A thyroid diet is essential to regulate thyroid function. The thyroid gland is located under Adam’s apple in the throat. They are hidden glands important for hormones regulating, sleep, growth, development, and menstrual cycle. Sometimes, the thyroid can become overactive or underactive, which is called hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. It may cause sudden weight gain or weight loss, depression, stunted growth, slow brain growth, and irregular periods.
How Do Thyroid Problems Impact Your Metabolism?
The thyroid hormone helps to manage the speed of metabolism. As much faster the metabolism work, it helps to burn more calories at rest. People with hypothyroidism make low thyroid hormones. It means they get a slower metabolism and burn fewer calories during rest.
Getting a slow metabolism comes with many health risks. It may make you tired, boost blood cholesterol levels, and make it difficult for weight loss.
If you feel difficulty managing weight with hypothyroidism, try doing high or moderate-intensity cardio. It includes workouts like fast-paced walking, hiking, running, and rowing.
Research shows that mild to high-intensity aerobic workouts may help to promote thyroid hormone levels. In turn, it may help to speed up metabolism.
People with hypothyroidism might also help by rising protein consumption. Research indicates that more protein diets benefit raises the metabolism rate.
Which Nutrients Are Essential?
Many nutrients are necessary for optimal thyroid health.
Iodine is an important mineral that is required to make thyroid hormones. Thus, people with iodine deficiency might get the risk of hypothyroidism.
Iodine deficiency is general and impacts nearly one-third of the population of the world. However, it is less common in people from countries like the United States, where iodized salt and seafood with rich iodine are widely found.
If you get an iodine deficiency, consider including iodized table salt in your meals or consuming more iodine-rich foods like fish, seaweed, eggs, and dairy.
Iodine supplements are not necessary, as you can have more iodine from your diet. Some research indicated that having more of this mineral may damage the thyroid gland.
Selenium helps to activate the thyroid hormones so they can be utilized by your body. It is important that minerals also provide antioxidant benefits, which means they may help the thyroid gland from damage by molecules called free radicals.
Including selenium-rich foods in your diet is the best way to promote selenium levels. It adds brazil nuts, sardines, tuna, legumes, and eggs.
However, skipping a selenium supplement unless recommended by a healthcare expert. Supplements offer more doses, and selenium may be toxic in high amounts.
Like selenium, zinc helps the body stimulate thyroid hormones. Research also indicates that zinc may help the body to manage TSH, the hormone that signals the thyroid gland to release thyroid hormones.
Zinc deficiencies are rare in developed countries, as zinc provides more food supply.
Nonetheless, if you get hypothyroidism, aim to consume more zinc-rich foods like oysters and different beef, shellfish, and chicken.
Which nutrients are Risky?
Many nutrients may affect the health of those having hypothyroidism.
Goitrogens are syntheses that may affect the normal function of the thyroid gland. They get their name from the word goiter, which is an enlarged thyroid gland that may form with hypothyroidism. Different common foods consist of goitrogens, including:
- Soy foods: tofu, edamame, tempeh, etc.
- Certain vegetables: kale, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, etc.
- Fruits and starchy plants: cassava, sweet potatoes, strawberries, peaches, etc.
- Nuts and seeds: pine nuts, millet, peanuts, etc.
In theory, people having a thyroid problem should skip goitrogens. However, this only seems to be a problem who get an iodine deficiency or consume high amounts of goitrogens. Also, cooking foods using goitrogens may inactivate this synthesis.
One exception to the above foods is known as pearl millet. Some research has discovered that pearl millet might affect thyroid functions, even if you do not experience iodine deficiency.
Hypothyroidism Diet – Foods to Eat
Thyroid problems can cause to disrupt the menstrual cycle, constipation, weight gain, goiter, dry skin, depression, muscle fatigue, hair fall, slow heart rate, and puffy face. Apart from medicines, you can eat these foods to promote thyroid function.
Hypothyroidism leads to anxiety, more heart rate, irregular periods, irritability, insomnia, bulging eyes, more hunger, difficulty concentrating, and moist skin. Apart from your physician prescribed medications, some foods can also help to treat Hyperthyroidism. Here is the list
According to the American Thyroid Association, iodine is required for the production of thyroid hormone. Iodine deficiency can cause goiter and hypothyroidism. Since your body can not create iodine naturally, you should consume foods that have enough iodine. And the best way to include that is to eat iodized salt.
