Essential nutrients for maintaining a healthy thyroid  

Thyroid hormones, which regulate metabolism and promote healthy growth and development, require iodine. Thyroid function requires adequate iodine intake to avoid hypothyroidism or goiter. Iodized salt, shellfish, dairy, and eggs are good sources of iodine.

Selenium: This trace mineral is essential for thyroid hormone synthesis and metabolism. Its antioxidant properties protect the thyroid from oxidative damage and inflammation. Selenium deficiency can cause thyroid problems like Hashimoto's thyroiditis and malignancy. Brazil nuts, tuna, shrimp, sardines, beef, chicken, and eggs are selenium-rich foods. 

Zinc: Another thyroid-essential trace mineral is zinc. It aids thyroid hormone production, conversion, and regulation. Zinc deficiency can cause hypothyroidism. Zinc is found in oysters, cattle, chicken, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains. 

Iron is needed for thyroid hormone production and metabolism. Iron-deficiency anemia can cause hypothyroidism. However, too much iron might affect thyroid hormone synthesis. Iron-rich foods include red meat, chicken, fish, beans, lentils, tofu, spinach, and fortified cereals. 

Vitamin D: Vitamin D regulates immunological function and reduces inflammation, which benefit thyroid health. Deficient vitamin D is linked to autoimmune thyroid illnesses like Hashimoto's thyroiditis and Graves' disease. Vitamin D is found in egg yolks, fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines, fortified dairy products, and plant-based milk.

Vitamin B12: Thyroid hormone production and metabolism require B12. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause hypothyroidism. Foods high in vitamin B12 include beef, chicken, fish, dairy, and fortified cereals. 

Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids, which lower inflammation and improve thyroid health.

Vitamins C and E and beta-carotene protect the thyroid gland against oxidative stress and inflammation. Antioxidants are found in berries, citrus fruits, kiwi, spinach, kale, sweet potatoes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.  

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