Thyroid Health: 10 Foods to Eat and Avoid in Your Diet
Thyroid health is essential to your overall health. The thyroid gland has a vital part in the proper functioning of the body. The gland releases the hormone which helps in the growth of the body, maintaining the metabolism, cell repair, body hormone health, and functioning of the other glands. There are certain conditions in which the gland doesn’t work properly and the hormone is not released in adequate amounts. It can be caused by the deficiency of iodine, certain medications, and can also be caused by genetic disorders. The state is known as Hypothyroidism and it affects about 1-2% of the total world population.
Hypothyroidism(1) can happen at any age and to any gender but it is most commonly seen in females between the age of 40 and 50. Thyroiditis is also known as swelling, or inflammation of the thyroid gland which is generally self-limiting and usually resolves without undergoing any treatment. At first, it can cause a temporary overproduction of thyroid hormone which is a hyperthyroid phase and later leads to temporary under-production (hypothyroid phase). After that, the thyroid returns to normal function. Florida Health & Wellness Institute has experts who will not only treat the thyroid problems but also help you through diet and nutritional plans.
The thyroid symptoms can occur at any stage, and it is always good to have the test done when mild symptoms start to occur. We, at Florida Health & Wellness Institute, will help you diagnose your symptoms. Some common thyroid symptoms are:
- Being sensitive to cold
- Weight gain
- Muscle ache and weakness
- Heavy or irregular periods
Thyroid Treatment – The thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) level is screened in the initial testing. With an elevated THS, the test should be repeated with a free T4 level for the confirmation within 2-4 weeks. Thyroid hormone replacement medication is for confirmed patients and should be taken as per the recommendation by the doctor to improve your thyroid health.
Nutrient-rich food improves your hormone health and can also benefit the thyroid gland. For better thyroid health, your diet should consist of fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants like, Selenium, Tyrosine, etc.,
- Foods like tomatoes, bell peppers, blueberries are rich in antioxidants, they do not only benefit the thyroid gland but also affect the overall health. Foods rich in B vitamins, like whole grains, are also beneficial.
- Selenium in small amounts is required by the enzymes. These enzymes are responsible for the proper functioning of the thyroid hormones. Sunflower seeds or Brazil nuts can be consumed as they are selenium-rich foods.
- T3 and T4 are produced by the thyroid gland using Tyrosine amino acid. Dairy products, meat, and legumes are rich sources of tyrosine. Perfect for good thyroid health.
Some food tends to prevent proper functioning and inhibits good thyroid health and should be avoided.
- Soy- Studies have suggested that phytoestrogens are found in soybeans and soy-rich foods may hinder the enzyme activity that helps to make thyroid hormones.
- Iron and Calcium supplements: Iron and Calcium supplements can alter the effectiveness of the thyroid medications and are better to avoid these supplements during the medication(2).
- High fiber foods- High fiber food is useful in digestion of the food but it has been observed that too much fiber interferes with the absorption of the thyroid medications. It is recommended to take medication after two hours of consuming fiber-rich food.
- Vegetables like cabbage, kale, spinach, broccoli are fiber-rich and may prevent the absorption of thyroid medicines.
- Caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol are also known to influence the effect of thyroid medicines, and the patients should avoid these during the medication(3).
Food to Eat for Better Thyroid Health:
The foods listed below have been known to be great additions to anyone’s diet who suffers from poor thyroid health. If you haven’t included these foods in your current diet, here’s your chance!
They are rich in iodine which is needed for normal thyroid functioning. It can be consumed in salads during meals(4).
Some nuts like Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, and macadamia nuts packed with selenium; including these nuts in daily diet will result in better thyroid functioning(5).
Fish is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids(6) and selenium and should be added in the diet for reducing inflammation in the body. Bake Salmon, Cod, Sea Bass, Haddock, or Perch can be made part of the meal to get a healthy dose of Omega-3s and selenium.
Some dairy products like ice cream, yogurt, and milk are rich sources of iodine that prevent the thyroid from becoming enlarged(7). Yogurt can be added to the meal to balance the iodine in the diet.
Eggs are rich in both, selenium and iodine. One should eat the whole egg along with the yolk to get multiple benefits.
Many people around the world suffer from poor thyroid health. But with proper diet and care, the symptoms can be reduced over time. One should keep a check on the nutrients essential for thyroid and consume a nutritious diet. Our experts at Florida Health & Wellness Institute also recommend getting yourself tested after the age of 40 to get the exact picture. If you are suffering from a thyroid problem, regular testing is crucial.
- Hypothyroidism (Underactive)
- Iodine Deficiency