Our hormones control our behavior – they are responsible for our mood, stress levels, libido, muscle function, fat burning, hunger and other functions as well. They are produced and distributed by the endocrine system, which consists of the adrenals, pituitary and thyroid glands. Any kind of hormonal imbalance can have a profound negative impact on our whole system and disrupt our emotions.
The thyroid gland sits just below the central part of the neck and is responsible for regulating our metabolism. It produces a variety of thyroid hormones that control our temperature and energy expenditure, and also regulates the levels of hormones in our body. When the hormones are in balance, the body functions as it should – however, stress and other factors can throw these hormones out of balance which will result in numerous problems.
The two main disorders associated with the thyroid gland are hypo and hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism is a serious problem which occurs due to insufficient levels of thyroid hormones and can lead towards weight gain, constipation, chronic fatigue and even depression.
In order to keep your thyroid working properly and resolve hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, you can add the following foods into your diet:
The metabolism is significantly slowed down in cases of hypothyroidism. In order for the thyroid to function properly and distribute hormones throughout the body, it needs to be able to absorb iodine from food. When the levels of iodine fall too low, your metabolism becomes sluggish and you won’t be able to lose fat. Luckily, this can be fixed by consuming seaweeds such as kelp. Seaweeds are full of iodine which can accelerate your metabolism and improve your body’s fat-burning ability. Kelp is also very alkaline, so it will turn your body’s pH value to alkaline and reduce the risk of several diseases and conditions. This will improve your digestion as well and help you lose weight faster than before.
2. Brazil nuts
Brazil nuts are rich in selenium, an important mineral that is important for the production of thyroid hormones and the regulation of our mood. People suffering from hypothyroidism usually experience fatigue and depression as thyroid disorders can interrupt the function of neurotransmitter receptors in the brain and prevent the hormones responsible for our mood to work their magic. Selenium can increase the levels of the T3 thyroid hormones and promote the conversion to T4, effectively improving your mood and metabolism as well.
Brazil nuts are one of the best dietary sources of selenium. Eat a few every day to keep your selenium intake in check, but make sure not to eat more than that, as too much selenium is toxic.
Maca is a powerful Peruvian herb that can easily restore hormonal balance and improve your libido as well. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids and phytonutrients which can restore the hormonal balance in your body. Maca is especially great for your endocrine system – it improves the communication between the pituitary gland and brain and the function of your adrenals as well, which will ensure proper hormone production and balance.
When buying maca, make sure to get the gelatinized form, which is more digestible and can improve your nutrient absorption. Furthermore, raw maca contains goitrogens which can inhibit your thyroid function, while gelatinized maca can eliminate them and improve your thyroid health. Maca can be found in powdered or capsule form, and works great when added to smoothies or various dishes.
Lentils are the best choice for fighting fatigue and improving your mood. They are rich in many vitamins from the B group (B1, B6) – B1 fuels your brain with glucose, while vitamin B6 can boost the production of serotonin in your brain and improve your mood. Lentils are rich in folate as well, and only a cup of them contain more than 30% of the recommended daily allowance of fiber, which will help your digestive system work properly.
5. Vega One
Vega One is a nutritional shake that contains protein, fiber and a variety of other important nutrients. The shake will curb your cravings, keep your energy up and assist in weight loss. Add some of the shake in your morning smoothie and it will easily restore the balance of your hormones.