Our health should always be our top priority. No matter how much money we make, how successful we are, or how many loved ones surround us, none of that can be enjoyed to the fullest if we don't have a healthy body. Diet and exercise play an important role in this endeavor, but getting to the root of the problem is also essential.
You may have heard about thyroid problems and the importance of thyroid health, but do you really know how this critical gland can affect all other aspects of your body's faculties? That's right - if your thyroid is not healthy, it can potentially lead to serious illnesses. Thankfully, there is a way to reset your thyroid and kick-start your metabolism!
The thyroid is a ductless, butterfly-shaped gland that sits at the base of the neck. This gland produces hormones that influence growth and metabolism, and regulates all of the body's functions.
There are a wide range of thyroid-related disorders. Some are harmless, like an enlarged gland, while others can be serious and deadly, like thyroid cancer. Among the various thyroid diseases, the most common underlying issues are hypothyroidism (thyroid underactivity) and hyperthyroidism (thyroid overactivity).
Hypothyroidism can lead to a host of problems, including hair loss, body temperature irregularities, depression, and mood swings. However, some of the symptoms are common in other health issues as well, so a thyroid disorder may not be the doctor's first guess. This, in turn, could lead to the prescription of medications that are ineffective for the ailment at hand.
Mary Shomon is a thyroid expert who has written a number of books on this issue. "People are going in with high cholesterol or depression and are getting handed cholesterol meds and antidepressants," she explained. "And no one's ever checking to see if the thyroid is at the root of the problem."
Dr. Erika Schwartz takes a holistic approach when treating her patients with disorders. This includes looking at the big picture when assessing symptoms, and making changes in numerous aspects of one's lifestyle to remedy the issue. "At the end of the day, we suffer because we're treating individual symptoms, and we don't look at the body - at the person - as a whole," Dr. Schwartz asserted. When treating the symptoms, she recommends patients to alter everything, including their diet, hormones, exercise, and supplement consumption.
Because the thyroid gland regulates all of the body's functions, including our metabolism, an unhealthy thyroid can hinder the rest of our body from operating accordingly. "Our metabolism relies, in large part, on our thyroid's ability to function properly," Shomon explained. "If we're not getting enough oxygen or energy to the cells for digestion, for pancreatic function, for brain function, for all of the other hormone production processes and the glands that are producing those, then everything is going to be slowing down and not working properly. It's the gas pedal, essentially, for everything."
So, now that you know just how crucial it is to maintain a healthy thyroid, what next? As we learned from Dr. Schwartz, it's important to tackle different aspects of your lifestyle to get results. You can start by changing your diet and exercise routine to reset your thyroid.
According to Healthy Food House, a combination of iodized salt and selenium-rich foods are best for thyroid health. Such foods include:
- Brazil nuts
- Sunflower needs
- Eggs (maximum 3 per day)
- Whole grains
- Fruits (all types of berries and lemons)
On the other hand, it is also important to avoid certain foods that could trigger or exacerbate thyroid problems, such as:
- Dairy (eliminate from diet for at least 20 days)
- Sugar and sweeteners
- Processed grains
- Beans and legumes
Calorie-restricted diets, low-fat diets, or diets that are extremely low in carbohydrates are also not advised.
In addition, regular exercise will keep your thyroid happy and healthy. Start with a low-intensity exercise regime for one hour each day. This can include walking, hiking, biking, or swimming. After a month, move on to high-intensity exercises, one to three times a week, such as running or resistance exercises.
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H/T: Healthy Food House