I had a chance to meet with the “thyroid whisperer” Andrea Beaman and learn some techniques that she uses to help her clients get their thyroid into balance. As a holistic health coach, she finds that diet is a great place to start but for complete healing you have to go much deeper.
Andrea’s journey started with her own thyroid problems, which she was able to heal naturally with diet, lifestyle and mega-doses of self-care. But the catch is — it didn’t happen overnight. It took 2 full years to get back into balance. In that time she swung from hyperthyroid to Hashimoto’s, and hypothyroid and then finally came into balance.
First things first, you must consider food to be your medicine and get off all processed junk food, sugar (which sends you on a hormonal rollercoaster ride) and gluten. The Daily Living Eating Plan is a great place to start. In addition, l-glutamine is a key amino acid that reduces cravings for high-glycemic carbohydrates and helps kick the sugar habit. If you have already done that and are looking to go deeper, here are some tips to heal the thyroid:
1. EAT SEA VEGETABLES TWICE A WEEK
Sea vegetables are a good natural source of iodine to support the thyroid. Incorporating some sea veggies into your diet can be as simple as:
Adding a piece of kombu to a pot of beans or soup during cooking
Sprinkle kelp granules over your salads or hot dishes just like you would use salt
Making a nori wrap (this is what’s used to wrap sushi)
For recipes, check out Andrea’s website here or the Integrative Nutrition recipes featuring sea veggies.
2. DON’T BE AFRAID OF BUTTER
“The endocrine system loves butter,” Andrea said. Even if you’re cutting out other forms of dairy like milk and cheese, consider keeping grass-fed butter (like KerryGold butter) in your diet.
3. COOK YOUR KALE
If you have thyroid issues, then raw cruciferous vegetables may not be the best choice. You might want to skip the kale smoothies and salads, and eat your greens cooked instead. The reason is that the cruciferous vegetables contain goitrogens that may disrupt the thyroid if consumed in large quantities. Other cruciferous veggies include cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower.
4. SLOW DOWN YOUR EATING
The thyroid gland is located in your throat area, so it literally connects the mind and body. When you rush while eating, the food moves so quickly from mouth to stomach that the connection from mind to body is not strong. The mouth doesn’t know what the stomach is doing and vice versa. This is good health advice no matter what: sit down, slow down, savor, breathe and chew your food. Since the thyroid is the master of your metabolism, you want to eat slowly enough so it can record the message that food is entering the body.
5. DROP THE CELL PHONE
We already know about the connection between cell phones and brain tumors. But this little radiation machine that you hold up to your ear is awfully close to your thyroid gland as well. A good alternative is to get a headset to use while speaking on the phone.
6. FIND YOUR VOICE
Once again, if you look to the anatomy, you find the thyroid gland located in the throat, the center of our communication with the world. Andrea has found in her practice that people with hypothyroid tend to “swallow down” what they really want to say. It’s been very healing for them to learn to speak their truth. On the flip side, she has found that people with hyperthyroid are talking too much, and can benefit by listening more.
7. DO YOGA
During my experience at yoga teacher training, I was astonished and delighted to learn how much the yoga asanas can stimulate and support the entire endocrine system. The shoulderstand (sarvangasana) is especially beneficial for stimulating the thyroid gland.
8. SUPPORT YOUR ADRENALS
The thyroid and adrenal glands work together, so if you are exhausted and depleted you may benefit from adrenal support. In the Be Well store we offer Adaptogens, which are herbs to support the adrenals, as well as an Energy Formula that helps you fight fatigue