10 Best Foods for Good Thyroid Health
Are you gaining weight despite following a proper diet and workout regimen? Are you experiencing fatigue or difficulty concentrating? If you nodded affirmatively with concern, it could be due to impaired functioning of your thyroid gland. The thyroid is a crucial, small gland resembling the shape of a butterfly and lies at the base of your neck. It secretes hormones that help regulate your heart rate, weight, energy, mood, metabolism, and several more crucial body functions. When the thyroid gland fails to function well, you suffer from fatigue, dry skin, weight gain, a lack of focus, and depression. So, it is necessary to maintain the good health of this vital gland. This is why World Thyroid Day is celebrated on the 25th of May every year to raise awareness about various thyroid disorders, their prevention, treatment and thyroid care.
This year, World Thyroid Day will be observed on 25th May 2023. The theme of this global health initiative day is “Thyroid Health: Nurturing Well-being.” It focuses on the significance of proactive care and self-awareness about maintaining good thyroid health. It motivates people worldwide to follow preventive measures, do regular check-ups, and practice self-care to have a healthy thyroid. This can help all of us have good physical and psychological well-being and lead a healthy and happy life. A well-balanced diet focusing on thyroid health is a part of self-care that all of us should practice. So, you might be wondering what foods you should include in your thyroid diet to improve your health, aren’t you? Continue reading this article to discover all about it.
What are Common Thyroid Disorders?
Before proceeding to diet for good thyroid health, let’s have a look at some common health conditions resulting due to impaired functioning of the thyroid gland.
Hyperthyroidism: When the thyroid gland secretes excess thyroid hormone, the condition is known as hyperthyroidism. It causes an increased metabolism, thereby resulting in health issues, such as abnormal weight loss, irregular or rapid heartbeat, and hand tremors. Irritation, anxiety, sleep deprivation, enlargement of the thyroid gland, increased perspiration, thickening of the nails, vision issues, and sensitivity to heat are other common hyperthyroidism symptoms.
Hypothyroidism: When the thyroid gland fails to produce sufficient thyroid hormones as per your body’s needs, the condition is known as hypothyroidism. Abnormal weight gain, fatigue, forgetfulness, brittle nails, dry, dull hair, hoarse voice, constipation, and sensitivity to the cold are some hypothyroidism symptoms.
10 Best, Healthy Foods for Thyroid:
Here’s a list of ten nutritious foods that help promote good health of the thyroid naturally.
The thyroid gland requires the highest amount of selenium as compared to any other organ of your body. Loaded with selenium, Brazil nuts are a superfood for thyroid health. Besides selenium, Brazil nuts also contain high content of magnesium, zinc, and copper which help improve thyroid health and function. Eat a few of these nutritious nuts daily.
Packed with pectin, which is a fibre that aids in eliminating toxins from your body, apples are a healthy food for thyroid health. Toxins, such as metals, can interfere with the smooth functioning of the thyroid. For instance, mercury can reduce the levels of thyroid hormones in your body. So, fresh, raw apples are one of the best foods for thyroid patients. Prefer to eat apples with its skin, as it contains high levels of pectin, to improve your thyroid health and function.
Abundant in zinc, pumpkin seeds are another superfood for thyroid health. The mineral – zinc is necessary for the synthesis of thyroid hormones. The deficiency of zinc can lead to hypothyroidism. So, pumpkin seeds are one of the beneficial foods for hypothyroidism. Besides zinc, these nutritious seeds also contain selenium and copper. Copper is essential for keeping up optimal thyroid gland function. And, selenium is crucial for thyroid gland function and the metabolism of thyroid hormones. So, include pumpkin seeds in your hypothyroidism diet. You may roast them or have dried pumpkin seeds added to your snacks to ensure good thyroid health. You may also have sunflower seeds and nuts.
Yoghurt is recognized as one of the healthiest foods for thyroid health. It supplies your body with adequate iodine. Iodine is crucial for the optimal functioning of the thyroid gland. So, eating a bowl of fresh yoghurt helps meet the iodine requirements of your body and ensures smooth thyroid functioning.
