Diet plays a huge role in our rising and falling energy levels. If we feed our bodies nutritiously with foods that will stimulate the thyroid gland and support energy metabolism, we can successfully feel rejuvenated all day long, regardless of our sometimes daunting to-do lists.
In this article, we will look into which foods give us the most energy, how to regulate thyroid hormones that contribute to metabolism, and how a plant-based diet can help do so. For more information, keep on reading!
1. Energy Boosting Plant-Based Diet!
A plant-based diet filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, and whole grains is a very energizing diet to follow. This is because it’s great for digestion (a process that utilizes a lot of energy), can ensure a good night’s rest, and will help control blood sugar.
The digestive system is necessary for energy, growth, and cell repair, but certain food products require excessive amounts of effort to digest and thus are more draining. Animal based protein is especially difficult to digest. More stomach acid secretion, pancreatic enzyme secretion, and bile synthesis are required to breakdown animal protein because they are more acidic. This means more digestive complexity and digestive energy are required. On the other hand, plant based protein is much easier to digest and does not put your digestive system through added energy expenditure. Naturally occurring plant foods are also filled with complex carbohydrates which play an important role in energy metabolism.
When you consume a plant-based diet, you often will get a better night’s rest in the process. This is because you will most likely be including more foods rich in vitamin B6 like bananas, sweet potatoes, squash, walnuts, spinach, kale, avocados, and peanut butter. Vitamin B6 is essential for rest and relaxation because it helps regulate nervous system activity. When you get a good night’s rest, you will undoubtedly have more energy the following day.
Additionally, a plant based diet is great for the maintenance of blood sugar levels, which will help you remain consistently energized by avoiding a spike and then crash in blood sugar.
2. How A Plant-Based Diet Can Help the Thyroid
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ located in your neck that works to regulate bodily functions including heart rate, breathing, peripheral and central nervous systems, metabolism, body weight, body temperature, and much more! The release of thyroid hormones is what controls metabolism, the way our body’s use energy. When the body needs more energy, the thyroid gland produces more hormones called T3 and T4.
A plant-based diet may be beneficial to the thyroid because it can reduce the risks of developing hyperthyroidism, a condition where your body produces too much of the thyroid hormone causing rapid heartbeat, extreme fatigue, difficulty sleeping, muscle weakness, and sudden weight loss or weight gain. In a study conducted by Public Health Nutrition, they found that participants that excluded animal products from their diet, following a plant-based diet, had 52% lower odds of developing hyperthyroidism than those who followed a traditional Western diet. They believe that this is due to the high concentration of protective, antioxidant-rich foods, and the limitation of foods high in estrogen which has been linked to autoimmunity, when the immune system attacks healthy cells.
In addition, plant foods are rich in important minerals like magnesium and selenium and antioxidants that help stimulate the release of energizing thyroid hormones.
3. Energy Boosting and Thyroid Stimulating Foods!
Our thyroids work very hard to provide our bodies with energy, regulate our temperature and heartbeat, and activate our metabolism by producing the release of thyroid hormones. The least we can do is fuel our bodies with the foods that will help support this hormone release. The best foods for thyroid stimulation are:
- Dark Leafy Greens like spinach, kale, collard greens, and romaine are a great source of magnesium, which is an important mineral that helps the thyroid produce the essential hormones: T3 and T4.
- Nuts, especially Brazil nuts are packed with selenium, which is required for antioxidant function and the metabolism of the thyroid gland.
- Seaweed is a great plant-based source of iodine which is necessary for proper functioning of the thyroid gland because it is essential for manufacturing thyroid hormones.
- Berries are a great source of antioxidants which are great for the thyroid!
- Maca helps to balance the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus which help release the thyroid hormone.
- Legumes, like edamame, black beans, and chickpeas are great for the thyroid because they are a great source of selenium!
4. Energizing Recipes!
Edamame Seaweed Salad/One Green Planet
Do your thyroid gland a favor by feeding your body foods that will stimulate the release of important metabolic hormones. Feel free to try recipes like this Sesame Miso Spinach Salad, Brazil Nut Fudge, Seaweed Burgers, Açaí Berry Ice Cream, Cacao Maca Energizing Smoothie, Spicy Garlic Edamame, Chickpea Spinach Stew with Lentils and Quinoa, or this Quinoa Pilaf with Spicy Tempeh and Broccoli from our Food Monster App for a boost of energy!
For more like 10 Iron-Rich Foods for More Energy and Stamina, we recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for iPhone and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 15,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!
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