We often talk about or refer to our metabolism. Your metabolism is the efficiency with which your body burns calories to produce the energy you need. Underlying this efficiency is the role played by the thyroid gland. Located just near your Adam’s apple, it produces thyroid hormones which influence your metabolic rate and protein synthesis. It also plays a vital role in keeping your calcium levels in balance. In turn, another hormone called the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) secreted by your pituitary gland governs the functioning of the thyroid. The role of both is essential to keeping your body functioning.

Your thyroid can be affected by a host of issue. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the condition where your own body attacks the thyroid tissue. If you are regularly consuming medicine for cold or sinus, the iodine in the medicine can lead to hyperthyroidism. Also, lithium, found in medications for depression can affect your thyroid. An affected thyroid can result in overproduction of thyroid hormones. You could then witness an irregular heartbeat, sweating, nervousness, irritability or worse.

Not surprisingly, what you eat matters. If you are trying to eat clean by primarily eating fruits, vegetables and nuts and seeds, you may end up being deficient in iodine. Eggs, milk, yoghurt, and seaweed contain iodine. Brazil nuts contain selenium which prevents goitre. Chicken and seafood contain zinc which helps produce thyroid hormones.

If processed food, savouries or fast foods are your primary source of calorie intake, chances are you are consuming too much sodium along with them. Elevated salt intake impacts your risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular risk. Also, often, the salt used to manufacture fast foods do not contain iodine. You are therefore both iodine deprived and consuming excess salt at the same time. It goes without saying that absorbing iodine from natural sources is the best choice you can make for your thyroid.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.