January was thyroid awareness month. In order to raise the profile of auto immune diseases we here at Coach Jon Carroll wanted to highlight hypothyroidism to begin with. Thanks to Donna Rogers for this guest post and an awesome contribution overall. Often times auto immune diseases come with a multitude of symptoms and can usually go undiagnosed for years. In this post, Donna recommends foods that you can incorporate in order to help you feel better if you are hypothyroid or think you may be. Please see your primary care doctor for a blood test and insist on a full thyroid panel and not just the usual thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) which often leaves youth an incomplete picture of whats really going on. Look out for Fridays post from Donna which is an awesome info graph on “How the Thyroid Gland Affects our Health”.Hypothyroidism refers to the limited thyroid function, or a thyroid that isn’t producing enough thyroid hormone to regulate the body’s metabolism, digestion, and heart function. Severe cases require a doctor to administer an iodine treatment, but there are many foods that you can incorporate into your diet to increase the amount of iodine a person consumes in their diet. Increasing Iodine intake can decrease the symptoms of Hypothyroidism, aid in healthy thyroid function and help relieve feelings of fatigue, high cholesterol, depression, dry flaky skin, weight gain and even memory loss. Iodine deficiency during pregnancy is thought to be the leading cause of preventable mental health retardation across the world. The benefits of an iodine rich diet can help everyone, not just those suffering from hypothyroidism.
- Iodized Salt or Himalayan Crystal Salt
Many regular table salts are fortified with iodine and labled as iodized salt. One gram of iodized salt offers over fifty percent of a daily recommended amount of iodine. If you’re trying to avoid regular table salt, you may consider Himalayan crystal salt. One gram of Himalayan salt offers over one hundred and fifty percent of the daily recommended amount of iodine. Adding just half of one gram per day to a person’s diet will meet the minimum requirement of iodine intake.
- Sea vegetables
Kelp, Wakame, and Seaweed are just a few of the many sea vegetables that top the list of iodine rich foods. One serving of kelp offers four times the daily recommended amount of iodine, while seaweed has three thousand times the daily recommended amount. Sprinkling some seaweed or kelp into a soup or on top of a salad is an easy way to ensure getting plenty of iodine into a person’s diet.
- Plain Yogurt
Yogurt is an excellent source of iodine, providing over fifty percent of the daily recommended amount of iodine in a single cup. Yogurt is also rich in calcium and natural probiotics, making it a healthy addition to a person’s diet and digestive health.
One glass of milk contains about forty percent of the daily recommended amount of iodine. Milk is also rich in calcium and vitamins D, B12, and A. Milk adds natural benefits to digestive health, heart health and bone health and can be a valuable part of one’s daily diet.
Just three ounces of cod contains sixty-six percent of a person’s daily intake of iodine. Cod is low in calories, low in fat, and high in protein. It has high contents of B12, B6, and omega-3 fatty acids making it a super heart healthy option. Adding cod or other fish high in omega-3 fatty acids to a diet was shown to greatly lower triglycerides which can aid in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. Incorporating Cod into one’s diet two times a week was also shown to substantially lower the risk for heart disease, stroke and heart attack. With all these varied health benefits, Cod is an excellent addition to a person’s diet, especially someone with an iodine deficiency.
Cranberries are considered by many to be a superfood. High in antioxidants, low in calories, high contents of vitamins C, A, and K, cranberries are full of nutrients the body needs. For people with frequent urinary tract infections, or bladder infections, cranberries are an essential part to a healthy diet due to their content of the antioxidant known as proanthocyanidins or PACs. One of the functions of PACs is to keep certain bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract. Considering these benefits, along with their huge iodine content, cranberries are a healthy choice for many health benefits. Four ounces of cranberries contain nearly three hundred percent of the recommended daily dose of iodine, making them a very thyroid healthy food.
- Iodine supplements
For people having trouble increasing iodine in their diet, a sure way to do it is by a supplement. Iodine tablets can be dangerous, so they should only be taken when recommended by a physican. Self administering iodine tablets can cause iodine poisoning, burning of the mouth, stomach and throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and with enough of it, weakened pulse and even a coma. If instructed by a doctor and taken properly under a physician’s control, however, iodine supplements can help with the symptoms of hypothyroidism and decreased thyroid function.