Hypothyroidism is a disorder in which the thyroid hormones produced by the body are insufficient.
Thyroid hormones are involved in the regulation of growth, cell repair, and metabolism. As a result, hypothyroidism patients may experience fatigue, hair loss, weight gain, coldness, and depression, among other symptoms.
Hypothyroidism affects 1–2% of the world’s population, with women being 10 times more likely than males to be affected.
Hypothyroidism cannot be cured only via diet. A combination of the appropriate foods and medicine, on the other hand, can help restore thyroid function and reduce symptoms.
Based on studies, this article explains the optimal hypothyroidism diet, including which foods to eat and which to avoid.
What is hypothyroidism and how does it affect you ?
Thyroid gland is a tiny butterfly-shaped gland located near the base of the neck.
It produces and stores thyroid hormones, which have an impact on almost all of your body’s cells.
Thyroid hormones are released into the circulation when the thyroid gland receives a signal called thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). When thyroid hormone levels are low, the pituitary gland, a tiny gland near the base of the brain, sends out this signal.
Even when there is sufficient of TSH, the thyroid gland does not always produce thyroid hormones. The most prevalent kind of hypothyroidism is termed primary hypothyroidism.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition in which your immune system erroneously assaults your thyroid gland, is responsible for around 90% of primary hypothyroidism.
Iodine shortage, a hereditary condition, using certain medicines, and surgery to remove part of the thyroid are all possible causes of primary hypothyroidism.
TSH isn’t always delivered in sufficient amounts to the thyroid gland. This is known as secondary hypothyroidism and occurs when the pituitary gland is not functioning correctly.
Thyroid hormones play a critical role. They aid in cell repair, development, and metabolism, the process through which your body turns food into energy.
The pace at which you burn calories and the temperature at which you expend them are both affected by your metabolism. As a result, persons with hypothyroidism frequently feel chilly and tired, and they may gain weight quickly.
What is the impact of hypothyroidism on your metabolism ?
Thyroid hormone regulates the rate of your metabolism. Your body burns more calories at rest if your metabolism is quicker.
When the thyroid gland generates inadequate thyroid hormone, hypothyroidism develops. They have a slower metabolism and burn less calories at rest as a result.
A sluggish metabolism carries a number of health concerns. It may make you fatigued, raise your blood cholesterol levels, and make losing weight more difficult.
If you’re having trouble keeping your weight under control due to hypothyroidism, consider performing some moderate or high-intensity exercise. Fast-paced walking, running, hiking, and rowing are examples of this type of exercise.
Thyroid hormone levels may be boosted by moderate to high intensity aerobic exercise, according to research. As a result, your metabolism may be accelerated.
Increased protein consumption may also help those with hypothyroidism. According to research, eating a higher protein diet might help you speed up your metabolism.
What are the most vital nutrients ?
Thyroid health necessitates the consumption of a number of nutrients.
Iodine is a mineral that is required for the production of thyroid hormones. As a result, those who are deficient in iodine may be at risk of hypothyroidism.
Iodine deficiency is quite prevalent, affecting about a third of the global population. People in industrialised nations like the United States, where iodized salt and iodine-rich seafood are commonly available, are less likely to have it.
If you’re deficient in iodine, try adding iodized table salt to your meals or increasing your intake of iodine-rich foods like seaweed, seafood, dairy, and eggs.
Supplementing with iodine is unnecessary since you can receive enough iodine from your diet. Too much of this mineral, according to some research, might harm the thyroid gland.
Selenium aids in the “activation” of thyroid hormones, allowing them to be utilized by the body.
This important mineral also has antioxidant properties, which means it may protect the thyroid gland from free radical damage.
Increasing your selenium levels by eating selenium-rich foods is a wonderful method to do so. Brazil nuts, tuna, sardines, eggs, and legumes are examples.
However, only take a selenium supplement if a healthcare expert recommends it. Supplements include high levels of selenium, which can be hazardous in high concentrations.
Zinc, like selenium, assists in thyroid hormone activation in the body.
Zinc may also assist the body regulate TSH, the hormone that signals the thyroid gland to release thyroid hormones, according to research.
Zinc deficiency is uncommon in industrialised nations since zinc is abundant in diet.
If you have hypothyroidism, however, you should consume extra zinc-rich foods such as oysters and other shellfish, beef, and chicken.
Foods to stay away
If you have hypothyroidism, you don’t have to avoid a lot of things.
Goitrogen-containing meals, on the other hand, should be consumed in moderation and preferably prepared.
You should avoid consuming highly processed meals because they are often rich in calories. If you have hypothyroidism, this might be a concern since you may gain weight quickly.
Here’s a list of foods and supplements you should stay away from:
Millet comes in a wide range of kinds.
Hot dogs, cakes, biscuits, and other highly processed meals
Supplements: Adequate selenium and iodine intakes are critical for thyroid health, but too much of either can be harmful. Only take selenium and iodine supplements if your doctor has recommended it.
Here’s a list of foods that may be consumed in moderation. If taken in high quantities, these foods contain goitrogens or are recognised irritants:
- Tofu, tempeh, edamame beans, soy milk, and other soy-based foods
- To mention a few, peaches, pears, and strawberries.
- Coffee, green tea, and alcohol are among drinks that might aggravate your thyroid gland.
Foods to eat
If you have hypothyroidism, you can eat a variety of foods, including:
- Whole eggs are preferable since the yolk has the most iodine and selenium, while the whites are high in protein.
- Meat includes lamb, beef, chicken, and other meats.
- Salmon, tuna, halibut, shrimp, and other seafood are examples of fish.
- Vegetables: any type of vegetable in moderation, cruciferous vegetables are safe to eat, especially when cooked.
- All other fruits, such as berries, bananas, oranges, tomatoes, and so on.
- Rice, buckwheat, quinoa, chia seeds, and flax seeds are gluten-free grains and seeds.
- Dairy goods include milk, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products.
- Water and other non-caffeinated drinks are acceptable refreshments.
Hypothyroidism patients should eat a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and lean meats. These are low in calories and filling, which may help you avoid gaining weight.
Due to a slowed metabolism, hypothyroidism makes it very simple to acquire weight.
Here are some suggestions to help you maintain a healthy body weight:
Make sure you get enough sleep. Every night, try to obtain 7–8 hours of sleep. Sleep deprivation has been related to weight growth, particularly around the abdomen.
Make mindful eating a habit. Mindful eating, which is paying attention to what you’re eating, why you’re eating, and how quickly you’re eating, can aid in the development of a healthier relationship with food. It has also been shown in studies to aid weight loss.
Yoga or meditation are good options. De-stressing and improving your general health may be achieved via yoga and meditation. They can also help you control your weight, according to research.
Try eating a low- to moderate-carbohydrate diet. It is highly effective to lose weight by eating a low to moderate amount of carbohydrates. However, a ketogenic diet should be avoided since eating too little carbohydrates might cause your thyroid hormone levels to drop.