As summer turns to fall, many women notice that energy fades, moods dip, and hair thins. But it doesn’t have to be that way. By fortifying your “master gland,” the thyroid, you can cut your risk of tiredness, depression, and even thinner hair. And it couldn’t be easier — here are some things you can do to help your thyroid function its best.
Start Your Day This Way
An Italian study in the Journal of Clinical and Translational Endocrinology found that sipping one to 2 ounces of aloe vera juice first thing in the morning can boost thyroid function by up to 49 percent in nine months — and the benefits begin to kick in within three months. Experts explain that compounds in the juice bolster the thyroid’s ability to withstand inflammation and its damaging effects.
Meditate on Monarchs
Gazing at passing butterflies, cozying up on your porch swing, or marveling at the turning leaves sends stress packing in as little as 10 minutes. That’s a benefit that enhances thyroid function, findings from India suggest. Turns out any type of relaxing pursuit lowers your body’s output of cortisol, a “fight or flight” stress hormone that can tax the gland over time.
Try a Deep-Sea Seasoning
The thyroid relies on iodine to produce its energizing hormones, and seaweed is so rich in the nutrient that enjoying it daily can boost thyroid function, Japanese scientists say. A tasty way to get the benefits: Use one teaspoon of seaweed gomasio, a tasty seasoning made of seaweed and toasted sesame seeds, in place of your usual salt each day.
Nibble on a Nut
Sounds too good to be true, but simply snacking on a single Brazil nut each day revs thyroid function, according to a Brazilian study. The nutrient-dense nuts are stellar sources of selenium, a mineral the thyroid needs to pump out its energizing hormones. Not a fan of nuts? Consider taking a daily supplement that contains 200 micrograms of selenomethionine, a form of the mineral that’s easily absorbed.
A Recipe to Boost Your Thyroid Function: Chocolate Brazil Nut Energy Bites
Ingredients (Serves 24):
1 cup Brazil nuts
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
¾ cup almond butter
½ cup honey
¼ cup cocoa powder
2 tablespoons flax seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In food processor, pulse Brazil nuts until finely ground. Add remaining ingredients; pulse until dough forms.
- Using medium cookie scoop, scoop dough and roll into 2 inch balls; transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet. Chill until set. Store in an airtight container.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.