It's Thyroid Awareness Month and the start of the new year, a great time to take control of your health and stop putting up with annoying symptoms that leave you feeling less than ideal. I'm all about little tweaks that make a big difference, like making over your breakfast. Eating a plant-based, anti-inflammatory diet is essential for thyroid health. Yet, when I started my thyroid journey, I was eating a super-clean array of beautiful plants and still feeling terrible throughout the day and holding on to extra weight I just couldn't lose. Something major was missing, and it had to do with my breakfast (or lack thereof).
I was calling a grapefruit and a green juice "breakfast" at the time, something that's not abnormal in the wellness world. That wasn't working for me, and I noticed that it wasn't really working for my clients either.
Eating within 90 minutes of waking up kick-starts your thyroid, keeps energy levels up, and tunes up your metabolism.
But you don't want just any breakfast—you want one packed with protein, herbs, nutrients, and essential vitamins.
If you have a thyroid condition and you're worried about that belly bloat, you'll want to kiss that oatmeal or toast farewell for a little bit, even if it's gluten-free and packed with superfoods. Eating healthy amounts of protein from a wide variety of sources is an important part of a healthy thyroid diet, as amino acids are the building blocks for cells in the body. For anyone with a thyroid condition or hormone imbalance looking for healthy muscle tone and improved metabolism, I've seen the best results including both animal sources and vegetable sources of protein daily.
This is my go-to breakfast, which takes less than 10 minutes to prep!
Two Soft-Boiled Eggs, Half an Avocado, Smoked Wild Salmon with Greens and Dulse
I always have a stash of organic eggs in the fridge to grab and go on busy mornings. One egg contains 20 percent of your daily iodine—a key element in thyroid function. If your iodine levels are insufficient, the production of thyroid hormones is limited and thyroid function weakens. Eggs also are rich in omega-3. These fatty acids protect the thyroid gland and work against brain fog, a common side effect of hypothyroidism.
Did you know that your thyroid can't thrive without enough healthy fats? Cholesterol is actually the building block of hormones, so don't fear the fats in whole eggs—enjoy them!
Avocados are creamy, tasty, and are great companions to eggs. They're another key source of B vitamins, omega-3s, and are a potent beauty food, improving your complexion from the inside. Antioxidants like riboflavin and niacin give your skin a healthy glow, plus shiny hair and strong nails, which are often brittle and dull for those with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's conditions. The healthy fats in avocado protect your skin against free radicals and also protect from inflammation.
Salmon is extremely high in selenium.
Selenium is important for thyroid health because it helps decrease inflammation, regulate immune responses, and prevent chronic diseases.
Be sure to opt for wild fish from Alaskan or Norwegian waters, which is the most sustainable and is the least contaminated among fish in general. Farmed salmon and those that are cultivated in other parts of the world can be filled with toxins, pesticides, antibiotics, and more, which do not promote optimal health.
It is essential to balance these nourishing fats with leafy greens. Dark leafy greens help to counteract the effects of too many fats. Chlorophyll-rich greens have healing and protective assets that help to cleanse the blood, balance body pH, and boost cognitive and immune functions. I choose a mix of kale, spinach, arugula, and microgreens, which are all composed of other health-enhancing phytonutrients such as phenols, indoles, flavonoids, and substances like sulforaphane.
Fresh raw greens additionally contain living enzymes and digestible proteins that are especially building for muscle and tissue strength when consumed on a consistent basis. They are one of the highest sources of dietary fiber, which helps to normalize bowel movements (often a problem for those of us with thyroid problems!) and have shown to be beneficial for weight loss. I sprinkle a bit of dulse on top for extra flavor.