Thyroid health has been associated with many things, including the effects of radioactive fallouts after over ground nuclear tests. However, it is not always that a thyroid condition develops after events as serious as that. The thyroid, a small butterfly-shaped endocrine gland located just below your neck, may pose a problem even due to an inadequate diet.
The thyroid is responsible for the production of thyroid hormones. The commonly known thyroid hormones, T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine), regulate most of what goes on in the body, as they are directly associated with the body’s metabolism. The other hormone secreted by it is calcitonin, which regulates calcium levels in the blood.
The thyroid comprises of cubical epithelial cells that form sac-like structures called vesicles. These contain the protein thyroglobulin. Thyroglobulin is a glycoprotein that contains the amino acid tyrosine, which combines with iodine to form thyroid hormones.
Iodine is an important component of thyroid hormones. Thyroxine, which is converted to triiodothyronine is 65% iodine. The thyroid is approximately 0.5% of body weight, but it holds 25% of the iodine in the body. The rest circulates in the blood as an inorganic iodide. The iodine in the thyroid, however, is 500 times more concentrated than the free floating iodide form in the blood.
Your iodine intake can positively or negatively influence your thyroid health, as the thyroid takes up iodine from water and the food ingested. Over time, the importance of an iodine-rich diet has been overshadowed by the over-importance given to iodized salt. A diet that contains even small amounts of iodine can be instrumental in improving thyroid functioning, as very little iodine is required to keep the thyroid healthy. Make sure that you consume adequate quantities of the following foods to keep your thyroid in good health to avoid common thyroid problems like an under-active thyroid.
- Yogurt, seaweeds, sea food and foods rich in iodine content.
- Even vegetables and fruits grown in soil rich in iodine can help to provide small amounts of iodine.
- Omega 3 fatty acids promote sensitivity of thyroid hormones to other hormones so that the balance of action and reciprocal reaction is maintained.
- Sulfur compounds in radish provided good thyroid support.
This does not imply that you ignore other foods. It is important to remember that it is only when you are eating a balanced diet that contains all the nutrients that you are able to maintain overall health. The primary thing is to eat a healthy mix of animal and plant-based foods, polyunsaturated fats and avoid junk foods.