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
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
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.