January is Thyroid Awareness Monthits time to learn more about this essential element in the human body. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located just below the center of the neck. It lives on the endocrine system with its brother and sister glands, the hypothalamus, pituitary, pineal, parathyroid, thymus, pancreas, adrenals, and gonads (ovaries and testes). These glands all secrete hormones that evoke specific responses in cells, tissues and organs throughout the body.The thyroid gland specifically secretes the thyroid hormone, which is responsible for the metabolism of oxygen and glucose. According to EndocrineWeb, the function of this gland is to take iodine, found in foods like seaweed and egg, and convert it into thyroid hormonesthyroxine (T4) and triodothyronine (T3). These cells combine iodine and the amino acid tyrosine to make T3 and T4. Thyroid hormones are then released into the blood stream and transported throughout the body, where they control metabolism (conversion of oxygen and calories to energy). Every cell in the body depends upon thyroid hormones for regulation of their metabolism.To support the proper functioning of this hardworking gland, your body requires good quality protein as well as iodine to create the thyroid hormones. The ocean is a great place to find iodine-rich protein foods that can nourish the gland and give your body the nutrients it needs. Try these yummy recipes to protect and boost your thyroid.
Salmon Miso Soup
Bring water, alaria, mushrooms and tofu to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer 2-3 minutes. Add salmon and diluted miso. Cook additional 3-5 minutes. Garnish with scallions.
Fabulous Fish Chowder
- 2 tbsp. grass-fed butter
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 onions, peeled and diced
- 3-4 celery stalks, diced
- 1 & 1/2 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
- 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/4 cup Mirin or white wine
- 1 & 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 4 cups fish stock or water
- 4 medium sized potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-2 inch pieces
- 1/2 3/4 lb white meat fish (cod, scrod, haddock), cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1/4 cup cream or half and half
- 2 tbsp. freshly minced parsley
Can Yoga Help Manage Thyroid Naturally?
- In a soup pot, saute onion in butter and olive oil for 2-3 minutes. Add celery, old bay and smoked paprika and saut additional 2-3 minutes.
- Add bay leaf, thyme, Mirin, sea salt, fish stock and potatoes. Bring to a boil.
- Cover and lower heat to simmer for 10-12 minutes or until potato softens.
- With a slotted spoon, remove half the vegetables (onion, celery, potatoes) and puree in a food processor or blender. Add pureed veggies back into the pot with the fish.
- Cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Lower the heat back down to a simmer.
- Add the cream or half and half. Do not bring the chowder back up to a boil after adding the cream, otherwise it might curdle.
- Adjust seasoning if needed and garnish with parsley.