Hypothyroidism is a condition where the body cannot produce enough thyroid hormones. Around 5% of the population in the UAE suffer from thyroid problems, or disease and women are far more.
With that being said, those who do suffer from hypothyroidism need to understand what the condition is as well as how their diet is affected. The condition can be managed and through a proper and controlled diet.
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The thyroid is a small gland located at the base of your neck, under Adam’s apple. Its shape often resembles that of a butterfly and is part of an intricate network of glands called the endocrine system.
The endocrine is responsible for coordinating almost all of the body’s activities. Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the body doesn’t make enough thyroid hormones. As a result, cell repair and metabolism become heavily impaired.
Symptoms that people with hypothyroidism include:
- Weight gain
- Loss of hair
- Sensitive to cold
Best Foods for Hypothyroidism You Need to Know
1. Omega-3s in Fish
Omega-3 fatty acids are an excellent food choice to help manage hypothyroidism, and one of the best sources of it is fatty fish. Salmon, tuna, mackerel, trout, sardines, and other seafood are great options to add to your meals.
Hypothyroidism is linked with heart disease as a result of LDL (bad) cholesterol that rises when hypothyroidism is not managed well. Omega-3 fatty acids can help to control cholesterol levels and boost your heart health. Fish also contain a nutrient called selenium which is crucial in combating the inflammation caused by hypothyroidism.
Another great source of selenium is nuts. Hazelnuts, walnuts, macadamia, brazil nuts, and peanuts are great for snacking on, salad garnish, and stir-fries.
Multiple studies have shown that brazil nuts can help with thyroid functioning and battle the inflammation caused by hypothyroidism. However, do keep in mind that walnuts as it can interfere with thyroid hormone absorption, so avoid eating it alongside medication.
Beans are widely available, relatively inexpensive and are a great source of sustained energy. This is particularly helpful when you’re feeling weak or tired due to hypothyroidism.
Beans are popular for their complex carbohydrates, fibre, minerals, and vitamin content. Its high fibre content can also help with constipation; a symptom often experienced for people with hypothyroidism.
4. Whole Grains
As constipation may be a regular occurrence for people with hypothyroidism, whole grains can certainly help with digestion and regulate the bowel. Highly nutritious whole-grain foods that are packed with fibre include bread, pasta, rice, and oatmeal, among others.
It is worth noting that fibre can interfere with synthetic thyroid hormones, causing people with thyroid problems to avoid it altogether. Doctors do recommend you consume thyroid medication several hours before eating fibre-based foods.
Dairy can help with hypothyroidism thanks to its vitamin D content. Studies have shown that vitamin D can help improve TSH levels in people with hypothyroidism. It is also loaded with calcium, protein, and iodine. Products such as milk and yoghurt contain good bacteria that can help with inflammation caused by hypothyroidism.
6. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Hypothyroidism is heavily associated with weight gain. The best way to manage your weight and assist you in maintaining a healthy weight is to eat low calorie, nutrient-dense foods, and nothing fits that description better than fruits and vegetables.
Vegetables such as leafy greens, broccoli, carrots, and fruits such as berries, apples, and bananas are great food options to have during the day as they are loaded with vitamins and minerals. Its high antioxidant levels can also help with combating heart disease.
Seaweed is one of the best natural sources of iodine. Iodine is essential for thyroid function and is the precursor for the production of thyroid hormones. Seaweed is often had with sushi; however, it makes for a great snack as well.
It’s also a great source of fibre, calcium, and vitamins A, B, C, and E, which are all great for general health. It is worth noting that having too much iodine can worsen the condition of the thyroid, so be sure to speak with your doctor before investing in seaweed.
Keep in Mind
Food alone will not be enough to manage hypothyroidism. You will need a combination of lifestyle changes, check-ups with your doctor, as well as prescribed medication. However, food can get you off to a good start as well as keeping your thyroid condition in check.
To learn more about thyroid problems and disease as well as how to diet for it, or if you suspect any of the risk factors or symptoms of thyroid problems in your health, speak with your doctor today.
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