In the last few articles, we’ve been talking about the trio of hormones: Cortisol, Estrogen, and Thyroid. We went into pretty deep details about the first two, and now it’s time to turn to the Thyroid. The Thyroid plays a huge role in our bodies. It helps to regulate our heart rates, maintain healthy skin, and regulate our metabolism. And when it’s not working properly, you will know it. An imbalanced thyroid can dry out your skin, rob you of your energy, lead to depression, and of course, play games with your weight.
Unlike the other hormones we have talked about that typically cause weight gain, your thyroid can both cause both weight gain and weight loss. When it is too sluggish, a condition called hypothyroidism, it will cause you to gain weight. When it is overworked, a condition called hyperthyroidism, it will cause weight loss.
Of all people with thyroid disease, most experience hypothyroidism and gain weight because of it. How does it work? In hypothyroidism, your body lacks sufficient amounts of the thyroid hormone. And since the Thyroid hormone is known to be in control of the body’s metabolism, it only makes sense that people who lack the hormone have low metabolisms. And, as we all know, those with a low metabolism put on weight much more quickly than those with a high metabolism.
How do you know if you have hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism is actually much more common than you may think. In fact, it is estimated that over 20 million Americans suffer from hypothyroidism. The only way to definitely diagnose it is to speak to a doctor. But here are some signs and symptoms to look for:
• Weight gain
• Dry hair or skin
• Hair loss
• Frequent muscle cramps
• Memory loss
• Decrease in libido
So what can you do to improve the functioning of your Thyroid?
1) Indulge in antioxidants – Antioxidants are found in natural foods like fruits, vegetables, and wine (you’re welcome!). Without getting too complicated, they help to protect your cells. They can also help to keep the thyroid healthy. Foods like cherries, tomatoes, squash, and blueberries are all loaded with antioxidants and can help to balance out your thyroid.
2) Eat more selenium – Selenium is a mineral that mimics the role of antioxidants. It contains enzymes that help to protect the thyroid when it encounters stressful situations. It can be found in things like turkey, sunflower seeds, tuna, and Brazil nuts.
3) Eat more whole grains & vegetables – Here we are, back to our healthy food choices again. As we always say, choose whole grains over refined grains. Refined grains like pasta, white rice, and bread can all be hard on your thyroid. Instead, opt for things like quinoa and broccoli.
4) Calm your Cortisol levels – That’s right, the trio of hormones we are talking about are all intertwined. Reduce your Cortisol levels and your thyroid will thank you.
Again, it all comes down to making healthy lifestyle choices. If you can live by the rules of your Macros profile, you can start to manage all of the three hormones we recently spoke about.
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