How to keep your thyroid healthy with the right diet
The thyroid gland, which is located at the base of your neck is shaped a bit like a butterfly. It is the largest organ of the endocrine system and produces a hormone called thyroxin that helps regulate your metabolism and heart rate. In children, the thyroid gland helps with their growth and development. Reduced levels or oversupply of thyroxin can lead to hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) or hyperthyroidism (over-active thyroid).
Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism
- Mood swings
- Chronic fatigue
- Muscle weakness
- Sensitivity to heat
- Unexplained weight loss
- Loss of interest in sex
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
- Unexpected weight gain
- Sensitivity to cold with tingling in hands and feet
- Extra dry skin and hair
- Muscle pain
The thyroid gland needs specific vitamins and minerals to do its job properly. It releases hormones into your bloodstream, which act up on the various parts of your body and helps keep it healthy. You can support your thyroid’s function with proper diet, exercise, rest, and by minimizing the stress in your life.
Natural Foods that are Good for your Thyroid
Iodine: Iodine is a necessary building block for metabolism. And, for your thyroid to function properly, iodine is a necessity. So, add iodine rich food to your diet like tuna, onions, pineapple, strawberries and cranberries. You should also use iodized table salt.
Selenium: Selenium deficiency can cause severe thyroid level fluctuations. Selenium protects the thyroid gland when you are stressed. The protein helps regulate your metabolism and recycles your iodine stores. Selenium rich food includes shellfish, pasteurized eggs, mushrooms, garlic, sunflower seeds and brazil nuts.
Coconut Oil: Coconut oil contains lauric acid and capric acid, which helps your body fight fatigue and revs up your metabolism. The fat in coconut oil quickly converts to energy which helps in proper thyroid functioning. Use coconut oil to cook or alternatively, add two tablespoons of coconut oil to milk and drink it for breakfast.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the proper balancing of your hormones and thyroid functioning. It also helps fight inflammation and increases your immunity levels. So load up on fish oil supplements, dark leafy vegetables, flaxseeds and chia seeds.
Probiotic Rich Food: Probiotics help keep your gut healthy, reduce inflammation and nutrient deficiencies. So, including yogurt, apple cider vinegar, kefir, and other fermented veggies is a good idea.
High-Fibre Food: People suffering from thyroid have digestive issues. Eating high-fibre food will help your digestive system function properly. Easy ways to include high-fibre food in your meals would be to eat fresh vegetables, berries, beans, lentils, and seeds.
Foods to Avoid
Soy: Soy products when consumed in large amounts could disrupt the proper functioning of your hormones. Soy is also high in isoflavones (or goitrogens), which can damage your thyroid gland. Staying away from soy may just help your thyroid production normalize.
Sugar: Refined sugar is not good for your health and if you’re suffering from a thyroid condition, you have one more reason to skip dessert. Sugar is found in fruits as well; however, these are naturally produced and are not detrimental to your health.
Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are an extremely rich source of anti-inflammatory beta carotene. They are also a rich source of vitamin A, C, manganese, and B6. However, they also contain thiocyanates, which prevent the thyroid gland from functioning properly.
Cruciferous Vegetables: Vegetables like Broccoli, Cabbage, and Cauliflower tend to be high in goitrogens. These interfere with the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. Eating them raw is a problem. Cruciferous vegetables can block the gland’s ability to absorb iodine, which is necessary for normal thyroid function. So, if you do want to eat it, do so in moderation.
Bamboo Shoots: Baby bamboo shoots are filled with essential nutrients; mainly protein, carbohydrates, fibre, and minerals that have been shown to prevent the development of cancer. However, it contains goitrogens, which inhibits your thyroid gland functioning. Therefore, it’s best to avoid them.
Adopting a healthy diet and cutting out processed food will help your overall well-being. This is essential for your thyroid to stay healthy and balanced. Hence, stick to these natural ways of keeping your thyroid levels stable.