If you have a thyroid disorder, you might be facing certain health issues like fatigue, depression, and weight gain. Read this blog to learn how thyroid friendly foods can help support thyroid function.
What is Thyroid?
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland located in the front of the neck. It is responsible for the production of hormones that are essential for the normal functioning of the body. When there is an imbalance in the production of hormones by the thyroid gland, it leads to thyroid disease. There are mainly two types of thyroid disorders: hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid).
Hypothyroidism, also known as underactive thyroid, is a thyroid disease in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone.
Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) is a thyroid condition in which the thyroid gland makes too much thyroid hormone.
Thyroid Friendly Foods: How Does Diet Affect Thyroid Functioning?
Diet plays a crucial role and offers various benefits for people dealing with thyroid diseases. Certain dietary changes can help reduce the symptoms associated with thyroid disorders. A nutritious diet including fresh fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and gluten-free foods can help promote healthy weight gain, protect against cellular damage, and improve thyroid function.
It is important to consult your healthcare provider before consuming certain types of food, as they may interfere with your thyroid medication and hurt your health.
What Are the Food Options That Help Thyroid Function?
Thyroid Friendly Foods: Let’s discuss the dietary habits that can affect thyroid function and also have an overview of what to eat and what to avoid in hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
Hypothyroidism: Best Food Options to Support Thyroid Function
- Omega-3 fatty acids
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, walnuts, chia seeds, and trout, are very beneficial in managing symptoms related to hypothyroidism. Omega-3 fatty acids help decrease inflammation, boost immunity, and lower the risk of heart disease.
- Nuts and legumes
Nuts are a great source of selenium that helps the thyroid function normally. For example, Brazilian nuts contain a high amount of selenium, and by only consuming one or two of them, you will have enough for your daily nutrient intake.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
It is important to include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet, as they are rich in antioxidants and nutrients that are essential to lowering the risk of heart disease.
There are special foods such as blueberries, cherries, and sweet potatoes that are rich in antioxidants and essential for normal thyroid function.
Foods to Avoid
Certain food habits are not advised to consume or consider eating in hypothyroidism.
- Foods such as cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower, and sprouts, should be used in moderation for effective thyroid function.
- Avoid consuming gluten and processed foods that may interfere with thyroid function and can be responsible for worsening the symptoms related to hypothyroidism. The cut-down of processed foods from your diet plays a very important role in managing weight and overall well-being.
Hyperthyroidism: Best Foods to Eat
Including the following food items can help you manage hyperthyroidism symptoms:
- Foods low in iodine
Following low iodine is advisable by doctors as it can reduce the excess of thyroid hormones. Foods such as egg whites, unsalted nuts and butter, and non-iodized salt are some examples of low-iodine diets.
- Cruciferous vegetables
Broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage are some of the food options that fall under the category of cruciferous vegetables. This type of vegetable reduces the iodine uptake in the thyroid, slows down the overproduction of these hormones, and hence reduces the symptoms of hyperthyroidism.
- Healthy fats
Adding healthy fats to your diet is important for hyperthyroidism, as you are consuming a non-dairy diet. You can consume flaxseeds; olive, coconut, and avocado are the best sources of healthy fats.
Foods to Avoid
By cutting down on several food habits, you can manage thyroid conditions such as hyperthyroidism.
- Avoid consuming foods rich in iodine, as a low-iodine diet is essential for managing thyroid hormones.
- You should avoid or limit gluten-containing ingredients such as wheat, barley, malt, and brewer’s yeast.
These are certain food habits you should avoid and consider if you have a thyroid disorder. However, it is important to seek consultation from your healthcare provider so that they can give personal recommendations according to your specific situation.
Diet is closely related to the management of thyroid diseases like hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. In this blog, we discussed various food options that can help manage thyroid conditions, such as avoiding processed foods and starting to consume fresh fruits and vegetables.
Contacting a healthcare provider is essential, as they will suggest a healthy, balanced diet according to your situation.
Get yourself a diet plan that helps treat your condition from Ayursparsh Clinic and Panchakarma Center, a renowned wellness clinic in Dharwad, Karnataka.
To help manage your thyroid disease, have a consultation with Dr Rashmi C. Patil, MD (Ayu), an expert in treating health conditions like thyroid.