endocrine system

Your endocrine system plays an incredibly important role in the health and functionality of your body. It is responsible for every hormone secreted in your body, and controls things like your sleep, emotions, metabolism, digestion, reproduction, stress response, growth, cholesterol levels, healing response, and so much more. In short, it is the foundation of almost every function of your body.  So it’s probably a good idea to keep the endocrine system happy, right?

One of the best things you can do to ensure the health of your endocrine system is to feed it what it needs. Every key organ in this system has a corresponding mineral that it needs in order to function properly. If you are sure to include these minerals in your diet, you will be well on your way to a healthy, happy life!

Thyroid: Iodine
Located at the base of your neck, the thyroid gland controls your metabolism, growth, and body temperature. It needs iodine in order to function properly.

The greatest food source of iodine is seaweed, which contains over 40x the amount of iodine than just about any other food. Other than seaweed, iodine may be found in cod, turkey breast, cranberries, navy beans, tuna, eggs, and strawberries.

Parathyroid: Calcium
The parathyroid is a set of glands located on either side of the thyroid, and it is responsible for the regulation of calcium levels in the blood. It needs calcium in order to function properly.

Calcium may be found in many foods. Leafy green vegetables, including collard greens, spinach, turnip greens, kale, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli, are especially high in calcium. Other calcium-rich foods include white beans and kidney beans, sesame seeds, almonds, walnuts, oranges, and salmon.

Prostate: Zinc
The prostate gland sits just below the bladder in men. It aids in reproduction by secreting fluids that protect the sperm during ejaculation. It needs zinc in order to function properly.

Foods high in zinc include beef, spinach, pumpkin seeds, chicken, beans, and mushrooms.

Pituitary: Manganese
The pituitary gland sits in the center of the brain, and is responsible for all hormone function in the body, including growth, blood pressure, sexual organ function, thyroid function, digestion, body temperature, pregnancy and childbirth, and breast milk production. It needs manganese in order to function properly.

Nuts and seeds are high in manganese, as are leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, and Swiss chard.

Pancreas: Chromium
The pancreas is a gland that is involved in both the endocrine and digestive system. It is located near the stomach, and it secretes insulin, which helps regulate blood sugar levels. It needs chromium in order to function properly.

Broccoli is an excellent source of chromium. Also good sources: green beans, tomatoes, and Romaine lettuce.

Ovaries/Testicles: Selenium
The ovaries and testicles are the female and male gonads, or reproductive glands. They need selenium in order to function properly.

Fish, including tuna, salmon, and cod, are high in selenium. Turkey, chicken, lamb, and beef are also good sources, as well as nuts.

Adrenals: Copper
The adrenals, which sit just above the kidneys, are responsible for the body’s stress response, blood electrolyte levels, and behavioral/mood responses. They need copper in order to function properly.

Nuts and seeds, in particular sesame seeds, are high in copper. Other copper-containing foods include Shiitake mushrooms, garbanzo beans, lentils, kale, and avocado.