Last week, I explained my process to manage my hypothyroid diagnosis. My integrated doctor agreed to work with me on a natural approach and guided me in making specific lifestyle decisions. I addressed my thyroid, the butterfly shaped gland which influences hormones and metabolism, on three different levels: diet, environment and lifestyle.
While my blood work verified my condition, my exhaustion and duller moods were inklings of a sluggish thyroid. Despite weight-loss lore, your thyroid isn’t the main metabolic-home-wrecker, but it will influence body temperature. While many doctors measure TSH levels to determine thyroid health, not all measure T3 levels (ask for this in your lab work).
T3, a thyroid hormone, affects almost every physiological process in your body. A diet rich in zinc, selenium and iodine supports T3 and T4, also a thyroid hormone, production. These minerals tend to be scare even in relatively whole food diets because of nutrient depletion in modern soil, compliments of conventional agriculture (no wonder Grandma could walk to school uphill both ways).
Immediately into my diet went sesame and pumpkin seeds for zinc, brazil nuts for selenium and iodine-rich sea vegetables. Sea veggies were my main focus because they detoxify and environmental pollution was part culprit in my condition. And I’m ½ Jewish so hummus runs in my blood. I replaced salt with kelp granules, putting hummus (sesame) in nori wraps, and wakame in miso soup (visuals in my latest NBC clip).
I was already gluten, soy and artificial sweetener-free, dramatically improving my odds. Fermented soy (found in miso soup and tempeh) remained as it doesn’t interfere with iodine absorption like traditional soy.
In addition, I started a daily supplement of kelp. While I believe in food as the way to get your nutrients, I wanted to soak my thyroid in iodine to help it recharge. It was in an extreme situation. While I’ve kept the foods above in regular rotation in my diet , I no longer use a kelp supplement.
Next Monday, I’ll tackle the environmental toxicity that drags down a thyroid. Below is quick miso soup recipe to get you started in fortifying your own thyroid. I provide lots of these health-promoting and quick recipes in my upcoming Truce with Food program. While weight-loss is a focus, you can’t lose weight if you don’t understand your body and its systems. Weight loss isn’t as simple as calories in, calories out (that conversation bores me). Our bodies and lives are much more interesting. You’ll discover that starting Tuesday, March 6 in Truce. Come join me and other women who want to drop weight and the food frustration—and deserve it.
Recharge Your Thyroid Miso Soup
1 cup boiling water
½ teaspoon EDEN instant wakame
1 teaspoon of miso paste (found in refrigerator section)
1 Tablespoon of chopped scallions
- Turn off boiling water and wait one minute (boiling water kills the probiotics in miso)
- Place miso paste into a bowl and pour water over paste
- Stir until it dissolves
- Add wakame and chopped scallions