Thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck below Adam’s apple and can be described as the fundamental mechanism that provides energy and metabolism and helps cell do their jobs, as every cell of our body possess thyroid hormone receptors. When your body produces low level of this hormone, the conditions known as hypothyroidism develops and shows up symptoms like fatigue, muscle aches and pain, weight gain, hair loss, constipation and depression.
When you have hypothyroidism, making some dietary changes can help to control the symptoms drastically. Some foods containing important nutrients can stimulate thyroid hormone production, while some food interferes with production of thyroid hormone and should be avoided. Implementing the dietary changes is the basic defense to deal with hypothyroidism for the rest of your life and turn around your health condition for better.
Best Diet For Hypothyroidism
Protein And Fiber
Proteins are the building blocks of the digestive track and hormone. Increasing protein and fiber rich food in your diet can help to improve thyroid function as protein transport thyroid hormone to all the tissues and fiber improves digestion. Fiber can very well regulate bowel function. Constipation is one of the symptom of hypothyroidism.
To facilitate thyroid function eat foods like fish, chicken, eggs, seafood, legumes, nuts, seafood dairy products and leafy green vegetables. And good source of insoluble fibers that keep bowel movement regular are fruits, vegetables, whole grains, leafy greens and nuts. Also drink enough water to help colon move things out.
L-Tyrosine is an amino acid, necessary for production of thyroid hormone. Thyroid gland uses L-tyrosine and iodine to produce metabolic hormones like T3 and T4. Low tyrosine level is one of the major causes of hypothyroidism. Many protein rich foods like chicken, fish turkey, almond, avocado, nuts seed, legumes, bananas and yogurt etc. are rich in tyrosine. Tyrosine is also contained in many foods that contain iodine and selenium.
Selenium is a trace mineral that produces and regulates thyroid hormone. Selenium deficiency can decrease your hormone level. Foods which are high in selenium are tuna fish, turkey, Brazil nuts, oats, eggs and rice etc. doctors often prescribe selenium supplement to treat hypothyroidism symptoms, An adult needs 55mcg of selenium per day.
Iodine is an essential element necessary for production of thyroid hormone. Our body does not produce iodine. So, it should be an essential component of your diet. Low level of iodine in the body can cause of hypothyroidism. This essential ingredient for thyroid hormone production should be taken using iodized salt. Other source of iodine is seafood or salt water fish, kelp, milk, yogurt and cheese.
Zinc And Copper
Zinc is an important nutrient for improving thyroid function. Some good sources of zinc are squash, asparagus, liver etc. Imbalance of copper and zinc can affect body’s thyroid production. Summer squash, sea foods, shell fish, turkey, chicken, meat and dairy products are good source of zinc and copper.
Iron deficiency is quite common with people suffering from hypothyroidism. So eating iron rich food like beans, lentils, red meat and herbs like parsley are good for people with under active thyroid. Some spices and herbs are also rich in iron sources like thyme, parsley and turmeric.
For improving thyroid functions certain vitamins like vitamin B, E and C are very important. People with hypothyroidism are often found deficient in B vitamins. Vitamin B is essential for cell metabolism.
Vitamin C, the antioxidant vitamin is essential for tyrosine metabolism and vitamin E plays a role in metabolizing selenium. To increase the intake of these nutrients, you must eat whole grain, seafood’s. Dairy, leafy greens, eggs and vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables like orange, blueberries, papaya, grape fruits etc.
Foods That Hurt Thyroid Production
Some foods interfere with thyroid function like foods containing goitrogens such as soybean, millet, peanuts, strawberries, radish, spinach and broccoli, turnips, cabbage, kale should be avoided . Also avoid stimulants like alcohol, caffeine and nicotine. Following these dietary changes will help to improve thyroid functions and improve your general health as well.