The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ situated at the base of the neck. It produces and releases hormones which keep metabolism in check and regulate various body functions. Among them are:
- Skin integrity
- Heart rate
- Body weight
- Body temperature
- Muscle strength
- Central and peripheral nervous system
- Cholesterol level
- Menstrual cycle
How the Thyroid Gland Works
The thyroid is part of the endocrine system, a system that consists of glands that produce, store, and release hormones in the blood, allowing them to reach body`s cells. This small gland utilizes iodine from food sources to produce Triiodothyronine (T3) and Thyroxine (T4).
The hypothalamus is the one that produces TSH, a hormone which signals the pituitary to tell the thyroid to produce less or more of T3 and T4. In other words, it promotes communication between the two to maintain T3 and T4 balance. Hence, when T3 and T4 levels are low in the blood, the pituitary gland produces more THS to stimulate the production of more thyroid hormones. On the other hand, if these levels are high, the pituitary gland releases less TSH to the thyroid, slowing down the production of thyroid hormones.
Hypothyroidism is the most common thyroid condition, which results from too little T3 and T4 in the body. The most common symptoms of this condition include:
- Dry skin and hair
- Trouble sleeping
- Sensitivity to cold temperature
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Joint pain
- Frequent, heavy periods
Hyperthyroidism is yet another common and dangerous condition, which results from an overactive thyroid. Common symptoms include :
- Hair loss
- Hand trembling
- Irritability or moodiness
- Sweating or sensitivity to high temperatures
- Missed or light menstrual periods
- Nervousness, hyperactivity
Medications, oral radioactive iodine, and surgery are the most common treatments for hyperthyroidism. It is very difficult to target these treatments to the thyroid, increasing the risk of secreting improper amounts of some hormones and reducing thyroid function.
The good news is that there is a natural way to nourish the thyroid and boost its function to a healthy level. Check it out!
How Will This Recipe Help Your Thyroid?
Cranberries are packed with iodine, a mineral which is vital for thyroid health as thyroid hormones are made up of iodine.
Vitamin C obtained from lemon and orange juice is packed with antioxidant which promote optimal thyroid health.
Ginger is a solid source of magnesium, a mineral that has been proven to work wonders for regulating thyroid disease.
Cinnamon is a potent anti-inflammatory agent which lowers the risk of hypothyroidism.
Cranberry Thyroid-Boosting Juice
- 7 cups spring or filtered water
- 1 cup 100% cranberry juice
- 1/4 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3/4 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 tbsp dry ginger
- 1/2 tbsp Ceylon cinnamon
- 1/4 tbsp nutmeg
- Heat the water until it reaches a boiling point
- Add the cranberry juices and the spices
- Simmer for about twenty minutes and remove from the stove
- Let it cool down
- Add the lemon and the orange juice
- Sip it throughout the day