Image shows Vitamin A rich foods

Top Thyroid Nutrients – Vitamin A

Our thyroid glands are very nutrient hungry.  Alongside making sure you eat balanced meals (you can download the free balanced meal planner for hormonal harmony here) thise series covers my top 4 Micronutrients for optimal thyroid function.  There are some tips on how you can maximise these in each meal too and some signs that you may be deficient too.  I hope you find this series helpful and the links to the other micronutrients are below.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is important for your thyroid, immune system (so definitely for Endometriosis too), gut lining, skin, eyes and all your other organs.  I think Vitmain A is often overlooked but incredibly important. 

With regard to your thyroid, a Vitamin A deficiency contributes to more severe hypothyroidism. Like me you might have heard constantly as a kid to eat carrots for your eyes (vitamin A). While there is truth in that, the form in plant foods is different to that in animal foods. If your gut function is compromised, it may not be converted well.

Carrots and pumpkins are full of carotenoids which need converting in the body into Retinol. Animal foods contain preformed retinol. It does not mean that you should not bother with carrots, they just might not provide enough vitamin A for you if you have a health condition or are in a healing phase. They are still providing you with plenty of antioxidant support and preformed retinol doesn’t, so consuming both in balance is best.

Retinol is found only in animal foods and vitamin A supplements. The best food sources are fish oil, liver, egg yolk, whole milk and dairy. Vitamin A supplements require caution and research as they can be toxic in large amounts. I generally only prescribe for short periods and monitor. They are not Vegan also just fyi. For a good general top up I think fish oil is a great source of vitamin A that is not over the top.  The best foods for carotenoids are dark green leafy vegetables, yellow-orange vegetables and non citrus fruits.

So how can you get the most from those carrots?

They are best eaten unpeeled and cooked. A University of California study found that females consuming cooked carrots absorbed 3 x more beta carotene than when they ate the same amount raw. If you do eat raw, the more damage you inflict on raw carrots, the more antioxidants you will get. Grate them and leave them for awhile before eating. Don’t waste any cooking water either as you can freeze vege water from steaming etc in ice or muffin trays to use in stocks and soups.

The darker the carrot, the more bang for your buck. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin so consume with fat to increase bioavailability by at least 50%. A low fat diet puts you more at risk of a deficiency in any of our fat soluble vitamins.

Check out the other top 3 nutrients I recommend for thyroid health below:

Zinc

Vitamin D

Iron

Grab your Free Balanced Meal Planner .

Sign up to the Nurture Nutrition Newsletter to stay in the loop and get your free balanced meal planner for Hormonal Harmony.

If you want a personalised take on the best nutrients are for you right now, consider a Health and Hormone audit. 

If you suspect a thyroid disorder I can give you recommendations for testing, supplements and nutrition to help you get clear on what is going on and get you started on the path to feeling much better.

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Julie McGill

Holistic Clinical Nutritionist helping Women thrive naturally through Hormonal Shifts.

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Hi, I'm Julie

I help Women thrive through Hormonal Shifts. I’m a Qualified & Holistic Clinical Nutritionist.

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