Is your thyroid underactive? It seems every second person, especially women, are really battling with this pandemic right now. If you aren’t sure, or haven’t had a test, some of these symptoms may apply if you have hypothyroidism:
- Battle to lose weight
- Edema – water retention
- Abnormal menstrual cycles
- Dry skin
- Sluggish, lack of motivation
- Chronic constipation
- Poor digestion
- Easily fatigued, tired and sleepy
- Poor circulation
- Cold hands and feet
- Hair loss, thinning hair
- Hormonal imbalances
- High cholesterol
The Role of Protein
If you think this may describe you, consider the role protein plays in keeping your thyroid healthy. About 20% of our daily calories should come from protein, which equates to roughly 90-125g for the average woman. However, this will change depending on whether you are very active or sedentary, how much you weight, if you are pregnant, ill, recovering from surgery, elderly and various other circumstances. The secret here is to get enough protein – too many people simply don’t get enough for their needs.
Here is a rough guide as to what you should be looking at in terms of protein daily (and remember ‘complete’ protein is animal protein, not legumes and pulses which can slow thyroid function):
- If you weigh 56-60kg you need 75-94g
- If you weigh 68-70kg you need 90-113g
- If you weigh 80kg you need 105-131g
- If you weigh 90+kg you need 120-150g, more if you weigh more
Another way to work it out is to reckon on around 0.6g to 0.75g of protein per 500g body weight, but the more active you are the more you need. Say you need 90g per day of protein, then eat 30g at each of 3 meals, or divide it up 20, 40, 30g – something like that. Dividing it up will also help you to control your blood sugar. Remember to add fat to your protein or eat the fat ON the protein (like a lamb chop with its fat) and some vegetables. You also want to be “nutritionally wealthy” in all you eat, so eat quality cuts and quality fat and veggies, not processed. Grass-fed, pasture-reared and wild-caught are all words you should be looking for.
Vegan/vegetarian diets can spell disaster for the thyroid – one of the world experts, Dr Ray Peat PhD has this to say: “One thing that happens in the vegetable diet, heavily based on [the] cabbage family, or beans, lentils and nuts, these proteins, in quality, rank about 15 times lower than the highest quality protein. And so even though a person might think they’re eating nothing but protein rich foods, beans and nuts, their quality is so low that their liver simply can’t respond to the thyroid.” The liver is pivotal to thyroid function, metabolic rate and weight loss. Increase your intake of proteins that help you eat the “whole animal,” as they are pro-thyroid, pro-metabolic and help nourish the liver.
You want to be thinking about eating protein which mimics the whole animal, as people used to do decades ago, but not so much today. This means including more offal, bone broths, gelatin and collagen – as these nourish your liver. You can also take my Pure Hydrolysed Collagen which has been shown to be very helpful in improving thyroid function in many people. Always try something natural before you try the drugs, you may find you don’t need them.
Summary – NATURAL THYROID SUPPORT
- As mentioned, get enough “complete” animal protein – your liver needs it to convert your thyroid hormone and prevent inflammation
- Eat a low carbohydrate diet, but NOT a very low carb diet, don’t go under 50g carbs a day
- Eat more thyroid-supporting fats to your diet like coconut oil and butter – both of which are excellent for the thyroid.
- Dump all the polyunsaturated fats – they only suppress thyroid function and are inflammatory
- Make sure your blood sugar and insulin are stable
- Get thyroid-sabotaging foods like soy out of your diet!! Don’t touch them.
- Eliminate as much stress in your life as you possibly can – get enough sleep too – these all help to support thyroid function
- Distil your water to avoid the thyroid-suppressing fluoride – and the same goes for toothpaste (you will find distillers and fluoride-free toothpaste in my online store)
- Don’t take added calcium – you get enough in your food and it will interfere with your thyroid