Thursday, 18 April 2013

Foods to Improve Thyroid Health

Foods to Improve Thyroid Health

Are you feeling exhausted and stressed out? Having weight issues? Feeling depressed and losing hair? Is your heart beating faster and are you having problems with breathing? If your answer is yes then you need to see a doctor because you might be having a thyroid disease.

According to an article, “Today’s Dietitian”, 20 million Americans are suffering from this disease. The thyroid glands are found in the front of the neck and are responsible for producing hormones that regulates energy levels, metabolic rate, weight, digestive system and body temperature; it also affects muscles, bones, heart and cholesterol levels. The two major types of hormones produced are thyroxin and triiodothyronine (T3). There may be two conditions one is hyperthyroidism in which the production of these hormones increases. The other is Hypothyroidism which occurs due to the deficiency of hormones produced by the thyroid glands.
What can thyroid problems do to your health? It can cause serious problems of the heart and bone and may also cause thyroid storm that is yet again a very serious condition.
Although synthetic medications for treating thyroid disease are available, but adding and subtracting a few things from your diet can reduce the risks of developing the disease. In both the cases, Hyper and Hypothyroidism careful selection of foods should be made. Here we would tell you what to eat and what not to eat if you are having thyroid disease.

The most important thing to be learned is, what are goitrogens? They are natural substances found in most of the foods and have the ability to enlarge the size of the thyroid glands also called goiter. Now in hyperthyroidism conditions the goitrogens act as anti-thyroid drugs and slows down the excess production of the hormones and ultimately cause hypothyroidism.
So goitrogen foods should be taken in huge quantities by patients having hyperthyroidism conditions and should be avoided by those having hypothyroidism symptoms. The common sources of goitrogens are broccoli, kale, spinach, turnip cauliflower, cabbage, strawberry, peaches, peanuts, pine nuts, soy and mustard. These goitrogen foods work more effectively if taken in raw form.

Coconut Oil
Oils that are being commercially produced have a negative effect on the thyroid. The unsaturated fats contained in these oils slow down the tissue response to the hormones produced by thyroid. For cooking meals choose coconut oil as it helps to regulate metabolic rate of the body. It helps the thyroid gland to perform better. 2 tablespoons of organic coconut oil daily can give good results if swallowed or used in cooking or salads.

Iodized Salt
For the proper functioning of the thyroid glands iodine is required. Approximately one- fourth of the U.S. population is iodine deficient. Iodized salt can be substituted with the regular table or sea salt to prevent this deficiency.

High Fiber Foods
In most cases the patients having thyroid disease develop constipation and their body weight may also increase, in such cases foods that are rich in fiber can prove to be beneficial.
You may find high fiber in vegetables, fruits and cereals. The high fiber vegetables are eggplant, beans, cabbage, carrot, mushrooms, potatoes with skin, peas, spinach, broccoli, cabbage and pumpkin. Fruits with high fiber are apples, dates, bananas, berries, orange, pear, guava and prunes. Other available high fiber sources are bran cereals and breads, beans, lentils and nuts like almonds, peanuts, cashew nuts and walnuts.

Soy plays two roles; it acts as a goitrogen and also inhibits the absorption of thyroid hormones. It is suggested not to over consume soy especially in the processed forms like soy milk, soy bars, powders and shakes.
It is better to consult a nutritional practitioner before adding more soy to your diet, if you are having hyperthyroidism problems.

Coffee and Calcium Fortified Orange Juice
It is highly recommended not to take orange juice that is calcium fortified and coffee with thyroid medications. The reason is that they interfere with the absorption of medicines taken in thyroid conditions. In case you feel the urge to drink a glass or so, wait for at least 3 to 4 hours after taking the medicines. Same is the case with calcium and iron supplements.

In any case it is highly suggested that you consult your doctor before adding any of these foods to your diet. The thyroid disease may not be completely cured by taking or avoiding these foods but can be reduced to some extent.

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