Did you know that certain foods can help to minimize your thyroid symptoms, while others may worsen your imbalance? Eating the right food won’t cure your thyroid issue, but it might just make your condition a little more manageable.
Some individuals don’t find complete relief from their thyroid symptoms by simply taking medication. This is when a lifestyle change can assist, namely adding or subtracting certain foods from your diet.
The first meal of the day is often touted as the most important. A healthy and hearty breakfast will give you the energy you need to get started on the right food and power through to the afternoon. If you suffer from a thyroid condition there are key changes you can make to your morning meal to help you feel your best.
Selenium is an important mineral for thyroid function as it helps to “activate” hormones so that they can be better absorbed by the body. In addition, selenium may have antioxidant characteristics. These traits help to reduce inflammation and increase immunity, in turn possibly protecting the thyroid from harmful free radicals.
Selenium is found in a variety of foods including a popular breakfast item, eggs. Adding eggs to your morning menu is a great way to increase selenium intake. Skip the egg white omelet though, as most of the selenium is found in the yolk.
Unfortunately, gluten can irritate your gastrointestinal system especially if you have Celiac disease. Celiac is an autoimmune disorder and there are some studies that show those with hypothyroidism as a result of an autoimmune disorder, like Hashimoto’s, are at a greater risk of developing Celiac.
If gluten doesn’t bother your system then there is likely no reason to avoid it. However, if ingesting cereal and toast leaves you with some unsettling symptoms consider switching to other grains. Try a quinoa or buckwheat oatmeal, or even adding some chia seeds to your yogurt parfait.
Yay! You’ve made it to the next meal!
For your midday meal, consider a healthy protein such as fish. Fish can be a great source of iodine. This important nutrient is required to produce thyroid hormones. Though iodine deficiency is rather rare in the United States, having this deficiency puts you at risk of hypothyroidism.
Receive your daily suggested iodine requirement not only through iodized table salt but also by eating seafood such as salmon, tuna, and shrimp.
The addition of fruit is another solid choice for thyroid disorder suffers. Eating fruit is part of a healthy and well-balanced diet. If you are suffering from iodine deficiency, some fruits are not advised. Peaches and strawberries, as well as a few other fruits, contain goitrogens. Derived from the word goiter, or enlarged thyroid, these chemical compounds may interfere with thyroid function.
Dairy, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese are a great way to get protein for an afternoon pick me up. However, it is best to consume actual dairy products and go easy on soy. Soy products, like tofu and edamame, may interfere with your body’s ability to absorb your thyroid medication. Usually, to have an impact you would have to consume large amounts of soy, so it is likely okay to eat these products in moderation.
To round out the day, consider adding meat to your dinner entrees such as chicken, lamb, or beef. Beef and chicken contain zinc, a mineral that helps to activate your thyroid hormone, aid with absorption, and possibly regulate TSH.
If your metabolism suffers as a result of your hypothyroidism avoiding highly processed foods, like hot dogs, may help you to keep off excess pounds. Choose chicken or lean beef instead.
Vegetables, like fruits, are another important component of a balanced diet. Some veggies, like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and spinach might contain irritating goitrogens. But consumed in moderation they are likely not harmful. Opt for a side of steamed veggies with your protein.
Choosing healthy foods, following suggested daily portion sizes, and avoiding highly processed and fatty foods may help you to manage your thyroid symptoms in addition to maintaining a healthy weight and optimal energy levels.
When it comes to treating your thyroid right, it is important to feed your body the nutrients and foods it needs. Working with a trained thyroid nutritionist can help you create a personalized plan that takes the guessing out of meal planning.