Metabolism and the Thyroid

 

In a recent post I banged on and on about how important supporting and loving our liver is when it comes to our metabolism (see here) – especially for those of us living with Hashimoto’s and the inevitable weight gain that comes with it. 

 

1 of 3 factors in why my metabolism goes on holidays, more often than not.

 

Factor #2 is actually….da da daaaaaa….the thyroid!  Yep, that butterfly-shaped gland located in the centre of our throat - often referred to as our body’s furnace.

 

This amazing little gland controls a myriad of our body’s functions - our metabolism, body temperature, muscle strength, appetite and the health of a number of our organs, including the heart, brain, kidneys and reproductive system.

 

So keeping it as super simple as possible (for my own understanding), the below is how I personally see the function of the thyroid, and the reason why, when not functioning properly, it can have an adverse effect on our weight:

 

  • To perform all of these essential tasks, our thyroid uses iodine from our food to produce the hormones - T3, T4 and Reverse T3.
  • T3 and T4 travel through our bloodstream, converting oxygen and calories to energy (influencing our metabolism).
  • T3 is the superhero of a fast metabolism.
  • Reverse T3 can actually block the superhero T3 from doing its thang.
  • Reverse T3 isn’t a bady, it is our bodies protection response to starvation. 
  • When our thyroid is compromised (Hashimoto’s, hypothyroidism, etc), any change to our diet can trigger our body’s “starvation” response – making it hold onto our fat stores.
  • End result = our body goes from a burning machine to a storing machine.

 

So apart from working on the root cause of your own personal thyroid issues  (for me that means working on my autoimmune issue), my “take-away” from the above has been to focus on:

 

Stress levels | keeping them as even as possible, as they strongly influence our hormones (easier said than done!);

Food | ensuring I remove any and all inflammatory and immune reacting foods.  Eating foods that support good gut health, balance my hormones and reduce inflammation in my body – all brilliant for maintaining a healthy thyroid!

 Iodine | yes, I know it’s controversial, especially with Hashimoto’s, but in working with my Hashimoto specialist, I’ve been increasing the amount of iodine rich foods in my diet, which includes:

  •  Marine foods – including salmon and shell fish
  • Leafy green vegetables, including seaweed/kelp
  • Himalayan pink salt – containing 84 trace minerals needed by the body, including iodine
  • Organic eggs
  • Organic strawberries

 

 

 

Clams & Coconut

(serves 2)

 

500g fresh clams, cleaned | 1 tbsp coconut oil | 1 small leek finely sliced | 2 celery stalks, finely sliced | 1 tin (440ml) organic full fat coconut milk | himalayan salt | handful of parsley, roughly chopped

 

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In a medium sized pot over a low-medium heat, melt the coconut oil and saute the leek and celery until softened.  Pour in the coconut milk and bring to a gentle simmer (do not boil) before adding the clams and popping on the lid.  Allow to cook for approximately 4-5 minutes, until all the clams have opened.  Discard any unopened clams.

Season to taste and add parsley before serving.

 

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