Brazil nuts are the best source of the mineral selenium that helps to catalyze the conversion of the inactive thyroid hormone to the active form. Scientists have discovered that brail nut supplementation enhanced thyroid hormone levels.
Selenium also boosts lower inflammation and reduces cancer cell proliferation. You can eat up to brazil nuts every day. Do not consume more differently as it may cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Fish provide high omega-3 fatty acids and selenium. Omega-3 fatty acids help to lower selenium and LDL cholesterol and keep your thyroid hormone.
Eating salmon, sardines, and tuna to balance hypothyroidism. You can have 3-5 oz fish each day. Avoid overcooking the fish.
Eating bone broth has glycine and amino acids proline that helps to repair the digestive lining and enhance hypothyroidism. Thyroid problems can also cause bone fractures, and eating bone broth can help to increase bone strength.
Eating one cup of bone broth for dinner or lunch. Toss in some vegetables. Ensure to cook the vegetables properly. Raw cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, brassica seeds, and turnip consist of Goitrin, an active goitrogen that lower thyroid hormone secretion. However, right cooking eliminates the goitrogen factor.
Vegetables And Fruits
Colorful vegetables, green leafy vegetables, and fruits are the best sources of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and antioxidants. However, you should be cautious if you get hypothyroidism because some fruits and veggies can limit the production of thyroid hormones and are called goitrogens.
Vegetables like spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, radish, cabbage, peach, sweet potato, mustard greens, and avocado are goitrogens.
However, properly cooking these fruits and vegetables can cause the goitrogens inactive.
Seaweed like kelp, nori, and kombu help to treat hypothyroidism as they are the best source of B-vitamins, iodine, pantothenic acid, and riboflavin. They absorb extra iodine from the sea and also an amino acid called tyrosine, which is the most essential amino acid to create thyroid hormones.
They help to upregulate thyroid hormones production, promote mood, improve the brain, and stop lethargy. You can get up to 150 mcg of seaweed every day.
Low-fat milk, cheese, and yogurt are best in selenium and iodine that help promote thyroid hormone formation and activation. They are also rich in the amino acid tyrosine that boosts combat the symptoms of hypothyroidism like fatigue and depression. Eat one glass of milk, ⅙ cup of cheese, and a half cup of yogurt to boost thyroid hormone levels.
Beef And Chicken
Your thyroid function can also offer a body the needed amount of zinc. It is mostly discovered in chicken and beef and can help to change triiodothyronine to thyroxine. This conversion is of the best importance due to T3 being the inactive form during T4 is the active type of the thyroid hormone. Eat at least 3 oz of lean cuts of chicken breast to promote thyroxine production. Zinc supplementation also increases the hormonal balance.
Water helps to hydrate the body and remove toxins. Drink 3-4 liters of pure water every day to help your cells function healthily. Though water may not directly benefit tackling hypothyroidism, enough water intake help in proper organ functions.
Eggs also the yolk portion are the best source of iodine and can help relieve hypothyroidism. Add whole eggs 2-3 times a week to your diet, depending on your lipid profile.
Shellfish like lobster and shrimp are packed with zinc and iodine. And, as you know, zinc and iodine can help to promote the production of the thyroid hormone. Eat at least 3 oz shellfish to boost thyroid levels.
Millets And Brown Rice
Brown rice and millets also contain high goitrogenic activity. They are the best source of vitamins, dietary fiber, and minerals. You can eat
½-1 cup brown rice or millets every day to suppress the overproduction of the thyroid hormone.
Eat fish, chicken breast, soy chunks, mushrooms, and legumes to help build lean muscle mass. Hyperthyroidism causes boosted appetite and rapid weight loss. Since protein takes more time to digest, it will keep your stomach full for more time.
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Virgin coconut oil consists of more lauric acid, a medium-chain triglyceride that is changing into monolaurin and provides antimicrobial, improved metabolism, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Flax seeds are the best source of omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, zinc, and iodine. It is also best suitable for weight loss. Include 2-3 tablespoons of ground flax seeds to breakfast or smoothie or use its oil in cooking.
