Diet hacks to manage an underactive thyroid
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck that plays a key role in your energy levels and metabolism.
Every cell in the human body has thyroid hormone receptors, which makes the thyroid gland a very important clog in a complex machine – keeping the body functioning at a normal rate.
Unfortunately some people will suffer from symptoms that indicate an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) or an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism).
Thyroid problems – particularly hypothyroidism – can be hard to treat, especially as what you eat can interfere with treatment.
Below we have a quick guide to improving your condition via diet.
Stock up on:
- Healthy proteins – Fish, nuts and lean meats are key sources of protein which transports thyroid hormones to body cells and tissues – thus helping to normalise thyroid function.
- Healthy fats – Getting insufficient fat is thought to make hormone imbalance worse, so eat plenty of seeds, yoghurt, cottage cheese and coconut milk.
- Foods that boost Glutathione – This is a powerful antioxidant that supports the immune system and protects thyroid tissue. Eat plenty of avocados, peaches, spinach, garlic and grapefruit to help your body produce Gluthathione.
Cut back on:
- Cruciferous vegetables – You may want to limit your consumption of broccoli, kale, brussels and cabbage as they can affect the production of the thyroid hormone. During the digestive process, these veggies block the absorption of iodine which is considered essential for normal thyroid function.
- Gluten – Known to irritate the small intestine, gluten can affect the absorption of thyroid hormone replacement medication.
- Fatty and sugary foods – These foods interfere with the body’s use of thyroid medication, while preventing the production of the thyroid hormone. Eliminating fatty and sugary foods will also help prevent weight-gain, which is more likely when your metabolism is slow (a key symptom of an underactive thyroid).
- Caffeine – Studies have shown caffeine blocks the absorption of thyroid medication.
Please remember these are just guidelines to managing an underactive thyroid. It is important to consult your GP or a nutritionist before embarking on a new diet for thyroid problems.
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