Your thyroid is your body’s engine, not only because it powers your whole body, but also because it requires many different interconnected parts, working in unison, to run smoothly.

The thyroid is a very important gland in our body, it is located in the front of the neck and secretes hormones responsible for controlling certain functions of our body, which includes the control of body weight, the way we use our energy, the metabolism and even the way we sleep; so you’ll be interested to know what are the essential nutrients you need to work properly.

It is important that you know the four essential nutrients that will guarantee you to enjoy good health thanks to the proper functioning of your thyroid gland.

1. Selenium

The enzyme that converts T4 (the inactive form of thyroid hormone) to T3 (the active form), is a selenium-dependent enzyme, so without enough selenium your thyroid hormones are stuck in their inactive state, causing hypothyroidism symptoms.

Sufficient levels of selenium also help prevent and reverse autoimmune thyroid. When your body converts iodide (the form iodine that you ingest, such as table salt, which is sodium iodide) into iodine, the process produces hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is an oxidant and damages thyroid cells, which can trigger an autoimmune response. Selenium acts to neutralize the hydrogen peroxide, and research has shown that increasing selenium levels in patients with autoimmune thyroid disease reduces their level of thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPOAb).

There are many foods that are naturally rich in selenium, most notably brazil nuts. Fortunately, meats, fish, and shellfish are also high in selenium, so there are plenty of opportunities to maintain sufficient levels of selenium through your diet.

2. Iodine

This is a basic component of thyroid hormones, so if our body does not have enough iodine, the thyroid can not produce its hormone.

As I mentioned previously, iodine is one of the two building blocks of your thyroid hormones. Your thyroid converts tyrosine (the other building block) into thyroglobulin and attaches between one and four iodine atoms to create T1, T2, T3, and T4 respectively. Without enough iodine, your thyroid simply can’t produce its hormones.

Healthy iodine levels can be maintained by eating seafoods such as seaweed and saltwater fish, as well as taking a daily iodine supplement.

It is very important to maintain sufficient levels of iodine to reduce the risk of iodine displacement, where other chemicals with similar structures (namely fluorine, chlorine, and bromine) are absorbed and stored by your thyroid in place of iodine.

3. Zinc

Zinc is also necessary to trigger your hypothalamus’ thyroid hormone receptors, meaning that without enough zinc, your hypothalamus can’t accurately gauge thyroid hormone levels to increase production when levels are low. Because of these two factors, studies have linked zinc deficiency with decreased thyroid production and hypothyroidism.

Beef is good source of dietary zinc, and, as with iodine and selenium, I recommend taking a zinc supplement and/or a high-quality multivitamin with at least 25mg of zinc. Zinc can actually deplete your body’s copper levels, so it is also advised to pair your zinc supplement with a copper supplement.

4. Iron

Last but not least we find iron, this mineral is responsible for promoting the production of the enzyme that converts iodide to iodine, as well as participating in the conversion of T4 to T3, so be sure to consume spinach and other iron-rich foods such as beef and chicken, liver, clams, mussels and oysters and mostly all green vegetables are rich in iron and calcium.