Legumes are the best source of inc and iodine and are gluten-free. You can eat beans, lentils, chickpeas, and bean sprouts to promote thyroid gland hormone secretion.
Include fiber-rich foods in your diet because if you get hypothyroidism, you may get constipation and indigestion. Fiber helps to improve digestion and bowel movement.
Add foods like cooked green leafy veggies, papaya, and gluten-free whole grains to enhance digestion.
Foods To Avoid To Treat Hypothyroidism
Try not to eat raw cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, turnip, and cabbage
High sugar foods because abnormal insulin increase deteriorate the hypothyroidism condition
Processed and junk foods like batter Fried foods, deep-fried foods, potato wafers, and french fries
These foods get plenty of sodium but no iodine or nutritional value. They will only boost cholesterol levels and affect health.
Several studies have confirmed that green tea has anti-thyroid properties and taking extra green tea can lead to hypothyroidism.
Other Useful Tips
Eat every 2 hours
Eat fiber-containing food like leafy vegetables, green vegetables
Skip drinking water quickly after breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Eat minerals and vitamins supplements
Eat enough protein and talk to your dietician about it.
Get your daily dose of healthy fats by eating olive oil, flaxseeds, and flaxseed oil.
If you have an overactive thyroid, you must go on a Hyperthyroidism diet. Here is a list of foods you can consume:
Millet: all varieties
Highly processed foods: cakes, hot dogs, cookies, etc.
Enough consumption of iodine and selenium are important for thyroid health, but having more of either may harm. Only supplement with iodine and selenium if a healthcare professional has instructed you to do so.
Here are some foods you can consume in moderation. These foods have goitrogens or are called irritants if consumed in high amounts:
Soy-based foods: edamame beans, tofu, tempeh, soy milk, etc.
Certain fruits: pears, peaches, and strawberries
Beverages: alcohol, coffee, green tea, — these drinks may upset your thyroid gland
Sample 7 days Thyroid Diet Plan
This diet plan provides healthy protein, low to moderate quantity of carbs, and helps to manage weight. Ensure to take thyroid medication at least 1-2 hours before the first meal, or as your physician advises. Nutrients like calcium, iron, and fiber may prevent the body from absorbing thyroid medication.
Eat eggs with toast
Have 2–3 Brazil nuts and chicken salad
stir-fried vegetables and chicken served with rice
Eat 1/4 cup berries with oatmeal
grilled salmon salad
Eat baked fish with thyme, lemon, and black pepper with steamed vegetables
toast with eggs
Eat leftovers from your dinner
Quinoa salad with shrimp skewers
Eat 2 tbsp of overnight soaked chia pudding
one cup of greek yogurt, sliced fruits you like, and half tsp vanilla extract
soak this all in a mason jar overnight
leftovers from dinner
Steamed vegetables with roast lamb
berry and banana smoothie
a sandwich made with chicken salad
Eat port fajitas – bell peppers, salsa, sliced lean pork with corn tortillas.
mushroom, egg, and zucchini frittata
boiled egg and tuna salad
Mediterranean homemade pizza topped with olives, tomato paste, and feta cheese
omelet with multiple vegetables
quinoa salad with nuts and green vegetables
grilled steak and a side salad
Tips For Managing Your Weight
It is very easy to weigh with hypothyroidism because of slow metabolism. Here are some tips to help you manage a weight that is healthy for your body:
Get plenty of rest
Aim to take 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Sleeping less than 8 hours is linked to weight gain, particularly around the stomach part.
Practice mindful eating
Mindful eating, which involves paying attention to what you are consuming, why you are eating, and how fast you are consuming can help to develop a good relationship with food. Research also indicates that it can help to lower weight.
Try yoga or meditation
Meditation and yoga can help your de-stress and enhance complete health. Research also indicated that they can help to control weight.
Try a low to moderate carb diet
Eating low to moderate quantities of carbs is very helpful for managing weight. However, skip trying a ketogenic diet, as consuming more fewer carbs may reduce thyroid hormone levels.