Protecting Your Thyroid From Radiation
Background – updated Mar 2011
According to Medscape, the distribution of potassium iodide tablets in northern Japan
underlines the fear of a catastrophic meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant
and the massive dispersion of deadly radioactive materials, with health implications
for not only that country but also its neighbors.
The potassium iodide tablets were given out as protection against iodine-131, a
radioisotope of iodine that can cause thyroid cancer. Iodine normally accumulates in
the thyroid, so saturating the organ with a safe version by means of the tablets blocks
the uptake of the radioactive version.
Listen to this audio interview here where David Wolfe talks about the disaster at the
Fukushima nuclear power plant and what steps we can take to shield ourselves from
harmful radiation. Here's the link again:
Superfoods For A Superior Thyroid
An estimated 27 million Americans have thyroid disease, and more than half are
undiagnosed. Frequently misunderstood, and too often overlooked and misdiagnosed,
thyroid disease affects almost every aspect of health. Taking care of it with good
nutrition is a smart step in the right direction. Here are some superfoods that research
has shown can nurture a healthy thyroid, as well as some ones to avoid.
Coconut and coconut butter, or more commonly known as coconut oil, has been used
as a food and medicine since the dawn of history. Unlike saturated animal fats found
in meats and dairy products, coconut butter is a raw saturated fat containing fatty
acids which the body can metabolize efficiently and convert to energy quickly.
Research also shows it helps to regulate thyroid function.
Kelp is a stellar, nutrient-dense sea vegetable. It is also known as Laminaria and
contains a natural substance that enhances flavor and tenderizes. Kelp works as a
blood purifier, and promotes adrenal, pituitary and thyroid health. Its natural iodine
may help normalize thyroid-related disorders, like overweight, and lymph system
Turkey is one of the leanest protein foods and is low in calories, making it an
excellent healthy food choice. Turkey also contains selenium which has been shown
to inhibit cancer development, improve the immune system, and aid in the
metabolism of our thyroid hormone.
Thyroid patients should avoid the consumption of goitrogens, substances that
suppress the function of the thyroid gland, and which can also cause an enlargement
of the thyroid. Goitrogens are in foods such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts,
cabbage, mustard, kale, turnips, and canola oil. Soy and peanuts also include
goitrogens and should be avoided.
Both copper and iron are so important for thyroid function, so thyroid patients should
take time to make sure they're getting enough in their diets. Foods such as organ
meats, oysters, clams, crabs, cashews, sunflower seeds, wheat bran cereals, whole-
grain products, and cocoa products are all rich in copper. Foods like leafy green
vegetables, beans, shellfish, red meat, and poultry are high in iron. Complement your
iron intake with adequate amounts of vitamin C from foods such as citrus fruits, red
berries, tomatoes, potatoes, and bell peppers to help maximize your body's iron
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