Hypothyroidism Diet: What To Eat When Suffering With Condition

Hypothyroidism refers to the condition when the thyroid hormones are not released adequately by the thyroid gland. This affects cell growth, repair and the body’s metabolism. In majority of the cases, hypothyroidism is the result of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, where the immune system malfunctions and destroys the thyroid gland mistakenly. 

Genetics, iodine deficiency and surgery are the other causes behind primary hypothyroidism. These conditions occur even when there is enough thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) because thyroid glands do not release them. When the pituitary gland’s functioning is not at the optimal level, less of the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) is produced. This state is called secondary hypothyroidism.

How Hypothyroidism Affect Metabolism

When the body stops producing the thyroid hormone, it slows down the rate of metabolism in the body, thus burning fewer calories at rest. In fact, TSH controls the rate of metabolism, which is why fast metabolism indicates good health. The health risks accompanied by slow metabolism are plenty, such as high cholesterol and heart disease risk.

To increase the speed of metabolism, aerobic exercises could work, or even high intensity cardio. The effort does not end there. In order to maintain your thyroid health, there is a certain diet you need to follow. Read ahead to find out what works best for people suffering with the condition. 

What To Eat

Iodine is needed in order for the thyroid glands to produce the hormone. The deficiency makes people more susceptible to hypothyroidism, especially in developing countries. In the U.S., food with iodine content is easily available, hence this is less common. Food such as fish, eggs, seaweed and dairy are rich in iodine.

Taking a supplement may not be the solution since an excess of iodine is linked to health problems. Nuts, legumes, eggs, tuna and sardines are foods that can boost selenium levels that are necessary to stimulate the production of thyroid hormones. Iodine and selenium are both found in the yolks of eggs, hence eggs should be eaten whole.

The mineral also protects thyroid glands from the free radicals. The other mineral that performs the same function is zinc. Eating foods such as beef, chicken, lamb, oysters and shellfish could make up for zinc’s deficiency.  

Adding protein could help increase the body’s metabolism which is lost while suffering the hypothyroidism condition. Cruciferous vegetables, fruits, gluten-free grains ( rice, quinoa, chia seeds and flax seeds ), dairy products and non-caffeinated beverages are all advised to be eaten when suffering from the condition. 

Goitrogens are compounds found in spinach, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, pine nuts, peanuts, millet, starchy plants and soy foods, which interfere with thyroid hormone production. Research suggests that this could only be true if the person suffers from iodine deficiency. 

Thyroid Thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland found under the Adam's apple, which support the endocrine system and the production of hormones that control metabolic rate, heart rate, body temperature and blood pressure. Pixabay