Your body has one powerful tool it can use to start burning fat (weight loss) like crazy. That same tool can also make you gain weight and store all those excess fats in all areas of your body.
Can you guess what it is?
It’s your thyroid.
It’s that tiny gland located in your neck, right below the Adam’s apple. It has dozens of different functions and effects, but perhaps the most important one is metabolism regulation.
What is metabolism?
In layman’s terms, metabolism is the speed and intensity of all biochemical reactions and processes happening in your body. It is defined by a lot of different factors, among which endocrine regulation plays a crucial role.
Actually, that’s why some people are naturally thin while other folks are chubby.
Imagine it as an engine and the fuel is your body fat.
The faster it goes, the more fuel it burns.
Sounds great, doesn’t it?
So, how do you kick-start your metabolism, especially if its natural rates are much lower than you’d prefer? Is there a way to safely tweak your endocrine system to boost the rate of your body’s chemical reactions?
That’s where your thyroid plays a crucial role.
Thyroxine: The Ultimate Metabolism Booster
Thyroxine, also known as T4, is one of the main hormones produced by the thyroid gland. Its primary role is to be transformed into triiodothyronine (T3), which is the active form of this hormone.
Yep, thyroxine isn’t that active. So, why do we call it the ultimate metabolism booster in this article?
The main trick here is that you can’t elevate T3 levels directly, but it is possible to improve T4 secretion. Thyroxine will then be converted into T3 and this will skyrocket your metabolism, resulting in a significant fat loss.
Now, let’s get specific and take a good look at what your thyroid needs and how to boost your metabolism through it.
The Essentials for Having Good Thyroxine
This is the staple component of all thyroid hormones: none of them can be synthesized without iodine. Therefore, it doesn’t come as a surprise that iodine deficiency quickly results in hypothyroidism. It’s a health condition during which your thyroid doesn’t produce enough thyroxine and triiodothyronine.
Studies indicate that almost 2 million people around the world have a certain degree of iodine deficiency and it often remains undiagnosed due to the mildness of the symptoms.
Weakness, fatigability, decreased mood, and excess weight is among the usual ones. Most people would think that they’re just bad effects of chronic stress and would do nothing about them.
This essential micro-nutrient plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of your thyroid gland. It doesn’t only improve the production of thyroid hormones but it can also help alleviate the course of some health conditions, like Hashimoto’s disease. It’s an autoimmune condition that gradually destroys the thyroid, often without any prominent symptoms besides mild reduction in hormone levels.
Just imagine, taking 0.2 mg of selenium daily can improve the antibodies count by a whole 21% during Hashimoto’s!
Vitamin C and Zinc
A study published in 2008 analyzed whether there was any consistent vitamin C and/or zinc deficiency in patients with benign thyroid diseases. It turns out that all of the examined patients had low levels of these nutrients, suggesting that they may also play a crucial role in keeping your thyroid healthy.
Multiple studies, including this one from 2013, showed that people with low thyroid hormone levels usually have low vitamin D levels as well. This emphasizes the importance of this vitamin in maintaining a healthy thyroid function.
On the other hand, studies affirm that over 40% of American adults have a certain level of vitamin D deficiency. Who knows, maybe this is one of the reasons why excess weight and obesity are all over US?
But, fear not.
We won’t let you go with just this vague piece of advice. Below you’ll find a fabulous list of 10 specific foods that increase thyroxine secretion. Eat them regularly and you’ll be able to boost your metabolism in no time.
8 Foods that Boost Thyroxine Naturally
All kinds of seaweeds (algae), shellfish (oysters, shrimp, clams, scallops, octopuses, squids), and fish (preferably wild-caught) are fabulous sources of iodine.
The best thing about increasing your iodine intake naturally, instead of looking for some sort of shady supplement, is that you can’t overdose on dietary iodine. Your body will take as much as it needs, increasing your body’s thyroxine synthesis to its natural levels.
This is one of the richest sources of dietary selenium ever. A single ounce (6-8 nuts) of Brazil nuts contains over 500 mcg of selenium!
The RDA for this nutrient is 55 mcg/day, so snacking on 1 to 3 nuts will be more than enough to skyrocket your thyroxine production. Also, these nuts are just delicious, so that’s an all-win advice.
A cup of these beauties provides almost half of your recommended daily value of zinc (6.6 mg out of 15 mg).
Bonus benefit: A study has revealed that pumpkin seed extracts could reduce the risk of breast cancer. These seeds are rich in dietary fibres, magnesium, and plant-based omega-3s, too.
Guava, Blackcurrant, Red Pepper, Kiwi
Can you guess what do these 4 delicious foods have in common? They are all incredibly rich in vitamin C.
A single guava can give you more than 6 times your RDA for ascorbic acid. Surely, that’s more than enough to support your thyroid.
Cod liver oil
A single teaspoon of cod liver oil contains 440 IU of vitamin D. This is more than enough to cover your recommended daily dose of this valuable nutrient.
This is your most reliable and accessible way to get some vitamin D. 10 to 15 minutes of unprotected sunlight exposure 2 or 3 times per week should be enough—and don’t forget to put on your sunscreen right after that!
You see, vitamin D can be produced in your body from the cholesterol in the skin and that’s a great way to get enough of it at all times.
If you want to boost your metabolism and lose weight for good, one of the most reliable ways to do that is to support the function of your thyroid gland and to help it to produce more thyroxine (T4).
This hormone is inactive itself but quickly transforms into triiodothyronine (T3), boosting your metabolism big time. We can’t elevate our T3 levels directly, but T4 is under our control.
To keep it soaring and healthy, keep track of the following things:
- Have enough iodine in your diet. Stack on seafood and don’t worry about having too much of it. You can’t get an iodine overdose from eating shrimps.
- Control your selenium intake. Most people don’t get enough of it but if you want to have healthy thyroxine levels, you should. Snack on 1 to 3 Brazil nuts each day and you’ll be great!
- Zinc, zinc, zinc. Another micro-nutrient that most Westerners don’t get enough of in their diet is zinc. Don’t follow their path and get your zinc straight for a healthy thyroid. To do so, just carry a pack of pumpkin seeds with you every day. These little fellas are not only a fabulous source of fibers but also a sheer zinc bomb! One cup per day gives you more than half of the recommended daily amount.
- Keep track of your vitamin C. No, no need to eat lemons. Instead, opt for guava, blackcurrant, red peppers, and kiwi.
- Go for a walk! 10 minutes of sunlight exposure is more than enough to make your body produce the vitamin D it needs. Just don’t forget to put on your sunscreen after those 10 minutes, not before them.
Author: Gracy Singh
Gracy, a dedicated and qualified nutritionist with over six years of experience in the Indian food industry, currently blogging at Besthcgdropswebsite.com site which gives information on Weight loss drops. She has done MSc Degree in Human Nutrition at Chinmaya degree College (BHEL) in Haridwar, Uttarakhand.