If you’re familiar with turmeric, the ingredient that makes golden milk lattes golden (and creamy and delicious—you should make one now), you probably know the benefits it has on the body: It’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich, making it a bonus for supporting heart health and managing chronic conditions, like arthritis, skin conditions and more. But did you know how helpful turmeric is in supporting a healthy thyroid?

The thyroid is a little gland that sits in the front of the neck, and its function is to regulate hormones and help with metabolism (the process of taking what you consume and turning it into energy). It’s a sensitive little gland and can easily get thrown out of whack by a variety of factors, such as autoimmune diseases that can wreak havoc on hormonal balances.

Experts say turmeric can have healthy effects on thyroid functioning. Here’s why:

  • It’s potent antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties can help support a healthy immune system, so your body can heal itself. 
  • It can help mend any tears in the intestinal tract and repair the gut lining, which is connected to the functioning of your thyroid.
  • It’s effective at helping cleanse heavy metals, which can impact thyroid health.
  • It can help support the health of people with Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune disorder that attacks the thyroid gland.

How can you enjoy turmeric (other than sipping on the golden milk latte we mentioned earlier)? You can add it into many dishes, like roasted sweet potatoes in your grain bowl at lunch or on grass-fed beef for taco night. Try it in tea—a personal favorite night cap of mine is a ginger tea with a few shakes of turmeric and a pinch of black pepper. There is no shortage of turmeric-friendly recipes, so feel free to get creative!