4 ways to keep your thyroid healthy & happy
It’s thought that up to one in eight women will develop thyroid problems in their lifetime - that’s a huge number!
I typically work with women who have a slow thyroid. I myself live with hypothyroidism, as well, so I coach from a place of experience and understanding.
While there may not be a way to completely avoid thyroid issues, there are four key lifestyle areas that you can focus on to get your thyroid as healthy and happy as possible.
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1. Eat a clean, balanced diet
Often, when women want to lose weight, they jump right into calorie counting and restrictions. When living with a slow thyroid, this can be one of the worst things you can do. Food intake is incredibly important when managing thyroid health… but it’s the quality of the food that matters way more than the quantity.
Healthy thyroids require clean diets filled with whole vegetables, organic proteins, good fats, and healthy carbs and starches. I have an entire blog post dedicated to foods you should eat for a healthy thyroid.
Along the same lines, it does mean women living with a slow thyroid will need to avoid inflammation-causing foods, such as gluten, refined sugar and alcohol. Some of us need to avoid other food groups, such as dairy - it just depends on what your body tolerates.
Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your food! You can - and should - find some “treat” foods that won’t throw your thyroid out of whack. For me, that’s some extra dark chocolate after dinner or a bowl of grain-free chips and salsa. For you, it might be gluten-free pizza with extra cheese! There are plenty of yummy foods you can incorporate into your diet while maintaining thyroid health.
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2. Lower stress levels
When our body feels like it is under chronic stress, it releases our cortisol hormone - which is your “fight or flight” response. This will tell your body to put all of its energy and attention to your extremities so you can protect yourself. This means it turns off some of your other systems that it deems as “less necessary.” Eventually, this will impact the thyroid and change how your body is converting your inactive T4 into active, usable T3.
So, a key part of the Sexy Thyroid Solution is reducing your stress level.
Taking up a slow, calm hobby, such as journaling, drawing or reading. Incorporating a relaxing activity into your evening routine, such as taking a leisurely walk, practicing hatha or yin yoga, or taking a bath. These are some relatively easy ways to reduce your stress levels. I also love incorporating some calming essential oils, such as lavender, to remind my brain that it’s time to slow down. This may seem “woo-woo” to some, but I promise it will help!
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3. Reduce cardio exercises and focus on strength
Remember what I just said about stress and cortisol? Well, it turns out, when we practice long, intensive bouts of cardiovascular exercise, this also releases cortisol! So, if you’re a runner or love a hardcore spin class, I have bad news: this could really be putting a strain on your thyroid.
But exercise is still such an important part of a healthy lifestyle. In this blog post, I go into detail about the best exercises for women with hypothyroidism. Here’s a preview: strength training is best (and as a bonus, this will boost your metabolism!). No, this won’t mean you’ll get bulky, but I guarantee you will feel strong.
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4. Manage mineral intake
I recommend mineral hair testing for most of my clients, because minerals can have a huge impact on the function of your thyroid.
When talking about minerals and thyroid health, many people automatically think iodine is where it’s at. And while it’s important, your calcium, magnesium, potassium and heavy metal levels also impact how your body is converting and using your thyroid hormones.
This YouTube video talks about supplements to help thyroid health. But before recommending any supplements, I really encourage testing to figure out what your body needs.
If all four of these steps feel too daunting to handle all at once, I get it! Start where you can, maybe with one at a time. Focus on that one part of your lifestyle and see how you feel. Eventually, work your way up to at least exploring each of these tips to see what’s right for you.
As always, if you need any support on your thyroid health journey, please contact me. We can work together on your customized Sexy Thyroid Solution.