Your pineal gland may play a much more important role in your health than you think. The pineal gland is responsible for producing melatonin, and ensuring a host of hormonal reactions are produced in your body.

One example is your pineal gland’s effects on your thyroid function. The pineal gland works synergistically with your pituitary gland and hypothalamus.

Damage to your pineal gland is known as calcification. Flouride is one example of calcifying the pineal gland.

Several nutrients can encourage the health of these glands. Two important ones include both vitamin A and vitamin E. Foods high in vitamin A include sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, cod liver oil and butter — butter in small portions, that is. Foods high in vitamin E include sunflower seeds, brazil nuts, almonds and wheat germ oil.

Food that can help decalcify the pineal gland include chlorella, apple cider vinegar, iodine and turmeric. Choose foods with iodine such as seaweed, ocean fish or seafood.

Be sure to not to confuse the importance of calcium for the bones and include calcium sources in your diet. Foods with calcium include kale, milk, yogurt and salmon with bones.

— Marcy DiGregorio is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator who loves helping people with their nutritional needs, enjoys cooking, and also teaches yoga. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.