Not long ago, natural health guru JJ Smith debuted a very special pumpkin-spice smoothie on The Dr. Oz Show. Dr. Oz took one swig and raved: “It’s like you’re having pumpkin pie!” More than just delicious, the recipe boasts a secret superpower: It’s loaded with ingredients that “boost your thyroid speed and combat weight gain,” the doc noted. His comments kicked off an internet frenzy, and women across the country began test-driving the drink. To date, devotees have sipped off as much as a size in five days. “Even if you’re not a pumpkin-spice fan,” Smith promises, “there are seasonal ingredients you’ll love that can do great things for your thyroid and waist”
The thyroid is an “itty-bitty gland hidden beneath the Adam’s apple that affects your body in a really big way,” according to Dr. Oz. Responsible for regulating crucial functions like breathing and fat burning, if your thyroid is healthy, you’re likely slim and invigorated. And if you’re not? There’s a good chance the stress of modern life has left your thyroid in need of TLC. “Eating for a healthy thyroid is just plain smart for everyone,” says Smith. “And smoothies make it easy. You load your blender with the best ingredients and have a meal ready in seconds.”
What ingredients should you put in your smoothies for thyroid health?
Smith shared the thyroid’s favorite fall smoothie fixin’s, so pick your favorites or try them all — no matter which you blend up, the plan in Smith’s 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse can help you lose fat fastest. But Smith says many women simply swap a smoothie for one meal a day and find themselves heading briskly to a happy weight!
Like many fruits, pumpkin is rich in vitamin C, a thyroid pick-me-up that speeds fat burn by 25 percent. Also key: “Pumpkins are full of fiber,” said Dr. Oz. That includes lots of pectin, a gel-like fiber that “grabs” and expels up to 75 percent of thyroid-slowing toxins.
Bonus: Pectin blunts hunger better than many diet pills and releases compounds that are study-proven to help melt belly fat 86 percent faster. Other top pectin sources: Apples, pears, and bananas.
New research shows eating lots of protein-rich foods is strongly linked to the healthiest thyroid. Turns out, protein’s amino acids heal and bolster delicate thyroid tissue. Smith is a fan of plant-based protein powder, which “blends well in any smoothie,” she says.
Per Dr. Oz, our thyroids need plenty of the amino acid tyrosine and the mineral selenium to thrive — and most of us don’t get enough. Add daily doses to your menus, and you could see a 38 percent uptick in the production of thyroid hormones, accompanied by a 55 percent rise in daytime energy, German researchers say. Smith’s smoothie fix: Just whip in tyrosine-rich almond milk and selenium-rich pumpkin seeds, flaxseed, and Brazil nuts.
Spices with Kick
When a top thyroid expert surveyed thousands of patients, most reported that extra spices significantly reduced slow-thyroid symptoms. Why? Studies confirm spices reduce thyroid-stalling inflammation caused by sugar, toxins, and other irritants. “Cinnamon and ginger, for example, are potent natural anti-inflammatories,” reveals Smith. Plus, warming spices like ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, and even cayenne heat metabolism by up to 25 percent!
Sweet and Zippy Greens
Research shows there’s a direct connection between getting enough zinc and having a peppy thyroid. That’s why Smith calls for adding leafy greens in most smoothies. Her favorite? “Baby spinach is pleasant tasting, not bitter at all,” she shares. Avocado, berries, and mango also provide a nice hit of zinc.
What kind of results can you expect drinking smoothies for thyroid health?
Struggling with fatigue, weight gain and high blood sugar — all signs of a thyroid in need of rescue — Juliette Johnson Greene got her doctor’s blessing to try Smith’s smoothie approach. Not a pumpkin fan, she whipped up frozen peaches (an alternate source of thyroid-healing vitamin C and pectin) along with spinach, bananas, flaxseed, almond milk, and more. “My hunger was controlled well, especially when I added protein powder,” shares the South Carolina great-grandmother, 68, who had two smoothies most days. Did her thyroid perk up? Yep! “My metabolism started kicking right away!” Juliette, who also sipped lots of water daily and traded fried chicken dinners for salmon with veggies, shed 46 pounds in mere months. “The fat’s still dropping. Plus, my skin glows, I’m happy all the time and my sleep is so good,” she raves. “Smoothies make it fun to eat really healthy things. I tell all of my family and friends about it!”
What kinds of smoothies can you make for thyroid health?
Want to get started? These thyroid-boosting smoothies can kickstart your journey! Always get your doctor’s okay to try a new diet, and never stop a prescription unless your doctor advises you to.
AUTUMN POWER RED: Blitz 1⁄2 cup pomegranate juice, 1 cup frozen berries, 1 cup frozen cauliflower, 1 banana, 1 cup nut milk, 1 cup kale, and 1 tablespoon flax.
GREEN APPLE CRISP: Blitz 1 diced apple, 1 banana, 2 cups spinach, 1⁄4 cup nuts, 1 cup oat or nut milk, 1⁄4 cup oats, ice, and a dash of vanilla and cinnamon.
BLACKBERRY PEAR: Blitz 1 cup frozen blackberries, 1 pear, 2 cups greens, 1 tablespoon flax, 1 and 1⁄2 cups nut milk, dash vanilla, and ginger.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.