doctor before taking this herb to treat any health condition to make sure it is right for you.

Precautions with Bacopa

The great thing about using bacopa is there are not any side effects from using this herb unless you take an extremely high amount of it. At high doses, bacopa causes extreme drowsiness and lightheadedness so it is best to use this herb properly in small amounts at a time to see improvements your health.

Holy Basil for Stress Relief and Emotional Well Being

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I decided to try an herbal supplement, called Holy Basil, to help me with insomnia. I’ve noticed that it does have a calming effect which helps me to fall asleep faster. What I have also noticed though, is that Holy Basil has also seemed to take the edge off of my stresses and constant worrying.

I think one of the main reasons for me not falling asleep or staying asleep at night is due to an overactive mind. I tend to think and worry a lot, resulting in a lot of anxiety. Holy Basil seems to calm down the noise in my head, helping me to feel more relaxed.

I found out about the benefits of Holy Basil from the Dr. Oz show. Another more well known name for Holy Basil is called Tulsi. On the Dr. Oz show, it was said that Holy Basil can help fight stress. I primarily bought the supplement to help with insomnia, however, I’ve also noticed a difference in my reaction to stress as well.

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I feel as though Holy Basil may also be helping by lifting my spirits a bit. On the bottle of Holy Basil that I had purchased, it says that Holy Basil promotes feelings of emotional well being and that it helps with stress. It also states that this herbal supplement supports a healthy respiratory system function as well. Might I add, I have not been sick since I’ve taken this supplement, even though I have been around people who had cold and flu symptoms.

This herbal supplement seems to be helping me so far with taking the edge off of my anxiety, low mood and stress levels. I still do experience stress, anxiety and low moods, however, Holy Basil may be helping to lessen the severity of my symptoms. Maybe the longer I take it, the better my symptoms will get.

I did an experiment for a week to see how the Holy Basil affected me. I decided to stop taking Holy Basil for an entire week. What I noticed was that I really did feel a difference when I had not been taking the supplement. I felt an increase in my symptoms of anxiety as well as a lower mood. So far, Holy Basil has been helping me by lessening some of the anxiety, stress and worry, so I will stick with it and see how long the effects will last. Anything that takes the edge off, even if a little bit, is helpful to me.

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If you are experiencing low mood, anxiety, high stress levels and/or insomnia, you may want to try Holy Basil to see if it might help you. You may want to talk to your medical doctor or mental health therapist first when trying a new supplement.

The good thing about an herbal supplement is that while it could still have the potential to cause some side effects, I think it is better than the risk of taking a prescription medication, which seem to have more side effects than natural remedies.

Biotin: How Does it Benefit Me and Where Can I Find It?

If you are pregnant, suffer from hair loss or brittle nails, skin problems, or have diabetes, then you may benefit from Biotin. Even if you don’t suffer from ailments and conditions, Biotin is a needed water soluble B-vitamin, regardless of age, that assists enzymes and metabolic reactions in the body.

To keep it simple, Biotin is necessary for cell growth, the production of fatty acids, and it assists in metabolizing fatty and citric acids. It also helps to regulate blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol.

A Biotin deficiency is rare as the body requires only a small amount and unused portions are recycled in the body. However, it does have serious consequences if a person is lacking in it, such as: skin and hair problems, cholesterol issues (particularly in diabetics), and heart problems.

Biotin  supplements

Some symptoms include: loss of hair, eyelashes, brittle nails, skin issues, and conjunctivitis. For pregnant women, a lack of this deficiency can cause birth defects.

The general population are able to fulfill the daily required amount through a variety of foods such as: egg yolks, brewer’s yeast, nutritional yeast, liver, cauliflower, legumes, sardines, salmon, bananas, carrots, and mushrooms.

However, you may consider taking Biotin as a supplement if you are a picky eater, practice special dieting, eat a lot of raw eggs, drink alcohol excessively, use certain anti-seizure medications, take oral antibiotics, or have certain intestinal conditions.

Patients that are hospitalized and are feed intravenously, may also be deficient. Also, women who are breastfeeding or pregnant may be not be absorbing enough Biotin, even though they are taking a prenatal vitamin, as these pills do include this source. So, be sure to ask your doctor about “Biotin only” supplements.

egg yolk

Ingesting biotin can be used to aid in pre-exisitng condition. It can strengthen hair and nails, as well as improve the appearance of your skin. Whatever the case, using a multivitamin with this supplement it is also good dietary practice to ensure to you getting a providing a sufficient amount to your body.

Biotin supplements can also be found at local health food stores or on-line. It is recommended that topical amounts not be used as a source of intake as the body processes biotin through the body metabolically.

Whether you are interested in preventing or curbing a medical condition, also remember to consult a physician first, particularly if you are pregnant, have diabetes, suffer from seizures, or have a heart condition.