Health tips – Maintain your thyroid in top condition with juice

Maintain Your Thyroid in Top Condition with This Juice
July 28, 2013   Food & Nutrition, Health
The thyroid gland is one of the largest endocrine glands in our body and sits low on the front of the neck. It has a butterfly-shape and has two side lobes that are connected by a bridge in the middle. Because it has such an important role in our body, it is important to maintain it in top condition.

The important role of the thyroid

The thyroid is rich with blood vessels. Also nerves important for voice quality pass through this gland. The thyroid has a very important role in our body and secretes several hormones called thyroxine (T4) and and triiodothyronine (T3). These hormones regulate the body’s metabolism, growth and development, and body temperature. They also regulate heart and digestive function, muscle control, brain development and bone maintenance. The thyroid gland controls how quickly the body uses energy, makes proteins, and controls how sensitive the body is to other hormones.

Maintaining your thyroid in top condition

There are a lot of things that can go wrong with your thyroid gland. Common thyroid disorders are hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid, and hypothyroidism, which is the underproduction of the thyroid hormones (read more in my article The Most Common Thyroid Disorders and What You Need to Know). These conditions require a supervision by a doctor, preferably endocrinologist, and any recommendations by your doctor should take precedence.

When I researched the subject of how to maintain the thyroid in top condition, I’ve seen that radishes and radish juice came at the top of the list regarding balancing the activity of the thyroid gland. Dr. Mercola mentioned that radishes and radish juice can be quite beneficial. This is because a sulphur compound found in the radish (called raphanin) is a regulator of the thyroid hormones. When enough of this sulphur compound is circulating in the bloodstream, the thyroid is less apt to over or under produce these hormones.

One of the problems that I was facing when researching this subject was how much and how long to take this tonic. This was a real problem, since there is no specific medical research about this topic, and the exact dosage and time frame haven’t been determined. It is probably a good idea to start from about 1/2 cup of radish juice combined into your vegetable juice/smoothie, which takes about 1 typical bunch of small radishes to make.

Dr. Mercola, for example, recommends a thyroid tonic that contains radishes, and the juice of carrots or cucumber, celery and lemon. Carrots contain large amount of beta-carotene which is the precursor for vitamin A in the body. If you are low on vitamin A, your ability to produce thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is limited. B-complex vitamins are required for good thyroid function. Cucumbers contain B vitamins, so they are a good choice when trying to nourish the thyroid glands. Dr. Mercola suggests to add to this tonic a dash of powdered kelp or dulse seaweeds for a boost of iodine. This is because iodine is an essential trace mineral that is crucial for the thyroid to function properly, so eating foods rich in iodine ensures the proper function of the thyroid. Global Healing Center website say that research has shown that a lack of dietary iodine may lead to enlargement of the thyroid gland, lethargy, fatigue, weakness of the immune system, slow metabolism, weight gain and more.

Safety notes

This juice is used for a general maintenance of the thyroid gland and is not intended to treat thyroid disorders. These needs to be treated by a professional health practitioner. Just like you maintain the healthy function of any other organ in your body, such as the liver, kidneys or colon, it’s important to nourish the thyroid gland so it works more efficiently. However a caution should be applied if you have any special condition with your thyroid and any recommendations by your doctor should take precedence. For example, Dr. Weil when talking about under-active thyroid (hypothyroidism) recommends against excessive intake of certain foods (called goitrogens), which radish is one of them, and while you don’t have to avoid these foods completely, don’t overdo them either.

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