Thyroid disease is one of the most prevalent lifestyle disorders commonly seen in younger women.
Being a type of autoimmune diseases, genetic factors, lifestyle changes, stress, dietary factors, environmental factors are responsible for thyroid dysfunction.
The thyroid gland is a butterfly shaped gland located at the base of the neck which is regulate by the pituitary gland located in the brain. The basic function of thyroid gland is regulating the body metabolism, body temperature and heart beats. It’s known as the silent workhouse of the body.
Any kind of a dysfunction in form of overactive stimulation or under active production of thyroid hormones leads to thyroid disease. A well balanced controlled diet including iodised table salt (not more than 1500 mg per day = 1/2 to 1 teaspoon per day) , walnuts (1-2 in number), flaxseeds (one teaspoon daily), dairy products – milk, yoghurt (one serving a day) helps in maintaining the thyroid hormone levels.
When the thyroid gland fails to produce adequate amount of thyroid hormone, it leads to under active thyroid or Hypothyroidism. The symptoms presented are weight gain, sluggishness, increased sensitivity to cold and depression. It’s commonly seen in people following a low sodium diet or vegan diet deficient of sodium. Iodized table salt is the best source of iodine needed to produce thyroid hormone.
Foods rich in minerals and trace elements like iodine, iron, selenium, zinc, vitamin D, antioxidants need to be consumed regularly.
1) Dairy products like yogurt, milk, cheese: rich in Calcium, helps strengthen bones and prevents osteoporosis
2) Poultry, eggs: Provide with zinc which helps prevent hair fall.
3) Seafood: Shellfish, tuna
4) Berries: wild strawberries, blackberries, cranberries
5) Brazil nuts: rich in selenium
What to avoid?
1) Vegetables from Brassica (cabbage) family: cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, kale, broccoli
2) Gluten free diet: It’s seen that patients with hypothyroidism face issues of tummy upset hence it’s advised to follow a gluten free diet. Gluten is found in wheat, rye, barley.
3) Processed or canned food:
Canned or processed food is rich in salt and lack minerals especially iodine which may lead to blood and cardiovascular disorders like hypertension.
4) Fast food:
Foods prepared commercially are reheated or over cooked a lot of times which leads to depletion of essential minerals to the body and just the presence of sodium (salt) in the food. Hence, it preferable to avoid fast foods.
Another type of dysfunction is the over stimulation of Thyroid hormones called Hyperthyroidism. The symptoms are weight loss, palpitations, hand tremors, fatigue, muscle loss, increased heart beat, dry skin, sleeplessness, nervousness, anxiety.
One should have foods rich in Calcium, proteins, omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants which help strengthen the bones, build muscle mass, improve immunity and help calm the nervous system. Following are certain foods which one should consume: