Your Thyroid: Why it's Important and How to Keep it Healthy
What does the thyroid do?
Found in the lower part of our throats, the thyroid gland produces hormones that are used by every single cell in our bodies to control our metabolism, which includes our appetites, mood, blood pressure and energy levels. It also impacts physical and mental growth in the early stages of life.
Are you getting enough (iodine)?
Our thyroid is greatly affected by how much of the mineral iodine we ingest and it's important to make sure we are getting enough. If we have too little iodine in our diets it can lead to a reduction in the production hormones that regulate our metabolism.
Fewer of these hormones can result in us not only feeling significantly under the weather, but it can also eventually result in complete removal of the thyroid gland, causing a lifetime of health problems and reliance on medication.
Two thirds of British women and more than three quarters of teenage girls in the UK are iodine deficient and don't even know it. You can find out more about this unspoken national health concern in our case study.
Maintain a balance
It's easy for the thyroid to become either overactive (known as hyperthyroidism) or underactive (known as hypothyroidism), so in order to keep it balanced and ourselves performing at our best, we need to make sure we are getting enough iodine and other nutrients that support its function.
Top 5 foods for thyroid health
- Seaweed: with just a few shakes (2g) of any Mara Seaweed products you will be getting your daily supply of this mineral.
- Seafood: salmon, sardines, prawns are all good sources of iodine as well as the mineral selenium, which also supports the production of thyroid hormones. Why not cook your seafood with seaweed?
- Dairy: milk and yogurt are both good sources of iodine.
- Eggs: cooked any way you like, eggs are rich in iodine and also high in protein, which supports muscle growth and repair.
- Brazil nuts: the luxurious nuts contain the mineral selenium. Snack on 3 to 5 a day to get your daily dose of thyroid-supporting selenium.
To find out more about the thyroid and what you can do to take care of it go to www.thyroiduk.org.uk.