Updated: Jan 17
Let's talk about important nutrients/foods for optimal thyroid function which double as the vitamin panel you should discuss with your health care practitioners when determining thyroid function.
1. Iodine is the backbone of the thyroid hormone. A deficiency in iodine is known to contribute to hypothyroidism and goiters. Food sources of iodine include kombu, dulse, nori, wakame, kelp. Unfortunately, you are not getting iodine naturally from sea salt.
2. Selenium is responsible for conversion of T4 hormone to the T3 which is the active thyroid hormone. Food sources of selenium are Brazil nuts, scallops, smoked herring.
3. Zinc must be adequate as well for proper thyroid function and can be found in foods such as nuts, pumpkin seeds, spinach, chicken, oysters.
4. Vitamin D3- which if you live above the Mason Dixon line your level is likely less than optimal and unfortunately the older you get the harder it is for you to absorb vitamin D through sunlight. Vitamin D3 is responsible for helping the T3 hormone bind to receptors on cells. It can affect our gene expression and overall metabolism.
5. Vitamin A is also important in the binding of thyroid hormone to the receptors of cells. Food sources of Vitamin A are dandelion greens, spinach, eggs, carrots, sweet potato, kale.
6. Omega 3s help in the production of thyroid hormone as well as bringing down inflammation, which within itself can have an effect on thyroid function. Food sources are salmon, sardines, flaxseed and walnuts.
7. B vitamins support healthy thyroid function as well and are found in leafy greens.
Happy eating :)
Katie Morra MS, RD, LDN, IFMCP is an Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner and Registered Dietitian specializing in gut health, the microbiome, and nutrition. Her functional medicine nutrition practice is based in Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C.
Katie focuses on the root causes of inflammation, autoimmune disease, irritable bowel syndrome, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, candida overgrowth, food sensitivities and leaky gut, amongst other chronic disease states.