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Hypothyroidism Foods

Did you know that the foods you eat can contribute to your hypothyroidism or can help you feel better? Find out what foods to eat and what to avoid today.
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People suffering from hypothyroidism have an underactive thyroid. This means that their thyroid cannot produce enough thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland produces thyroid hormones which are important in the regulation of metabolism and cellular processes in the body. Thyroid hormones function as a regulator of the body’s metabolism, appetite and body temperature.

Most often, it affects women who are 50 years old and above. While the condition cannot be completely cured, breakthroughs in science allow you to treat hypothyroidism through pharmacology and diet. Through pharmacology, your doctor will usually prescribe medication for your condition – which you have to take every day for the rest of your life. But aside from relying on your medication, you can also rely on diet to alleviate your symptoms.

Given that, there are indeed foods that you should avoid and foods that you should eat if you suffer from hypothyroidism.

What Foods To Avoid

When a person has hypothyroidism, he or she is suggested not to eat foods which are classified as goitrogens.  Goitrogens are natural substances within certain food items which may interfere with the thyroid hormone production. They known to suppress the functions of the thyroid gland.

What Goitrogens Do
Blocks iodine.

Prevents medications from working.

Contains isoflavones which are known to cause inflammation.

Contains anti –thyroid properties.


Thus, when you have hypothyroidism, eating goitrogens will further depress your thyroid hormones. The foods under this classification include:

  • Cabbage
  • Mustard
  • Turnips
  • Radish
  • Rape seed
  • Kale
  • Rutagabas
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Peaches
  • Soy
  • Pine nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Millet
  • Strawberries

While you can eat these from time to time, you should lessen your intake of these foods on a regular basis. Aside from these you should also avoid drinking alcohol, coffee and tea and should stop smoking, too.

What Foods To Eat

People who suffer from hypothyroidism should eat healthy foods which are rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals. These include natural foods, numerous vegetables and fruits, seafoods, lean protein, as well as whole grains.  Here are some nutrients which should be consumed by individuals with hypothyroidism, as well as examples of foods that fall under each category.

Selenium

Selenium is an antioxidant trace mineral which is needed in the conversion of the thyroid hormones in the body. Some foods rich in selenium include Brazil nuts, tomatoes, onions, and whole wheat breads.

Fiber

Fiber rich foods are important for weight loss and weight management. People with hypothyroidism usually have slow metabolisms, hence they have a hard time metabolizing body fat which usually leads to obesity. Fiber rich food includes whole wheat breads, raw fruits, oatmeal, and pineapple.  

Zinc

Zinc is a mineral that is known to improve the thyroid function. Foods with zinc include fish, wheat bran and oyster.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants inhibit oxidation inside the body and help cells achieve their optimum potential. They are also great in keeping one healthy and boosting the immune system. Thus, there is a need for hypothyroidism patients to eat foods that are rich in antioxidants such as tomatoes, cherries, blueberries, bell pepper and squash.

Tyrosine

Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid. While produced by the body, patients with hypothyroidism should take in more tyrosine as it helps in pain management, muscle and skin tone and promotes protein structure in the body. Foods rich in tyrosine include lean cuts of meat, cheese, cow’s milk, avocados and bananas and some beans.

Eat Small Meals Regularly

The ideal diet for hypothyroidism is consuming small meals several times a day rather than eating three big meals big meals.

Doing such will help in balancing the metabolism of the body, which is quite slow in persons who have hypothyroidism. Eating small meals will keep your metabolism working regularly, preventing continuous weight gain. Also, small meals keep you full but do not easily tire you out in comparison to taking three big meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Other Important Tips

  • Use iodized salt instead of rock salt.
  • Cook goitrogenic foods rather than eat them raw.
  • Use olive oil instead of other oils.
  • Consume foods which are rich in fluoride.

By regularly eating these recommended foods and avoiding some specific food choices, you do not have to simply rely on your medication alone. Choosing the right foods can help you manage and control the symptoms associated with hypothyroidism through diet, too.

Next Article: 5 Thyroid Support Groups to Consider
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