There’s something about spring that makes us want a fresh start. We throw open the windows, pull the junk out of our homes, and scrub and dust until everything is finally clean again.
But did you know that your body needs a spring-cleaning too? Spring is a great time to give your diet a good look and throw out habits that have crept in through the holiday season and winter months.
It’s also the perfect time to give your thyroid a fresh start with a detox. Over time, our bodies collect things just like our homes do. But instead of junk and dust, it collects chemicals, toxins, and heavy metals.
When your thyroid needs a detox, you can experience many frustrating symptoms. Dr. Christianson talks about them in his article, Does Your Thyroid Need a Detox? Here are a few common ones:
- Chronic fatigue
- Depression and anxiety
- Digestive problems
- Autoimmune disease
- Worsening of thyroid disease
Now that we know what to look for, let’s examine some tips for spring-cleaning your thyroid.
Foods that Support Thyroid Health
First, we’ll look at diet. According to The Thyroid Reset Diet by Dr. Christianson, a low-iodine diet is ideal for thyroid health. But low-iodine isn’t enough to maintain your health long-term. You need a rich, fulfilling range of foods to optimize your thyroid health.
Fortunately, there are a lot of great, healthy foods out there that are also low in iodine, including:
- Lean poultry
- Nuts and seeds
- Whole grains
- Low iodine seafood
Let’s look closer at two of these food categories: vegetables and beans.
You have probably heard about the idea of five a day, but are you getting your five?
A serving of vegetables for adults is about 1 cup uncooked. Fruit and veggies both count. An easy way to get your five a day is to have a serving veggies with lunch, two with dinner, fruit with breakfast, and fruit once or twice as a snack.
Vegetables are packed with crucial nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Getting a variety of vegetables allows you to get a balance of nutrients in your diet. For example, leafy greens contain Vitamin K, calcium, and magnesium. One serving of broccoli contains twice the Vitamin C you need in a day. And peas contain fiber, protein, Vitamins A, C, and K, and some B Vitamins.
By varying your vegetable intake throughout the day, you will support your thyroid and overall health. Adding more vegetables also supports weight loss by improving your energy levels, helping you stay hydrated, and keeping you full longer.
Lots of fad diets exclude beans. That has left some people scared of them. The less often you eat them the harder they are to digest. The reality is that beans are a great nutritional option with all sorts of health benefits. Let’s review a few of them.
First, they are loaded with antioxidants. You’ve probably heard about antioxidants in blueberries, green tea, turmeric, and pomegranates. Beans are actually a better source than those foods. They also have unique antioxidants that block weight gain and diabetes-causing enzymes. Check out mung and adzuki beans for the highest levels of antioxidants.
Second, beans lower blood pressure and cholesterol and reduce cancer risk. Those are some powerful benefits! Studies have shown that they can significantly lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure and lower cholesterol enough to decrease heart disease risks by 25%.
Third, studies have shown that over 4-8 weeks of adding beans to their diet regularly, participants were eating less food, had better digestive health, and saw substantial fat loss and energy level improvements.
Plus, there are many types of beans, so you’re not stuck with a diet of black beans and pinto beans. Chickpeas, green beans, tofu, and tiger nuts are just a few additional options for you to explore.
Foods to Avoid
In the previous section, we discussed the benefits of a low-iodine diet, which brings us to the category of food that is important to avoid or significantly reduce: iodine.
While iodine is an essential nutrient for your thyroid, you only need 150 micrograms per day! That’s not much, and it’s easy to get an excess. Processed foods are a big culprit for excess iodine, as are saltwater fish, shellfish, and seaweed products. Others include:
- Cured meats
- Most dairy products
- Egg yolks (whites are okay)
- Soy products
- Red dye #3
- Commercial breads and baked goods
Some cosmetics and supplements are hidden sources of iodine, so take a closer look at what you put on your body as well. When your body has a healthy amount of iodine, your thyroid can heal and function correctly.
Nutrients to Add to Your Daily Diet
Having the proper nutrients allows your body and thyroid to function as they should. While it’s ideal to get many of those from a healthy diet, it’s impossible to get all of them there.
Several crucial vitamins play essential roles in your overall health, and multivitamins can help you maintain the optimum levels. These nutrients are:
- B Vitamins
- Fat-soluble Vitamins
- Trace minerals
- Essential fats
- Vitamin D
When you add thyroid disease into the equation, you add a few other vital nutrients that you can support through supplements:
- Omega 3 fats
- Resistant Starch
- Nigella Sativa
When looking into multivitamins and supplements, watch out for iodine and B6. Too much of these can cause issues with your thyroid health.
Thyroid Specific Formulations are supplements created with thyroid disease in mind. They have been shown to improve and even reverse thyroid disease, and it’s an easy way to get everything your body needs.
Don’t Listen to Diet Fads
There are a lot of diets out there that claim to be the cure for thyroid disease. Unfortunately, these diets are restrictive, not often successful, and can even be damaging. Fad diets often encourage you to cut out entire food groups, leading to deficiencies and overconsumption. It’s much better to maintain a healthy, balanced diet with a variety of foods and a focus on low-iodine intake.
And as always, your Integrative Health Naturopathic Doctor is here for you. Schedule an appointment today to explore a personalized plan for achieving your health goals. They can also give you more information on TSF supplements, detoxing, and ways to improve your diet.
P.S. Whenever you are ready, here is how I can help you now:
1. Schedule a complimentary consultation with one of my team of naturopathic doctors. This is a great starting point for assessing your unique health needs and treatment options.
2. Need A Thyroid Supplement Recommendation? Take My Thyroid Specific Formulations Quiz Now
3. Need a Personalized Supplement? Check out My Thyroid Specific Formulations
4. Download and use my Favorite Recipes Cookbook Here
5. Check out my podcast Medical Myths, Legends, and Fairytales Here
Dr. C’s gift for figuring out what really works has helped hundreds of thousands of people reverse thyroid disease, lose weight, diabetes, and regain energy. Learn more about the surprising story that started his quest.