The thyroid gland, an important part of the endocrine system, is located just underneath the Adam’s apple. It secretes hormones that are carried by the bloodstream to every cell in the body, just like hormones from any other endocrinal gland.
An under-active thyroid is incapable of producing adequate quantities of thyroid hormones, mainly thyroxine and triiodothyronine. The fact that both are mostly made up of iodine has led to a misconception that all that you need to ensure thyroid health is to take iodized salt. Nothing could be far from the truth than this!
Iodine is indeed needed by the thyroid. However, too much of it can actually cause problems, as very little iodine is needed by the body. Sea salt and rock salt, if available in your part of the world, are anytime better than iodized salt because they contain a healthy balance of minerals that can provide better thyroid support.
There are also other ways to ensure that your thyroid stays in good health. Among herbs for thyroid health kelp, bladderwrack, avena sativa, black walnut, parsley and goldenseal are good for your thyroid because they contain iodine and tyrosine. Tyrosine is a precursor of many hormones including thyroxine and triiodothyronine, the two thyroid hormones.
A balanced diet is more than sufficient for proper body functioning, but the diet that we are accustomed to is often deficient in vitamins and minerals. This may necessitate using a thyroid supplement to ensure proper thyroid functioning.
Vitamins that support thyroid health include the basic multivitamins – vitamin A, all the B vitamins, vitamins C and E. Beta carotene, which is found in dark green and dark yellow fruits and vegetables, is a natural source of Vitamin A. Vitamin C can be obtained from citrus fruits. Vitamin E can be sourced form natural oils, nuts and green leafy vegetables. Cheese and milk are the best dietary sources of B vitamins. In colder climates where there is lack of sunshine year-round, vitamin D may also be necessary.
The basic principle should be to eat as much natural foods as possible and to avoid junk foods. Keep changing your food choices daily to ensure a healthy mix of fruits, vegetables and meat. Avoid hydrogenated oils and processed foods that are rich in chemicals. Ensure that any meat that you buy is free from hormones. Coupled with herbs for thyroid health and a balanced intake of vitamins and minerals, these precautions will see your thyroid function improving with every passing day.