Your thyroid produces hormones that keep you happy and healthy. It also works hard to maintain a steady core temperature so you don’t catch a chill every time you go outside. No wonder Finnish researchers say your risk of a worn-out thyroid rises as winter drags on. Thankfully, experts say it’s easy to winter-proof your thyroid. Just follow these simple tips.
Reach for plates.
You can cut your risk of a sluggish thyroid in half by avoiding the chemicals (PFAS) that are used to make grease-proof food packages, such as pizza boxes, hamburger wrappers, and popcorn bags. PFAS sneak into food when packaging is heated, so putting take-out food on plates before warming could cut your exposure by 30 percern. Tip: Yale University researchers say eating home-cooked meals most days of the week could drop your exposure by 63 percent!
Turn on relaxing background music.
Japanese researchers say soothing tunes cut your levels of thyroid- rattling stress hormones by 46 percent and restore your thyroid hormones to healthier levels in 10 days.
Munch on a nut.
Eating one Brazil nut daily will increase your thyroid’s production of its most energizing hormone (T3) by as much as 82 percent, Swedish researchers say. Explains nutritionist Denise Mafra, Ph.D., each Brazil nut contains 68 to 90 micrograms of selenium, which helps your thyroid convert its weaker hormone into the much stronger T3.
Read in bed.
Cozying up under the covers to read for 20 minutes before lights-out can make your thyroid (and you!) 35 percent perkier in five days. That’s the word from British researchers, who say bedtime reading makes your production of a thyroid-aging stress hormones plunge by 68 percent.
Remember a multi.
According to a study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, multivitamins can make a winter-weary thyroid 22 percent more active in one week. Explains study co-author Ali Keshavarz, Ph.D., multis contain almost a dozen thyroid-nourishing nutrients. Note: Check with a doctor before supplementing.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.