When you have an underactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism, symptoms might include depression, constipation, and fatigue among other serious health concerns. However, eating some foods can boost the health of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland produces hormones that help regulate energy levels, metabolism, mood, blood pressure, body temperature and heart rate.
Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid is underactive and hence not producing enough hormones. You can bolster thyroid function by taking your thyroid medication as well as eating a balanced and healthy diet that includes lots of protein and other healthy foods. The next time you go grocery shopping look for these 10 nutrient-rich foods that help bolster thyroid function:
Nuts are a great and convenient food that will help to control hypothyroidism naturally. Nuts are a great source of selenium and they also make a handy and healthy snack that can be taken anywhere. Moreover, they go well in stir-fries and salads. Some of the best sources of selenium that help the thyroid function properly include hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, and macadamia nuts. You only need one or two Brazil nuts, but with other nuts you need a small handful to get your daily nutrient requirements.
One of the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism is constipation. Whole grain foods such as rice, pasta, bread and cereal are particularly high in nutrients and fiber which helps with bowel regularity. Remember, fiber can also interfere with some synthetic thyroid hormones and this is why some people who suffer from hypothyroidism avoid whole grains altogether. However, if you choose to eat them, you should take your medication at least 3 hours before.
Fish – An Excellent Food to Help Control Hypothyroidism Naturally.
Fatty fish such as trout, wild salmon, sardines and tuna are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which make them an excellent choice for dinner or lunch. It’s also vital to understand that unmanaged hypothyroidism increases the risk for heart disease due to the high levels of bad cholesterol (LDL or low-density lipoprotein). Omega-3 fatty acids are known to help with immunity, lower the risk for heart disease and decrease inflammation. Fish is also a great source of selenium, a nutrient which decreases inflammation and is most concentrated in the thyroid gland.
Besides being very versatile and inexpensive, beans are also a great source of sustained energy which is very helpful especially if hypothyroidism seems to drain your energy. Beans are very rich in complex carbohydrates, antioxidants, protein, vitamins, minerals and fiber which is very beneficial especially for hypothyroidism patients who also suffer with constipation. There are numerous varieties of beans to try, most of which can be used as side dishes, as the base for entrees and to enhance stew, soups, and salad. Adults should get about 35 g of fiber per day. Be sure not to overdo it because excess fiber can interfere with hypothyroidism medication.
- Fresh Vegetables and Fruits
Weight gain is one of the early symptoms of hypothyroidism. High density, low calorie foods such as fresh vegetables and fruits are the cornerstone of successful weight loss programs. Therefore, it’s recommended that you include either vegetables or fruits at each meal. Specific foods such as green peppers, cherries, blue berries, and sweet potatoes are rich in nutrients and antioxidants that lower the risk for heart disease.
According to the August 2011 issue of the “Thyroid Journal”, there is a relationship between Hashimoto’s disease (one of the main causes of hypothyroidism) and vitamin D deficiency. Fortified milk on the other hand is rich in vitamin D, iodine, protein and calcium. Since Hashimoto’s disease might also cause gut issues such as heartburn, dairy products such as yogurt which contain good bacteria can help regulate other bacteria.
- Coconut oil
Coconut is a great fruit all around as coconut oil has been used as a healing agent for several centuries. Coconut oil is rich in essential fatty acids which are necessary for proper metabolic function. Moreover, its fatty acids are easily assimilated by the body and they help regulate metabolism and also contribute to thyroid function and thyroid hormone production.
Although most nuts are a great source of fiber, proteins, vitamins and minerals, almonds are an excellent source of vital nutrients needed by the thyroid gland. They combine quality values of zinc, iron and selenium with high protein content and vitamin B.
Turmeric is a super root that offers incredible medical properties from aiding in liver detox to reducing tumor growth and quelling inflammation. A healthy liver is essential for proper thyroid function. Making tea with turmeric is quite easy: combine ½ teaspoon with lemon juice in a mug and cover with hot water. Then, stir and add cayenne and honey to taste.
Water consumption is a very important factor that plays an important part especially when it comes to managing hypothyroidism naturally. You can enhance body metabolism by simply drinking adequate quantities of water every day.
If you have experienced the symptoms and your TSH tests have confirmed that you have hypothyroidism, you should be prepared to make significant dietary changes (this should be done under your physician’s guidance). Current research has proven that the best diet for hypothyroidism is one that mainly contains whole foods that are naturally rich in selenium, iodine and protein. This means eating more vegetables, fruits, sea food, and nuts, and only using supplements if whole foods are not an option.
Wishing you Good Health and Happiness!