The thyroid is one of the most important glands in the body. It’s vital for hormone production, playing a role in the development of the human body and metabolism regulation. Over time, however, stress, diet, and more can cause unnecessary strain on the thyroid and the entire endocrine system. When the thyroid starts to decline, it’s easy for the body to experience low energy levels, sluggish metabolism, poor digestion, and loss of appetite.
What Is The Thyroid?
The small butterfly-shaped gland in the base of the neck is known as the thyroid. It produces hormones that help to regulate metabolism and heart rate control. The two primary hormones, thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), it produces affect every cell in the human body. They travel throughout the bloodstream and deliver energy from food to your cells. This process regulates metabolism at a cellular level.
One thing to keep in mind about the thyroid is that it’s possible to experience many thyroid issues. For example, one person may have an underachieve thyroid (hypothyroidism), while another person may have an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism). The supplements that help one person with a thyroid issue may not help another person with a similar or different issue. One thing is for certain and it is that adaptogens are beneficial because they build adaptive reserve to help the thyroid. Keep reading to learn more about great herbs and supplements for the thyroid.
While selenium is a necessary nutrient in everyone’s diet, it is especially beneficial for optimal thyroid function. It works to assist with the metabolism of thyroid hormones. In fact, the body requires selenium to produce the T3 thyroid hormone. According to clinical studies, selenium can help reduce the levels of antibodies against thyroid peroxidase in people with hypothyroidism. This enzyme plays a role in thyroid hormone production. Selenium is present in Brazil nuts, shiitake mushrooms, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, cabbage, lima beans, brown rice, and spinach.
Known for its anti-cancer benefits, reishi mushroom is one of the most popular medicinal mushrooms in existence. Working to establish balance in the body, reishi mushroom is an adaptogen that helps the body adapt and respond to stressors. It contains triterpenes, glycoproteins, polysaccharides, and beta glucans, all of which support overall wellness. Since stress can affect thyroid function, the belief is that reishi mushrooms help reduce stress and invite balance in the body. Additionally, reishi mushrooms are great sources of selenium.
Anyone with hypothyroidism can benefit from taking a B-vitamin complex supplement. B vitamins work assist with thyroid function and hormone regulation, according to many studies. It’s best to take a B-complex nutritional supplement so that you don’t neglect any of the B vitamins. These nutrients also encourage optimal energy levels, healthy nerve cells, cognitive health, and neurological support.
This is another adaptogen, which is typically used to help lower stress levels in the body. It’s known for balancing cortisol and DHEA, which people commonly refer to as the “healthy aging hormone.” According to studies, high stress levels lead to lower levels of T3 and T4, both of which are important thyroid hormones. Ashwagandha also stimulates the endocrine system, helping to optimize thyroid function.
If the body doesn’t have iodine, it cannot make thyroid hormone. The recommended daily intake of iodine for the average adult is 150 micrograms per day. People with hypothyroidism should discuss iodine supplements or foods with their health care professionals, specifically because iodine can adversely affect hypothyroidism in some cases. Additionally, too much iodine can increase the risk of Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune thyroid disorder. Since the body cannot make iodine, you need to consume it via diet in responsible amounts. Great food sources of iodine include kelp, sea moss, and brown seaweed.