Thyroid problems are on the rise today, sadly affecting one out of every ten Indians. The thyroid gland located at the base of your neck produces hormones which regulate the speed and efficacy by which your body converts nutrients from digested food into energy. So, the thyroid gland impacts every cell, tissue and organ in your body. How efficiently the thyroid gland is doing its job determines the metabolism of your body. That’s the reason why an under active thyroid gland, called hypothyroidism, may cause weight gain, lack of energy and depression.
Unfortunately, women tend to be more susceptible to this than men. Before starting on the medications for any thyroid disorder, please check with your doctor about the nutritional deficiencies which may be responsible for improper thyroid functioning. Here are things you must keep in mind:
1. It has been often found that improper functioning of the thyroid gland mainly occurs due to deficiency of certain key nutrients, so you can control these malfunctions by following a balanced alkaline diet rich in various micro and macro nutrients such as protein, B12, iodine, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, selenium, B2, Vitamin A, C and D.
2. For a good source of protein, you could also have different forms of nuts and nut butters like peanut or Quinoa, but do avoid soy, as it contains phytoestrogens that absorb the iodine required to produce T4.
3. You should also include lots of coconut products in your daily diet, as it nourishes the thyroid gland and accelerates the metabolism. After drinking the delish coconut water, don’t throw away the nutritious skin which can be used as a milk substitute for yummy smoothies. Cold pressed coconut oil can also be used for cooking or even added to desserts as a replacement for butter.
4. Include in your diet lots of organic and fresh vegetables - green leafy vegetables like spinach, various kinds of lettuces, Indian greens among others. You must avoid cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, Spanish cabbage, Brussels sprouts though. Lots of fresh fruits like watermelons, kiwis, peaches, apples & dried fruits as they are a good source of minerals & vitamins.
5. You can also add seaweed to your diet as they are rich in iodine. You can safely have Japanese cuisine while eating out!
6. Adding sunflower seeds, brazil nuts, cashews, mushrooms, onions, beans, whole grains, cacao to your diet, is also extremely beneficial for you, as they ensure that you receive good amounts of Zinc and Selenium, thus boosting your immunity and thyroid function significantly.
7. Regular exposure to sun is very important for the regulation of vitamin D.
8. It is also necessary that you engage in moderate exercise and meditation as it releases much needed endorphins and controls your cortisol.
9. Do restrict the intake of food groups like Dairy products, gluten rich foods and refined foods like white sugar and refined flour. You can replace wheat rotis and breads with brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth and millets like jowar, bajra and ragi. Consider opting for nut milks instead of cow’s milk, but definitely not soy. Jaggery powder, coconut sugar, palm sugar are healthier options to white sugar.
10. Do avoid the use of Non-stick & BPA products and also go natural with your home cleaning products and toiletries since they are made up of chemicals and synthetic hormones which can interfere with your thyroid function.
Check with your doctor and consult a good nutritionist before starting off on a diet. Eat healthy, eat wise and you will soon be no longer haunted by the spectre of uncontrollable thyroid!
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