January is thyroid awareness month, which means it’s time to introduce you to my favourite daily snack: Brazil nuts. I frequently prescribe brazil nuts to my patients with thyroid disease since they’re an incredible source of dietary selenium [3 – 4 nuts = around 250mcg]. Studies show that 200 – 250mcg of selenium can reduce TPO levels by up to a 60%. This is good news for patients suffering with hypothyroidism since TPO is an antibody that causes your immune system to attack your own thyroid tissue leading to autoimmune thyroid disease. Higher selenium dosing of 500mcg (6 – 8 brazil nuts daily) has also been shown to increase conversion of thyroid precursor hormone T4 to the more metabolically active form T3 which improves metabolism and energy levels.
I created this orange and Brazil nut snack for when you get bored of munching on plain Brazil nuts (this will happen, quite quickly, I assure you). Eat 2 of these balls daily as a snack or breakfast to get your daily recommended dose of thyroid-loving selenium, or try my chocolate-covered Brazil nuts for a healthy dessert option with added thyroid benefits.
If you’ve been diagnosed with thyroid disease and are struggling to feel your best I encourage you to check out my other articles on natural thyroid health. If you’re not quite sure if your low mood, weight gain & energy issues are due to thyroid disease you should definitely start here.
- Thyroid disruptors hiding in your home
- How the birth control pill messes with your thyroid health
- Beyond the Thyroid Panel: the essential thyroid tests that your doctor won’t routinely order (you NEED to advocate for yourself in this current health care model or you won’t receive the best care)
- The Thyroid Diet Protocol: the best + worst food for hypothyroidism
- If you’ve already been diagnosed and treated for hypothyroidism but you’re still feeling awful then this article is a must read: Why Conventional Thyroid Treatment Isn’t Always Your Best Option: Studies confirm that thyroid symptoms persist despite conventional medical treatments.
Orange + Brazil Nut Balls
Two of these delicious little Brazil nut-based balls gives you your daily dose of thyroid-loving selenium. They're also low in sugar & high in healthy fats so they make a wonderful blood-sugar balancing breakfast or mid afternoon snack.
- 1 cup Brazil nuts, soaked & drained
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- Juice + zest from 1/2 a large organic orange (critical to choose organic when using the skin / rind of a fruit)
- 8 dates, soaked (1 hour - over night) & pitted
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp salt
Add all of the ingredients to a food processor & pulse until mixed well, roll into small balls - will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week or freezer for 1 month.
- Wilson, et al. ‘Evidence-Based Approach to Restoring Thyroid Health’ April 2014.
- Kachouei, et al. ‘The Effect of Levothyroxine and Selenium versus Levothyroxine Alone on Reducing the Level of Anti-thyroid Peroxidase Antibody in Autoimmune Hypothyroid Patients.’ Adv Biomed Res. 2018 Jan 22;7:1