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If you have thyroid disease, you may experience fluctuations in your thyroid hormone levels. And fluctuations in thyroid hormone levels can lead to hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. Hyperthyroidism happens when there’s more than normal levels of thyroid hormones in your body, while hypothyroidism happens when there are low levels of thyroid hormones in the body. Both conditions can affect the normal functioning of different bodily functions. If you have a thyroid problem, you can incorporate some changes in your diet to bring your thyroid hormone levels to normal. Although dietary changes alone won’t bring your thyroid hormone levels to normal, avoiding some food and eating some food can help improve your body’s absorption of these hormones.
Those suffering from hypothyroidism may gain weight, have a disrupted menstrual cycle, and suffer from chronic constipation, depression, dry skin and muscle fatigue. You can plan your diet for the thyroid to lose weight but it is essential that you consult a nutritionist and plan an effective overall diet plan for hypothyroidism to combat all the other possibilities as well.
Foods to Eat
When you plan your diet to combat hypothyroidism, it is essential to plan with care and only after consulting your doctors and nutritionists. But here are some foods that you can eat that may improve your health.
1. Iodized Salt
Hypothyroidism can cause an iodine deficiency in your body and this can lead to thyroid disruption. The cause of your hypothyroidism can also be a lack of iodine in your body. This is where iodized salt comes in handy. Season your food with iodized salt to help restore your iodine levels while balancing your overall diet.
2. Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are rich in selenium which can help catalyze the conversion of inactive thyroid hormones to its active form. Eating Brazil nuts can improve the functioning of the thyroid gland. Selenium also fights inflammation and prevent cancer. So, eat selenium-rich foods like Brazil nuts or sunflower seeds.
3. Bone Broth
Hypothyroidism causes the bones in your body to weaken. Bone broth is known to strengthen your bones. With amino acids like glycine and proline, it will help your body repair the lining of the digestive tract. This, in turn, combats hypothyroidism.
Fatty fish have a good amount of Omega-3 fatty acids and selenium. The former helps control cholesterol while the latter helps with the normal functioning of the thyroid gland. Pick fatty fish like salmon, tuna, or sardine and prepare them under the grill.
Seaweed is a rich source of iodine, Vitamin B, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid. These elements help with the regulation of the hormone production along with regulating mood, preventing lethargy, and improving brain function. You can use seaweed as a flavour enhancer on rice or use it in salads.
Shellfish is rich in iodine and zinc which are necessary for the production of the hormones created by the thyroid gland. You should plan to consume 3 ounces of shellfish such as lobster or shrimp per day.
Lean cuts of beef are generally healthy for those who have a hypothyroid condition. It is rich in protein and is a rich source of zinc and vitamin D. Beef also helps convert the T3 thyroid hormone to the T4. T3 or triiodothyronine is an inactive hormone whereas, T4 or thyroxine is an active form of the hormone which helps combat hypothyroidism.
8. Olive Oil
Rich in healthy fats, olive oil is a great ingredient to use in your hypothyroid diet. It helps lower LDL cholesterol and by doing this, it keeps your heart healthy. Moreover, the polyunsaturated fats in olive oil can process through your body better and keep you full for longer to reduce your appetite overall.
Low-fat forms of dairy products like Greek yoghurt, cheese and low-fat milk are great for your body if you have hypothyroidism, this is because it boosts iodine production long term while spiking it in the short term as well.
A couple of eggs per day is perfect for breakfast for those with hypothyroidism. Eggs are rich in protein and contain fat-soluble vitamins. They also boost iodine levels in your body. Eggs also break down slower in your body, which means you will feel full for longer and won’t reach out for unhealthy foods.
Foods to Avoid
Hypothyroidism can be a dangerous condition to ignore, that’s why the diet also needs extreme care. Here are the foods you should avoid.
Soy is rich in phytoestrogens which inhibit thyroid medication absorption. Additionally, soy-rich food inhibits the development of enzymes that make thyroid hormones and is generally to be avoided if you have a thyroid condition.
Broccoli is rich in fibre and is great for digestion. The issue with broccoli though is it inhibits the functioning of the thyroid gland when you have a disorder. It also interferes with medication functions. Avoid it till your doctor says otherwise.
Cabbage, much like broccoli is not recommended for those with a thyroid condition. It increases hunger and interferes with the functions of thyroid medication. It also reduces enzyme production in the thyroid gland.
Spinach is one of the healthiest green vegetables but eating spinach when you have thyroid can block the medication to correct the thyroid condition from working. It also creates an enzyme imbalance in your body due to the thyroid gland not functioning normally enough to process spinach’s most potent benefits.
5. Brussel Sprouts
Brussel sprouts are like spinach and broccoli, great for those with no thyroid condition. Those who have the condition though are recommended to avoid it. It is very high in fibre and is good when your thyroid gland is functioning healthily. But when it is not, the sprouts may harm your body.
