Growing evidence, including a new Duke University study, shows our “metabolism gland” takes a beating in the modern world. In fact, experts estimate that 40 million of us are in serious need of a thyroid boost. Dr. Oz to the rescue! His arsenal of science-backed secrets is proven to jump-start a sluggish thyroid, “so you can burn more fat, feel more energized, and wake up your metabolism like never before,” he recently promised on DoctorOz.com. How well do his tips work? Women report using them to totally recharge their health as they shed a pound a day — or more!
Touch your neck at the bottom of your throat and swallow. Feel a little bump touch your fingers? “That’s your thyroid,” Dr. Oz has said. The tiny bump churns out hormones that control a vast number of cellular and organ functions — and when we don’t have enough thyroid hormones, the rate at which we turn calories into energy slows, as do systems that control everything from hair growth to heart rate.
“Stress, everyday toxins, poor nutrition, even chronic dieting can all make it hard for the thyroid to function properly,” notes Kent Holtorf, MD, head of the National Academy of Hypothyroidism. “No matter what shape you’re in now, there are only upsides to taking better care of your thyroid.”
Rev Your Thyroid
Dr. Holtorf gives a big thumbs-up to Dr. Oz’s latest thyroid jump-starting strategies, which, he says, are both potent and oh-so practical in the real world.
Upgrade your breakfast.
“One thing you need every morning is 30 grams of protein to fire up your thyroid,” Dr. Oz said. Eggs and turkey sausage or a smoothie with protein powder will do the trick nicely. Turns out, protein is a building block of thyroid hormones — and a high-protein breakfast has been shown to increase levels of thyroid hormones. It also helps keep hunger down all day!
Skip the rough stuff.
When Dr. Oz’s daughter Zoe developed thyroid issues, her dad coached her to trade foods that are often highly inflammatory, like ultra-processed fare, wheat, and dairy, for anti-inflammatory foods, like veggies, fruit, nuts, seafood, spices, and healthy fats. Dr. Holtorf explains that inflammatory foods trigger the release of chemicals that block cells’ ability to use thyroid hormones. Dr. Holtorf adds that as inflammation subsides, thyroid hormones perk up nicely, boosting calorie burn by about 500 calories a day!
Go for the smart salt.
Dr. Oz has called iodine “the key ingredient you need for your thyroid.” We can’t make the thyroid hormones without it — and that’s the reason it’s been added to table salt since the 1920s. But many of us don’t get enough of the nutrient.
One reason: The popularity of gourmet salt (like kosher salt and sea salt) means up to 80 percent of what we shake on our food “no longer has iodine added to it,” Dr. Oz reported. Making matters worse, common toxins (which Duke scientists found hiding in even the most common household dust) can prevent iodine from being absorbed. Luckily, adding a little “ordinary” salt back into your diet is typically all it takes to restore the production of thyroid hormones. Dr. Oz’s Rx: “A pinch of iodized table salt every day.”
Bonus: Selenium is another nutrient crucial to thyroid function, helping activate the hormones. Dr. Holtorf says there’s even evidence it helps fight autoimmune thyroid conditions. The best source? Brazil nuts. Dr. Oz recently tweeted: “Eat two Brazil nuts a day for thyroid health.”
Happy Thyroid Sample Menu
To amp your “metabolism gland” Dr. Oz’s way, trade thyroid-inflaming fare (processed food, wheat, and dairy) for inflammation soothing options (like lean protein, veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds, glutenfree grains, and healthy fat).
Also, add a daily pinch of iodized salt! As always, get a doctor’s okay to try any new plan. Experiencing weight gain, fatigue, thinning hair, cold feet? Ask to have your thyroid checked; you may need prescription meds to protect your health.
Breakfast — 3 eggs any style with a pinch of iodized salt and 1 oz. turkey sausage; enjoy with an optional side of greens sautéed in coconut oil and a serving of fruit.
Lunch — Enjoy a hearty salad piled with seasonal toppings like roasted butternut squash and pomegranate seeds. Add vinaigrette and grilled chicken, too, if you like.
Snack — Take your pick of celery with nut butter, 1 to 2 Brazil nuts, veggies with guacamole, or seaweed snacks (a tasty source of iodine; find ’em in the Asian food section).
Dinner — Grass-fed steak, roasted asparagus or green beans and cauliflower mashed with clarified butter, coconut milk, and seasoning to taste.
*Never stop taking prescription medication unless instructed to do so by your doctor.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.