By Delia Quigley for Care2.com
Located above your windpipe is a small gland that affects virtually every organ system in your body. This includes your brain, heart, intestines, and the quality of your skin. Your thyroid gland and the hormone it produces, is the energy source that runs your body. When your thyroid gland is compromised your metabolism slows, you feel fatigued and cold, your concentration is off, your hair thins, you gain weight, and your skin becomes dry. It may be a small gland, but when it does not get the nutrients it needs there can be powerful repercussions.
Medical research has confirmed that iodine is responsible for the formation of the thyroid hormones T1, T2, T3, and T4. Without sufficient iodine, the thyroid can produce only limited amounts of these hormones. The best way to support your thyroid is to eat a balanced whole foods diet, one that includes iodine, which can be found in foods harvested from the sea: fish, shell fish and sea salt; but the best source of iodine are the sea vegetables, kelp, dulse, arame, and hijiki to name a few. Earl Mindell recommends using kelp in his book, Vitamin Bible for the Twenty-First Century. He writes that, “Kelp has a normalizing effect on the thyroid gland. In other words, thin people with thyroid trouble can gain weight by using kelp, and obese people can lose weight with it.”
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Being a vegan certainly isn’t easy. Just ask Bob Harper, veteran trainer from The Biggest Loser. Bob himself follows a vegan diet, and with his contestants often discovering they have obesity related diseases like diabetes and high cholesterol, it’s not hard to see why Bob pushes a diet that eliminates red meat, eggs and dairy.
The first concern that comes to my mind when I think of a vegan diet, however, is where the protein and calcium will come from. The substitutes for protein in meat, eggs and dairy in a vegan diet can come from legumes, nuts and beans. The calcium that normally could be obtained from milk and cheese would require a calcium and vitamin D supplement, but what about your conjugated linoleic acid?
Never heard of it? Most haven’t, but it is an important concern if you go vegan. Conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, are a group of fatty acids that are found in dairy products and red meat. Conjugated linoleic acid is a fatty acid that our body can not make on its own, so supplementation for vegans is essential.
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This week, we love Kellogg’s new Live Bright Brain Health Bars. For those who want to consume the right amount of essential fatty acids like DHA-3 (Docosahexaenoic acid) but don’t like the taste of fish, a natural source of these healthy fats, then look no further than Kellogg’s Live Bright Brain Bars.
DHA plus eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), another essential fatty acid, are believed to have beneficial effects in reducing cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions. DHA, in particular, is found in the brain where it is needed for mental clarity and development and visual acuity and is different from a-linolenic acid (ALA) which is found in flax seed, walnuts and canola oil. Low levels of DHA have been found in children with ADHD and DHA was found to reduce inflammatory markers in men who are at risk for heart disease.
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