The thyroid is basically the driver of metabolism and affects every cell in your body. This butterfly shaped gland that sits just below your Adam's apple can impact everything from your energy, mood, cognitive function, weight, heart, digestion, fertility, sexual function, sleep, skin, hair and nails. There are many factors that can contribute to low thyroid function and fortunately there are many things you can do to boost your thyroid health.
If you are suffering from any of these symptoms, and just can't seem to get the scale to budge - first, look inside. Are you really doing all that you can do? Low thyroid function is not an excuse, but very common in this toxic world we live in today.
A holistic approach to wellness includes examining and optimizing all aspects of health.
Genetics. First of all, determine if you are at risk. Just because you have a family history of thyroid problems doesn't necessarily mean you will have them, but it may mean your thyroid function is the weak link you inherited and you just need to make sure you take extra care of yourself.
Diet. Eating healthy whole foods will provide the raw materials that support thyroid function and metabolism. Processed foods and refined sugars and carbohydrates rob the body of nutrients, cause inflammation and compromise metabolism. Nutrients like B vitamins, vitamin D, selenium, zinc, vitamin A, iodine, magnesium and omega-3 fats are essential for proper thyroid function. Also, Eating Pretty means making sure to eat small, healthy meals every few hours to keep the metabolic fire burning. Skipping meals and under eating are actually a form of physical stress that affect the efficiency of your metabolism.
Stress. Chronic stress and thyroid function are intimately related. Not only do I see this every day in my practice, but in my own struggle with my thyroid as well. It's not surprising that my symptoms all became worse and I crashed at the tail end of a very stressful year. I was going 100 miles per hour, but my body couldn't keep up. I heard the whispers of fatigue and other imbalances, but ignored them and pushed through. I often ask clients if anything significant was going on in their lives during or the year before the onset of a disease and many, many times the answer is yes, whether it's the mental stress of too much work, the emotional stress of grief or even the physical stress of pregnancy for some women. Poor sleep is a significant physical stressor as well. Living Pretty in mind, body and spirit balance are crucial for a healthy metabolism and overall health.
Exercise. A powerful stress reliever as well as thyroid booster is exercise. Something I have learned over my journey to the Pretty life is that it's important though to feel rejuvenated and not depleted after exercise. If you feel drained and spent, this is a sign that you need some more nurturing type of exercises for the time being like gentle yoga or easy walks outside. Listen to and honor your body.
Detoxification. Also very important for metabolic and overall health is detoxification. Toxins not only disrupt hormones, but they also contribute to immune system dysfunction, a double whammy in thyroid health. Live as green as you can and avoid plastic bottles and canned foods, as research has found a strong link to the phthalates and BPA in these to low thyroid function. The metal mercury has a particular affinity for the thyroid, so it's important to eat low mercury fish if you eat fish regularly. Daily detox principles include drinking at least 1.5 liters of pure water - include fresh squeezed lemon for extra detoxification, eating whole foods including organic vegetables and lean protein, making sure you have daily bowel movements, and sweating and moving your body regularly.
I also urge you to consider toxic people and situations in your life and how they may be affecting you. Spend more time with people that bring light to your life and do more things that make you happy! That's truly what Living Pretty is all about.
Foods that support your thyroid:
- Coconut oil
- Sea salt (iodine)
- Seaweed (sushi/in soups)
- Kelp seasoning (local health food store)
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