1. Coconut oil
Lauric acid, one of the fatty acids in coconut oil, is well known for it's anti-microbial properties, helping to balance the gut microbiome, and babe, you know thyroid health has everything to do with the gut. Another fatty acid in coconut oil, capric acid has been shown to improve thyroid function and aid in weight loss, something that many women with a sluggish thyroid struggle with. (Source)
Pro Tips: Look for virgin coconut oil. Refined coconut oil is bleached, heated and/or chemically processed which can damage the delicate fatty acids.
Protein is super important to fixing your thyroid and boosting immunity. Salmon is one of my favorite sources of protein because it also provides iodine, which is necessary for the production of thyroid hormones.
Salmon is also high in omega-3 fats, which are renowned for their ability to improve brain function and stave off age related degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer's. Omega-3's are also good for your heart, reducing inflammation that can lead to athersclersosis.
Finally, salmon provides a healthy dose of vitamin D, a nutrient that many women with thyroid dysfunction are often deficient in. Getting sufficient vitamin D is important for immunity, bone health and brain function.
Pro Tip: Look for Alaskan wild-caught salmon and avoid farm raised salmon, which are known to be contaminated with toxins like mercury and dioxins, and are much lower in healthy omega 3's. (Source)
3. Leafy Greens
Fiber, trace minerals like magnesium, antioxidants, enzymes- what can't leafy greens do for your health? Leafy greens contain antibacterial properties that keep the gut microbiome healthy, as well as being powerful anti-carcinogens (They've been shown to prevent tumor formation, reprogram cancer cells to die off and help detox the body.)
Pro Tip: Try branching out from the spinach and kale and try something different like rainbow chard, mustard greens or arugula.
4. Winter squashes
Butternut, acorn, spaghetti and other winter squashes are a great source of fiber and pre-biotics. They are high in anti-oxidants like carotenoids and vitamin C (buh-bye, inflammation!).
But one of the biggest reasons I love to use squash to support thyroid health? They are great source of carbohydrates. Ditching grains can mean you naturally eat less carbohydrates, but many women with thyroid dysfunction don't fare well on a low-carb diet. You can replace the carbs you used to get from grains by incorporating winter squash into your diet and your thyroid will thank you! (Source)
Pro Tip: I put my winter squash in the oven whole and bake until a knife can be easily inserted in the middle. Once the squash is fully cooked, cut in half and scoop out the cooked flesh. It's much easier than trying to cut into the outer shell of an uncooked squash.
Sometimes fruit gets a bad rap for it's sugar content, which is unfortunate since fruit is high in fiber and antioxidants which reduce inflammation, boost immunity and reduce your risk of cancer. Not to mention, they are great for getting beautiful, glowing skin! And if you're worried about overdoing the sugar, rest assured that berries and low-glycemic fruits, meaning they won't give you any nasty blood sugar spikes that can wreck your hormones.
Pro Tip: Wild blueberries have twice the antioxidant content than conventionally grown blueberries and taste better too!
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