WHAT IS METABOLISM?
Before we go ahead explaining what thyroid is, we need to first explain the meaning of metabolism of which thyroid plays a vital role on. Metabolism simply refers to the process of converting food into the energy that allows your body to function properly. People who have a fast metabolism use up calories more quickly than those with slower metabolisms and one way you can increase your metabolism is by exercising. I hope you get that?
WHAT IS THYROID?
The thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland in the centre of the neck, is the master gland of metabolism. Thyroid hormones play a vital role in regulating metabolism and energy use and affect almost all of the body’s organs. When thyroid is affected at the early stages, a person may not notice any symptoms. However, without treatment, hypothyroidism can lead to severe complications, such as infertility and heart disease.
WHAT IS HYPOTHYROIDISM?
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is not able to produce enough thyroid hormone. Since the main purpose of thyroid hormone is to regulate the body’s metabolism, it is understandable that people with this condition will have symptoms associated with a slow metabolism and other complications.
FUNCTIONS OF THYROID GLAND
The thyroid gland plays a vital role in the metabolism, growth and development of the human body. It helps to regulate many body functions by constantly releasing a steady amount of thyroid hormones into the bloodstream. The thyroid gland also produces three important hormones: Triiodothyronine, also known as T3, Tetraiodothyronine, also called thyroxine or T4 and Calcitonin.
TIPS FOR HEALTHY THYROID
STAY LEAN AND FIT: A 2013 study shows that obesity is linked to the development of thyroid cancer. So therefore, one needs to maintain a healthy weight with clean eating and exercise in order to keep thyroid gland healthy.
INCREASE IODINE INTAKE: Iodine is essential for thyroid health. Hormones such as Tetraiodothyronine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) are named T4 and T3 respectively due to the number of iodine molecules they possess. Iodine deficiency is common, but iodine intake can be fortified by consuming dairy products and seafood.
EAT NUTS: Nuts have high selenium content which is important to the thyroid as it is needed to convert thyroid hormone T4 to T3 as the enzymes required for this conversion are actually dependent on selenium. It is also a potent antioxidant, protecting the gland from oxidative stress. Broccoli, butter, eggs, fish, garlic, onion, turnips and seafood are also fantastic sources of selenium.
HIT THE GYM: Thyroid hormones help to regulate body weight. People with low levels of thyroid hormones can experience weight gain and an increase in body mass index (BMI) while a high level of hormones can result in weight loss. Therefore, hit the gym to control weight gain or loss.
INCREASE INTAKE OF ANTI-OXIDANTS: The thyroid is very susceptible to oxidative stress. Berries like strawberries, raspberries and colourful vegetables that are high in anti-oxidants are extremely helpful to protect the thyroid. They are also must-haves if someone is suffering from an autoimmune thyroid disorder.
Visit your physician for more information.