Also, yoghurt is rich in vitamin D, which is necessary for strengthening your immune system and preventing the progression of thyroid disease. Vitamin D deficiencies may increase the risk of Hashimoto’s disease, which is an autoimmune condition that can lead to hypothyroidism. Yoghurt is a low-calorie, high-protein food option that goes well when losing weight with hypothyroidism. So, enrich your thyroid diet plan with yoghurt.
One of the healthiest foods for the thyroid is egg. Iodine and selenium content in eggs is beneficial for promoting thyroid health and function. Besides this, eggs contain tyrosine and tryptophan which offer health benefits. Tryptophan helps promote heart health and provides you with anti-cancer benefits. Eggs also offer you iodine, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and selenium. All these nutrients are beneficial for improving your thyroid health and function. So, include fresh eggs in your breakfast rotation. Prefer to eat the whole egg, as the yolk comprises maximum nutrients.
Blueberries are nutritious fruits ideal for those who are working on losing weight with hypothyroidism. They are rich in fibre and antioxidants called polyphenols and have a low glycaemic index. People with thyroid conditions have high levels of free radicals. Eating blueberries can help minimize this oxidative stress as they are rich in antioxidants. Also, berries provide a metabolic boost and energy. So, blueberries are healthy food for thyroid patients.
Chickpeas contain high zinc content, which is crucial for thyroid function. Also, they are rich in fibre which helps reduce or prevent constipation, which is a common issue that people with thyroid disorders complain of. You may cook chickpeas with onions, garlic, cumin, potatoes, and cinnamon and add the preparation to your thyroid diet.
Loaded with antioxidants, avocadoes are healthy food for thyroid patients. This nutritious fruit also provides you with healthy fats, essential nutrients, and fibre. So, people suffering from thyroid symptoms due to impaired functioning of the thyroid gland should include fresh avocadoes in their diet.
To improve your thyroid gland function and health, include sardines in your diet. The high selenium content in the fish supports thyroid function. Being an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, sardines help reduce inflammation and boost immunity which helps lower the risk of the development of Hashimoto’s disease, thereby minimizing the risk of hypothyroidism. You can also include flax seeds and walnuts in your thyroid diet, as they also provide you with omega-3 fatty acids.
Your thyroid gland needs iodine to synthesize appropriate quantities of thyroid hormone. Even mild iodine deficiencies can cause thyroid health issues. Seaweed is a natural source of iodine. While iodized salt is common, seaweed is the richest natural source of iodine that you can go for to improve your thyroid function. You may prepare seaweed salad by adding grated ginger, sesame oil, sliced green onions, and honey and include it in your thyroid diet.
Foods to Avoid for Thyroid Health:
While adding these healthy foods to your thyroid diet, you should also avoid certain foods that can hamper your health. Here are some thyroid foods to avoid.
Processed Foods: Refrain from eating processed foods. You may think that salty, packaged foods can help you boost your iodine intake. You might do the mistake, as iodized salt is not necessarily used in processed foods. Also, processed foods lack many essential nutrients and can cause undesirable weight gain. So, avoid them.
Fast Foods: Although salty to taste, fast foods aren’t always prepared using iodized salt. Moreover, they are not healthy food options and can hamper your health and weight management efforts. So, fast foods are some of the thyroid foods to avoid.
Gluten if You are Gluten-Sensitive: Individuals suffering from gluten intolerance or celiac disease should avoid foods containing gluten. Studies reveal that autoimmune thyroid conditions, such as Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, coexist with celiac disease. Gut microorganisms not only affect your absorption of micronutrients and immunity but also impact thyroid function. If eating gluten worsens your celiac disease symptoms, opt for a gluten-free diet.
Now that you know which foods are beneficial for thyroid health and which are not, you can develop your diet accordingly. Let’s spread the word about the role of diet in improving and maintaining thyroid health this World Thyroid Day so that a maximum number of people worldwide can benefit from it. The precious assistance of certified dieticians, such as health experts at Health Total, can help you receive a customized thyroid diet. Our diet plan not only improves your thyroid function but also eliminates nutritional deficiencies, boosts your immunity, and lowers or prevents potential health risks. So, hurry up, reach out to us at Health Total and improve your thyroid health with our customized thyroid diet plan.
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