Nutrition: Supporting Healthy Thyroid Function, by Julie Daniluk

I recently received a question from my sister-in-law. Her good friend suffers from low thyroid and she wondered what she could do naturally to increase the function of the thyroid.

An underactive thyroid system is a common health problem, causing symptoms such as low energy, weight gain, hair loss and depression. The good news is that there is plenty you can do to address it naturally.

One in ten women over the age of 50 suffers from this condition, so you may want to forward this blog post to any friend in your life who matches the symptoms.

The most important nutrient for low thyroid is Iodine. The richest source on the planet is seaweed. Here is a seaweed salad recipe from my new book, Meals That Heal Inflammation.

Seaweed Salad

Seaweed has over 60 trace minerals that help to nourish every part of the body. It is high in iodine, one of the most valuable minerals for metabolism because it helps thyroid function. Calcium-rich hijiki and arame are easier for Westerners to get used to because they are sliced into thin ribbons, which create a more delicate texture. Remember that Japanese people who eat seaweed everyday are among the longest living humans!

Ingredients:
2 cups (500 mL) . . . . . . . arame or hijiki (seaweed cut into thin strips)
4 cups (1 L) . . . . . . . . . . filtered water
1 cup (250 mL) . . . . . . . . cucumber, quartered and chopped
1/2 cup (125 mL) . . . . . . . green onion, chopped
1/2 cup (125 mL) . . . . . . . fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp (30 mL) . . . . . . . .  toasted sesame or extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp (30 mL). . . . . . . . . carrots, julienned or shredded
1/4 cup (60 mL) . . . . . . . lemon juice
2 tbsp (30 mL) . . . . . . . . tamari (wheat free)

Directions:
1 . Rinse the seaweed well.
2 . Place seaweed and water in a small pot and bring to a boil for five minutes. If you suffer from digestive problems, it is best to turn off the heat and let the mixture soak for two to three hours.
3 . Drain and place in large mixing bowl.
4. Add all remaining ingredients to the seaweed and toss well.

This salad keeps well for days in the fridge.

For more background on low thyroid, you can read this great article by Rutuja Jathar.

Julie Daniluk, RHN, hosts Healthy Gourmet, a reality cooking show that highlights the ongoing battle between taste and nutrition by using unique groups such as bikers, dragon boat racers and ballroom dancers to challenge their taste buds with nutritious foods. Julie is excited that her show was chosen to be part of OWN (the Oprah Winfrey Network). Similar to Oprah’s book club, programs on OWN explore stories of strength and transformation. Television viewers also recognize Julie from her “busted” segments on The Right Fit (W Network) and The Marilyn Dennis Show (CTV) where she examines the foods people need to stay healthy, acting as a nutrition encyclopedia. Her fun and engaging style comes in handy when she creates a recipe a week that is packed with health tips for www.chatelaine.com.