Thyroid is a small gland situated in front of the wind pipe and around it. It looks like a butterfly with widely spread wings. Thyroid gland is situated just above the voice box. The hormonal control governed by this gland is majorly responsible for the body’s proper metabolism and functioning. If the secretions of the thyroid gland get disturbed, the whole body loses its balance and its symptoms can be seen in each and every organ of the body.
Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism are two ways in which thyroid gland can become diseased and harm our body.
Here we will discuss about hypothyroidism in detail and how diet can play a crucial role in its management.
So what should an ultimate diet plan for hypothyroid patients look like?
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which thyroxin hormone is secreted in reduced amounts by the body and a common clinical finding is an increased TSH level.
Now, the consequences of this condition is an abnormally slow metabolism, water retention in the body, dullness, body ache, and possibly every organ right from the head to toe shows some or the other sign of hypothyroidism.
Let us start with the list of what to be consumed in order to get thyroid gland back to better functioning.
Get back Iodine
The first change in diet plan is to include more of Iodine in it. The simplest way is to consciously use Iodized salt in diet. Iodine is one of the most important minerals for the efficient functioning of the Thyroid gland.
Some other options to get an improved supply of Iodine in diet are seaweeds and sea foods, celtic sea salts etc.
Cow’s milk, eggs, salmon and tuna are some other iodine rich sources that are not only available commonly but also equally relishing.
It is another mineral which is required in more amounts in diet of hypothyroid patients. Garlic, onions and whole grains, eggs, sunflower seeds, brazil nuts are some of the dietary products rich in selenium.
Shrimp, Tuna, Turkey are some of the non – vegetarian options.
Zinc is another mineral good for countering effects of hypothyroidism. Chicken, crab, oysters, whole grains and dairy products are common sources of dietary zinc for us.
We all know vitamins are always needed by our body and natural dietary sources are the most reliable ones to fall back upon.
Vitamin B – complex, C, E are the main vitamins that one should deliberately include in diet to boost up thyroid secretions.
Anti – Oxidants
We know how super foods are capturing everyone’s attention these days and without doubt for all the right reasons. Anti – oxidant rich foods help the body in getting rid of the harmful free radicals that accumulate in our body as a by product of faulty metabolism.
For a hypothyroidism patient the need for anti – oxidant rich foods becomes all the more important.
Blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, apples, cherry, green tea, grapes and legumes are rich in anti – oxidants and should be more frequently consumed.
Most people battling hypothyroidism have been found to have obesity issues. It is very important to devise a well balanced diet plan keeping in mind the need for weight loss and how it will help in improving thyroid function.
A balanced diet and a healthy exercise routine that suits the body can work wonders in improving the metabolism of a hypothyroidism patient.
Another important thing to know is that faulty thyroid hormone secretions over a period of time start influencing other hormonal control systems in the body like insulin, reproductive hormones etc.
Especially in females, reproductive problems can be a symptom of thyroid imbalance in the body which many a times goes unnoticed because the focus remains on the reproductive hormones only.
Maintaining a healthy body weight is not only preventive but also protective of your body, saving it from not one but many health problems.
Avoid Goitrogenic Chemicals
These are certain chemicals which have a harmful impact on the thyroid gland and therefore should be avoided. For a hypothyroid patient it is very important to know about them and start avoiding them right away.
What else to be avoided?
There is a whole list of eatables which every hypothyroid patient should know and avoid if interested in a quick recovery.
So we start with raw vegetables like spinach, broccoli, Brussels, sprouts, turnip, cauliflower etc.
Next in the list are Soy products like tofu, soya bean nuggets, soy lentils etc.
Millets and grains containing gluten like wheat, barley, rye, semolina etc.
A Word of Advice
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle for a hypothyroidism patient is much more important than one realizes. It is partly because once thyroid secretions start altering inside the body, the only treatment option is to try to maintain it. There is not much to be done if we think about curing this condition.
Though things are not all that bad, small dietary and lifestyle changes can serve to help people live long and healthy lives without having to deal with the complications.
It all requires motivation and awareness of oneself and of the condition called as hypothyroidism. Once we are aware of our body and its demands to stay healthy, things become a lot simpler.