Updated: Jan 13, 2021
What is Hypothyroidism? Book Consultation/Package
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland doesn't produce enough of the hormones, a body needs to be healthy. In India, irregular thyroid function affects about one in three people. Hypothyroidism slows down the metabolism and causes fatigue, weight gain, and dry skin. Stiff joints and fluctuations in blood pressure are also seen. If not taken care of hypothyroidism it can cause heart disease or heart failure, mental health issues, and nerve damage.
Although anyone can develop hypothyroidism, women, the elderly, people with other autoimmune diseases, and people with a family history of thyroid disease are at an increased risk for the disorder.
A Balanced Diet for Hypothyroidism
A balanced diet, rich in vitamins and nutrients helps ensure proper thyroid function. The essential vitamins and nutrients are found in many foods and help in the production of thyroid hormones to manage hypothyroidism.
Iodine: Thyroid needs iodine to work properly. Most adults need 150 micrograms of iodine per day, Iodized salt can help your thyroid develop the hormones necessary for growth and development. Seaweed, fish, dairy, and eggs are also rich in iodine. You can take iodine supplements, too but they aren't recommended if you're already under treatment for hypothyroidism.
Selenium: Selenium is essential for healthy thyroid function; Selenium supports thyroid hormone synthesis and metabolism. Selenium can be supplemented, but it can also be found in seafood, eggs, garlic, broccoli, seeds, mushrooms, and nuts.
Vitamin B: All of the B vitamins are important for thyroid function and hormone balance. Vitamin B6, available abundantly in whole grains, pork, and dairy products - helps the thyroid use iodine to produce hormones. Vitamin B12 - found in poultry, fish, and meat helps fight fatigue by turning nutrients from food into energy.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D deficiency can also lead to hypothyroidism. A lack of vitamin D can lead to thin, brittle, or misshapen bones. According to the National Institutes of Health, egg yolks, certain mushrooms, fatty fish are some natural sources of Vitamin D, while certain foods are fortified with Vitamin D - such as milk, yogurt, orange juice.
Foods to Watch Out for
Diet for hypothyroidism is just like any other healthy diet: eat the right variety of foods in the correct proportions and avoid processed foods. No specific food or calorie restrictions unless advised by your doctor/physician.
However, some specific foods can interfere with thyroid function and trigger your symptoms.
Soy: Found in tofu, soy milk, soybeans, soy sauce, and vegan cheese and meat products – can interfere with thyroid functions. In hypothyroidism, too much of soya may interfere with absorption of the medicine.
Cruciferous Vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins and minerals and nutrients and good for digestion, heart health, brain function, and hormone balance. Your hypothyroidism diet should include large portions of them. However, cruciferous vegetables - such as broccoli, cabbage, spinach, kale, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts - contain natural chemicals called goitrogens, which can interfere with thyroid hormone synthesis. Baking or steaming these vegetables for over 30 minutes will neutralize most (90%) of their goitrogens. Limiting consumption of cruciferous vegetables, though, is advisable.
High-Fiber Foods: A high-fiber diet is recommended for people with hypothyroidism because it can help maintain digestive health and lead to a healthy heart. Up your fiber intake by eating fresh vegetables, beans, berries, and pulses. However, too much dietary fiber can also impair your ability to absorb thyroid medication.
Food alone can't cure hypothyroidism, but eating foods suitable for thyroid problems is important.