If you have hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid, you may experience fatigue, depression, constipation, and other more serious health problems. Fortunately, eating certain foods can help increase the efficiency of your thyroid, a small, butterfly-shaped gland in your neck that plays an important role in how your body functions.
The thyroid produces hormones that regulate mood, metabolism, energy levels, body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. Hypothyroidism occurs when this gland does not produce enough hormones to meet your body’s needs. Taking thyroid hormone replacement medications daily can help restore thyroid hormone levels and control symptoms. In addition to taking your thyroid medication, you can help maintain thyroid function with a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, and protein, among other healthy foods. Next time you’re at the grocery store, look for these seven nutrient-rich foods.
1/ Omega-3s from fish help fight inflammation and boost the immune system
The omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish such as wild salmon, trout, tuna, or sardines make this food a great option for lunch or dinner. Uncontrolled hypothyroidism can increase the risk of heart disease due to higher levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the “bad” cholesterol. Omega-3s are known to decrease inflammation, support immunity, and reduce the risk of heart disease. Fish is also a good source of selenium, a nutrient that is primarily concentrated in the thyroid and helps reduce inflammation.
2/ Nuts are rich in selenium, which helps the thyroid function
Another great source of selenium, walnuts are a handy snack that you can take anywhere. They also go great in salads or stir-fries. Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, and hazelnuts are particularly rich in selenium, which, according to a 2017 review published in the International Journal of Endocrinology, helps the thyroid function properly. With Brazil nuts, you only need to eat one or two. With other nuts, a small handful is all you need to get your daily nutrients and be sure to watch your portion sizes, as nuts are also high in fat. A side note: Walnuts can interfere with the absorption of thyroid hormones, so avoid eating them at the same time you take your medication.
3/ Whole grains help relieve constipation, a symptom of hypothyroidism
Constipation is a common symptom of hypothyroidism. Whole foods, such as cereals, bread, pasta, and rice, are rich in nutrients and fiber, which can promote bowel regularity. However, fiber can interfere with synthetic thyroid hormones. Some people with hypothyroidism choose to avoid whole-grains altogether, but if you do choose to eat them, it is recommended that you take your thyroid medications several hours before or after eating foods high in dietary fiber.
4/ Fresh fruits and vegetables help control weight gain
Weight gain is an early symptom of hypothyroidism. Low-calorie, high-density foods like fresh produce are the cornerstone of any successful weight loss program. Include fresh fruit or vegetables at every meal, if possible. Certain foods like blueberries, cherries, sweet potatoes, and green bell peppers are also high in antioxidants, nutrients known to reduce the risk of heart disease. However, people with hypothyroidism may want to limit their intakes of cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cabbage, because they can block the thyroid’s ability to absorb iodine, which is essential for normal thyroid function.
5 /Algae contain iodine, which is essential for thyroid function
Seaweed has a high concentration of iodine, an essential nutrient for thyroid function. Iodine is the precursor for the production of thyroid hormone. The seaweed, packaged as nori, wakame, and dulse, can be used in sushi, soups, and salads. Another benefit: Seaweed offers nutritional benefits in terms of fiber, calcium, and vitamins A, B, C, E, and K. It’s possible to consume too much iodine, which can aggravate thyroid disease. However, the probability of such a situation is higher if you take supplements that contain iodine.
6/ Essential Vitamin D for Your Thyroid Diet
Vitamin D may help improve thyroid levels, according to a 2018 study published in the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, which found that vitamin D supplementation improved TSH levels in hypothyroid subjects, as well as antibodies thyroid in people with autoimmune thyroiditis. Since Hashimoto’s disease can also cause changes that contribute to intestinal problems like heartburn, foods like yogurt that contain good bacteria can help regulate other bacteria.
7/ beans help maintain energy
Inexpensive and versatile, beans are a great source of long-lasting energy, which can come in handy if hypothyroidism leaves you exhausted. Beans contain protein, antioxidants, complex carbohydrates, and many vitamins and minerals. They are also high in fiber, which can be beneficial if you suffer from constipation, a common side effect of hypothyroidism. If you’re new to beans, there are many varieties to try, all of which can be used as a base for main dishes, as side dishes, and to flavor soups, salads, and stews. Just be careful not to abuse it. Guidelines recommend that adults consume 20 to 35 grams of fiber daily, but too much fiber can interfere with your treatment for hypothyroidism.
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