This past January was Nationally Thyroid Awareness Month! It led us to reflect on the ability for food to affect Thyroid health and how we can strengthen our Thyroid. Did you know that 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease? In addition, 60% of those affected are unaware that they have a thyroid issue. Women are more likely than men to suffer from thyroid issues with one in eight women developing a thyroid condition in her lifetime. Understanding the thyroid and how to keep it healthy is vital to maintaining health and balance in the rest of the body.
What is the Thyroid?
It’s a gland that is located on the front of the neck, below the larynx. The thyroid is most known for its role in metabolism, regulating the metabolic rate of every cell in the body. The thyroid is similar to a thermostat, in that it regulates the amount of heat (energy) that is being produced. Just like how you want the temperature of your house to stay at a steady temperature, you also want your metabolism to stay steady – not too high (fast) and not too low (slow). The health of the thyroid ensures a consistent metabolism and therefore a consistent weight. The thyroid is also involved in digestion, muscle control, maintaining brain health and development, maintaining the integrity of the bones, and is even involved in regulating mood.
The thyroid is part of the endocrine system which is responsible for producing and regulating all the hormones in the body. There are 3 hormones that the thyroid produces: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) are most commonly referred to as thyroid hormones, and calcitonin which helps to regulate calcium levels. If the thyroid is not producing adequate amounts of these hormones, or even producing too much, it will cause imbalances in the body; such as blood sugar imbalances, temperature regulation issues, and hormone imbalances. The body thrives off of being in homeostasis/balance, so anything that is off balance will create problems within the body. These imbalances then lead to signs and symptoms that something is “off”.
Common Signs of Thyroid Dysfunction:
- Trouble losing weight or sudden weight gain (hypothyroid)
- Sudden weight loss (hyperthyroid)
- Cognitive issues (poor memory, brain fog)
- Menstrual issues and fertility problems
- Sensitivity to cold
- Susceptible to infections and takes longer to heal
There are two main classifications of thyroid disease – hyperthyroidism, where the thyroid is producing too much; or hypothyroidism, where the thyroid is not producing enough. Thyroid disease can also be due to an autoimmune condition: Hashimoto’s or Grave’s disease. While sometimes Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism can present in the same person, the diseases are not the same.
How Moringa Can Help Thyroid Health:
Moringa contains most of the key nutrients known to help support healthy thyroid function.
- Selenium deficiency is often associated with increased rate of thyroid disease. Selenium areas can decrease thyroid antibody levels in those with an autoimmune thyroid issue. Moringa contains 10mcg of selenium per 100g.
- Zinc plays an import role in thyroid hormone production by converting T4 into T3 (T3 is the more powerful thyroid hormone); and has been shown to increase T3 levels in the body. 100g of moringa contains 600mcg of zinc.
- Moringa is also high in the key vitamins that assist in thyroid hormone production: vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, and B vitamins.
In addition, moringa is known for giving that natural energy boost that most people with thyroid issues are looking for. One of the biggest complaints and symptoms of thyroid disease is fatigue and lethargy. Therefore, moringa is the perfect potion to help combat the fatigue while also supporting the health of the thyroid.
New to moringa? We suggest starting with Kuli Kuli’s Organic Pure Moringa Powder!
Exercise is also important for stimulation of the thyroid gland. Improvement in metabolic rate due to exercise is a result of the effect that exercise has on thyroid gland since it’s responsible for metabolism. So, take one of our moringa wellness shots and head out for a walk, run, or hike and help support your thyroid!