Next to muscle mass, glandular imbalances are certainly influential in regulating the body’s basal metabolic rate. For instance, if the body is low in iodine, thyroid function is reduced and slows the metabolism. Thyroid supplements can be used to help support your thyroid.
Low Thyroid Functioning
When the thyroid gland doesn’t make enough hormones to meet the body’s needs, metabolism is reduced. In general, about 5-10 pounds of extra body fat can be attributed to a sluggish thyroid, even more depending on the severity of hypothyroidism.
Two hormones are made by the thyroid: T3 (thyroid 3) and T4 (the more active hormone made from T3.) When it comes to weight management, these are the hormones that affect body temperature and metabolism. Oftentimes hypothyroidism develops slowly so many don’t realize the symptoms. Common symptoms of low thyroid functioning include:
- a puffy face
- cold intolerance
- joint and muscle pain
- dry skin
- dry, thinning hair
- decreased sweating
- heavy or irregular menstrual periods and impaired fertility
- slowed heart rate
- elevated cholesterol
- hoarse voice
- problems with concentration
- weight gain
The most common cause of low thyroid functioning is too little iodine in the diet. The iodine content of food is dependent on the iodine content of the soil. Oceans hold the greatest content of the world’s iodine and for it to be deposited into the soil ocean water must evaporate into the atmosphere by sunlight and then enter the soil through rain. Areas of iodine deficiency tend to be located inland and at higher altitudes.
Therefore, the best dietary sources of iodine include seafood, algae, and seaweed. The average Japanese diet contains significant levels of dietary iodine from 5200 to 13,000 mcg, with ½ of that derived from kombu alone. The average American diet contains only approximately 167 mcg of iodine.
Foods With Iodine
See the chart below from the National Institutes of Health to determine how many iodine foods do you consume daily:
Approximate Micrograms (mcg) per serving
|Seaweed, whole or sheet, 1 g||16 – 2984|
|Cod, baked, 3 ounces||99|
|Yogurt, plain, low-fat, 1 cup||75|
|Iodized salt, 1.5 g (approx 1/4 t)||71|
|Milk, reduced fat, 1 cup||56|
|Fish sticks, 3 ounces||54|
|Fruit cocktail in heavy syrup, canned, 1/2 cup||42|
|Shrimp, 3 ounces||35|
|Macaroni, enriched, boiled, 1 cup||27|
|Egg, 1 large||24|
|Tuna, canned in oil, drained, 3 ounces||17|
|Prunes, dired, 5 single||13|
|Cheddar cheese, 1 ounce||12|
|Raisin Bran cereal, 1 cup||11|
|Apple juice, 1 cup||7|
|Green peas, frozen, boiled, 1/2 cup||3|
|Banana, 1 medium||3|
Foods that Impair Thyroid Activity
A number of foods have been shown to reduce thyroid activity. And while useful if the thyroid is in a hyper state, these foods should be used in small amounts (or avoided completely) if you suspect your thyroid is not operating at a healthy level: Lima beans, sweet potatoes, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, turnips, canola, soy, millet, and flax.
Thyroid Supplements: Support for the Thyroid
Nature’s Sunshine has several thyroid supplements that provide quality dietary sources of iodine and help to build and support your thyroid gland.
Thyroid Support provides raw glandular extracts, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, along with kelp and nettles, to nourish the thyroid gland and enhance the actions of thyroid hormones to support a healthy metabolism.
Kelp provides iodine and trace minerals to help maintain energy, support metabolism and for glandular support. Each capsule provides 757 mcg of iodine.
Dulse is a type of red seaweed that grows on rocks at the low tide line in the North Atlantic and Northwest Pacific oceans where currents are strong and the bottom is clean. It provides 500 mcg of iodine in ½ teaspoon
7-Keto stimulates thyroid production and supports weight management goals. Supplementing with 7-Keto may increase the production of thyroid hormone T-3, and is especially useful when trying to lower the body’s weight set point.