A Sample Diet Chart
Here is a sample diet chart that you can refer to if you want to chalk out a diet plan for hypothyroid.
|Meal Timings||What To Eat/Drink|
|Early Morning (7:30 am)||2 cups of water|
|Breakfast (8:30 am)||2 eggs, a glass of milk, salmon, and avocado on toast|
|Brunch (10:30 am)||A handful of brazil nuts and a cup of green tea|
|Lunch (12:30 pm)||Grilled fish with olive oil on top|
|Snack (4:00 pm)||Seaweed chips|
|Dinner (7:30 pm)||Grilled steak with grilled root vegetables garnished with olive oil|
Unlike a diet for hypothyroidism, a diet for hyperthyroidism can be harmed by the presence of excessive iodine and some other elements like selenium, calcium and zinc. It is essential to understand the differences between the conditions as hyperthyroidism can lead to cardiac issues if left untreated or if treated for hypothyroidism instead. Hyperthyroidism also leads to extreme weight loss.
Foods to Eat
Here is a list of food you can eat to help you combat hyperthyroidism. It is essential you combine this list with a balanced nutrition guide made with the help of qualified nutritionists and doctors.
Fruit is rich in fibre, natural sugars, and minerals and vitamins. The fruit in your body breaks down easily and works well in a diet where you should eat every 2-3 hours. Most fruits contain large amounts of good antioxidants which also help purify your blood flow.
2. Soy Chunks
Soy chunks are a great source of protein and have numerous vitamins and minerals. They also are fibrous, light on the stomach, and great for building muscle mass. Soy chunks, like most proteins, build your appetite.
Eating fibre-rich food is easier for your body to breakdown, this helps load your body with minerals and vitamins. It is great for hyperthyroidism as it forces you to eat more frequently by limiting carbohydrate retention while still keeping you full throughout the day.
Lean cuts of chicken are great for protein. They are also a good source of fibre. Chicken like soy also ensures you have an appetite to eat more frequently while building muscle mass.
The antioxidants in herbs like rosemary help alleviate a lot of symptoms of hyperthyroidism. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that help fight the condition. Rosemary helps increase your appetite; it is good for the heart and relaxes your body.
Fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. It also is a great source of fibre. It breaks down easily in your body and is low in calories. It also keeps your heart healthy and is good for the eyes. Like other protein-rich food, fish is great for building muscle mass.
Like rosemary, basil is rich in anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants. It also is a great source of minerals and vitamins. This helps heart health and digestion.
Millets are a great source of dietary fibre, minerals, and vitamins. They also have goitrogenic properties that help fight hyperthyroidism.
9. Brown Rice
Like millets, brown rice is rich in protein, minerals, and vitamins. It also has goitrogenic properties that help fight this condition.
10. Green Tea
Hyperthyroidism can be fought by drinking a cup of green tea every day. The fluoride in green tea has anti-thyroid properties that fight against the overproduction of thyroid enzymes and helps balance the gland.
Foods to Avoid
Mentioned below are some of the foods that you should avoid if you have hyperthyroidism.
1. Iodized Salt
In hyperthyroidism, iodine is harmful, unlike in hypothyroidism where it is beneficial due to your body’s lack of iodine production. In hypothyroidism, iodized salt and iodine-rich food are extremely beneficial. In hyperthyroidism, this creates an iodine overload as your body already produces enough iodine. Overload can cause further and more dangerous thyroid issues.
Shellfish like crab and lobsters are packed with iodine and zinc. These two minerals can be harmful if you have hyperthyroid. Eating this can be beneficial in hypothyroidism but can be dangerous in hyperthyroidism. Avoid it at all costs.
3. Processed Meat
Processed meats are at times easy to get and are beneficial for the body, but those with hyperthyroidism should avoid it at all costs. It is hard to breakdown and has elements that cause an enzyme imbalance that further aggravates hyperthyroidism.
Anything fried is bad for those with a hyperthyroid condition. Most chips have an overload of sodium and virtually no other nutritional value. In general, chips are an unhealthy snack but for those with this condition, it can impair enzyme production making it dangerous.
Dairy is another ingredient that can be consumed if you have hypothyroidism. It is rich in calcium and can be good for the body. However, if you have hyperthyroidism, calcium can be very dangerous and can impair thyroid health. So avoid consuming dairy products.
Sample Diet Chart
You can use this sample chart to chalk out your diet plan:
|Meals||What To Eat|
|Early Morning (7:30 am)||2 cups of water|
|Breakfast (8:30 am)||2 eggs, citrus fruits, and green leafy vegetables|
|Brunch (10:30 am)||A handful of almonds and raw vegetable salad|
|Lunch (12:30 pm)||Basil crusted fish drizzled with olive oil|
|Snack (4:30 pm)||A cup of green tea and fruit salad|
|Dinner (7:30 pm)||Rosemary crusted, grilled chicken breast, grilled veggies drizzled with olive oil|
These are some of the foods that you should eat and avoid if you have a thyroid. A balanced diet is crucial for the development of your body as a whole. Always plan your diet with nutritional balance in mind after consulting your doctors.