The thyroid gland controls the metabolic processes of the body. It produces thyroid hormones that regulate many biological functions and ensure proper health is maintained. When the thyroid gland becomes sluggish or overactive, it can lead to many problems.
One of the best ways to ensure optimal functioning of the thyroid gland is through the food we eat. Many components in our daily diet can help our thyroid gland stay balanced or achieve a state of equilibrium if it is not functioning correctly.
Before we take a look at the best foods to consume in order to fight thyroid, it will be best to bust some common myths surrounding thyroid diet:
- You can’t eat cruciferous vegetables if you have a thyroid problem
These vegetables include those like broccoli, cauliflower and kale and they are assumed to interfere with how your thyroid uses iodine as it plays a role in hormone production inside the thyroid gland. The truth is you should eat these veggies as they are a part of a healthy diet.
- You should take iodine supplements if you have an under-active thyroid
There’s no need to take these supplements if you are living in a country where other items have iodine in them, like table salt.
- A gluten-free diet can help cure Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
This is a gross misconception as a gluten-free diet cannot help or cure Hashimoto’s thyroiditis in any way possible.
- My weight gain is because of hypothyroidism
A weight gain of 5 to 7 pounds may be linked to an underactive thyroid, but beyond this, the thyroid has nothing to do with a significant weight gain.
- People with thyroid disorders need special diets
Like every one else, it is important to have a healthy and balanced diet. Diet alone cannot cause or cure thyroid related problems.
Let us take a look at some of the best foods for the thyroid:
The humble curd finds its place in the sun as it is one of the best foods for the thyroid gland. Dairy products, mainly yoghurt, are very nutritious and help to fulfil the iodine requirements of the body. Iodine is needed for the optimal working of the thyroid gland.
2. Fruits: Apples, Pears and Citrus
Apples, pears, plums and citrus fruits are abundant with pectins, which help with detoxifying the body of mercury – one of the most critical metals that have been connected to thyroid problems.
3. Nuts and Seeds
Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and nuts are rich sources of zinc. Low levels of Zinc have been associated with thyroid problems. Add to the salads or munch on these as snacks to replenish your body with zinc.
4. Legumes and Beans
Beans and legumes are rich, not just in Zinc but fibre as well. These help to regulate the digestive system, especially the bowel movement and prevent constipation. Chickpeas are one of the healthiest options for thyroid problems.
5. Green Tea
Hail the Orient. Green tea is known all over the world as a sure shot metabolism booster. Green tea has catechins, a kind of antioxidant that forces the fat cells to release the fat and help the liver burn off the excess fat.
6. Whole Grains
The body uses up more energy to digest whole grains. The metabolism increases with the extra fibre as the body has to work harder to break down the whole grains. Try to eat oats, brown rice, sprouts, sprouted grain bread and quinoa to rev up your metabolism and help your thyroid gland.
Also Read: 11 Home Remedies for Thyroid.
Broccoli is rich in calcium and vitamin C. It helps the body boost metabolism and is rich in fibre. Anything that helps increase metabolism is beneficial for thyroid patients. Broccoli rises the TEF- Thermic Effect of Food, i.e. it increases the body’s metabolism once eaten.
Add any or all of these to the diet and will notice a considerable improvement of your thyroid gland function over a period. Consult your dietician or your doctor before you incorporate the above foods into your diet.
Apart from the above, here are some other things to be mindful of if you have a thyroid problem:
|Tips for Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism|
|Diet – Be sure to follow the above list and maintain a healthy diet. Always speak with your doctor before making any changes to your diet.|
|Exercise – Sweating it out is great for your health regardless of your medical condition. Do a variety of workout routines from mild walks to intense aerobics, this will help you to maintain good metabolism. It can also help combat some of the symptoms of hypothyroidism.|
|Stress – Stress releases the hormone cortisol, too much of it can mess with your hormonal balance. Managing your stress actively can help to balance your thyroid symptoms.|
|Rest – Fatigue is a common symptom of hypothyroidism, especially if you decide to stay active for your health. Be sure to get enough rest and sleep daily to build up your endurance.|
|Avoid harmful chemicals – The body has a natural system for getting rid of toxins and other harmful chemicals but you may overload your body if you’re not careful. The thyroid is easily affected by these kinds of toxins. Avoid pesticides, strong chemicals and products that may introduce harmful stuff into your environment.|
|Medication – Take your medication on time, every day. All the above tips can support your health but the medication is what will keep you in the best shape. Speak with your doctor if you need to take other medicines that may interact with your thyroid pills.|
Q1. What are some other ways to manage hypothyroidism aside from diet?
Ans: Some ways to keep hypothyroidism under a healthy check are as follows:
- Include aerobic exercises that make you sweat such as cycling, swimming and running.
- Stress management for cortisol regulation increases instances of hypothyroidism
- Follow a good power down routine every night by ensuring 6-7 hours of quality sleep to balance hormone levels.
- Stay on track with your thyroid medications.
Q2. Which foods are bad for hypothyroidism?
Ans: If you have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism you should avoid foods like tofu, soy, fried and fatty foods, sugary foods, processed and packaged items and alcohol.
Q3. What are some signs that a person has thyroid?
Ans: Some tell-tale signs that you might be having an underlying condition of hypothyroidism are:
- Hypersensitivity to cold
- Dry skin
- Puffy face
- Muscle weakness
- Weight gain
- Impaired memory
- Slow heart rate
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.