Pulses and lentils

7 Foods to Improve Your Thyroid Health and What to Avoid

Located at the front of the neck and below the larynx, the thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped endocrine gland, which produces the thyroid hormones that regulate the body’s metabolic rate and help control growth, cell repair, metabolism, and brain development. The hormones produced by the thyroid gland impact all the metabolic processes in your body.

The thyroid also affects the rate of your metabolism. The faster your metabolism is, the more calories you can burn while at rest. Having a slow metabolism comes with many health risks that can be fatal. It may make it harder for you to shed weight or increase your cholesterol levels. Research has shown that moderate to high intensity aerobic or cardio exercises may help boost your hormone health.

The food you eat can largely affect the production of hormones. This could meddle with the functioning of the thyroid gland leading to either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid gland doesn’t make enough hormones, and hyperthyroidism is when the thyroid gland makes too much of it. Both can affect the blissful state of your body.
The cause for thyroid disorders is largely unknown but environmental and lifestyle evidence suggests that certain foods can aid in thyroid function — ‘Iodine’ being the most essential for the gland's optimal functioning.  Here’s a list of 5 superfoods that you may add to your diet.

Here’s a list of 7 foods that you may add to your diet.

  1. Broccoli
  2. Bone Broth
  3. Blueberries
  4. Turmeric
  5. Seaweed
  6. Kelp
  7. Algae – Essential Fatty Acids
  8. Brazil Nut

Iodine

Since iodine is essential to thyroid hormone productions, people with iodine deficiency might be at risk of hypothyroidism. People with iodine deficiency should consider adding iodized salt to their food or consume more iodine-rich food - seaweed, fish, seafood, and eggs.

Selenium

This helps activate the thyroid hormones so that they can be used by the body. This mineral also has antioxidant benefits that protect the thyroid gland from damage by free radicals. Some important foods with Selenium include Brazilian nuts, sardines, eggs, tuna fish, and legumes.

Zinc

This, too, helps activate the thyroid hormones. This mineral regulates TSH, the hormone that signals the thyroid gland to release thyroid hormones. Some zinc rich-foods are oyster, shellfish, beef, and chicken.

Foods To Avoid

Foods that contain goitrogens may interfere with the normal functioning of the thyroid gland. The list of foods that should be eaten in moderation and ideally cooked are as follows:

  • Millets
  • Highly processed foods
  • Food Supplements
  • Soy-based foods - beans, tofu, soy milk, etc.
  • Certain vegetables: broccoli, kale, spinach, cabbage, etc.
  • Certain fruits: peaches, pears, strawberries
  • Beverages: coffee, green tea, alcohol
  • Foods, unless they cause discomfort and irritation, can be consumed in moderate amounts. 

People with hypothyroidism have the option of consuming several healthy food items like meat, fruits, eggs, fish, vegetables, gluten-free grains and seeds, dairy products, and non-caffeinated drinks.

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