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Hypothyroidism Diet Facts: Foods to Eat and to Avoid

When 22-year-old Divya was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, she started working out furiously. She began her day with an hour of yoga, went jogging for half an hour after work daily, and spent her weekends at dance class. Still, the weight loss she experienced was minimal. She felt dull throughout the day and bloated after every meal. She blamed this on her thyroid problems and tried to move on. However, soon her energy levels dipped to a new low and she slowly had to put a full stop to most of her exercise routine.

What was Divya doing wrong? She seemed to be on the right track with an active lifestyle to battle the weight gain associated with her condition. However, she forgot to regulate her diet. She didn’t cut down on her daily intake of sugar and refined foods, believing that she needed these as she was working out. By merely exercising and not watching her diet, Divya’s thyroid problems stayed static and worsened.

Thyroid problems are often caused by a frequent increase or sharp spike in body insulin levels. These levels of insulin are greatly determined by the kind of foods you eat, or don’t eat. Let’s look at the foods habits that Divya must include in her daily meal plan as well as the ones she must avoid.

 

Include

  1. Whole grains

This covers whole wheat bread, oatmeal, brown rice, buckwheat, and corn. The problem with modern diet is that we rely on refined gains – such as white bread and cookies - which break down easily in the body and make us feel hungry soon. Whole grains are rich in fibre and help against constipation, a problem associated with hypothyroidism.

 

  1. Beans

A great source of protein for vegetarians, beans are rich in fibre and keep you feeling full for longer. Moreover, beans contain a good amount of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to help you overcome the dull feeling associated with low thyroid function. Beans are delicious and wholesome. You can eat them as a snack or as part of your main meal.

 

  1. Fatty fish

Fatty fish such as salmon and tuna contain high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids which are good for your heart. Omega-3 fatty acids are natural antioxidants: they prevent cell degeneration and help build your body’s natural immune system. Vegetarian sources of Omega-3 fatty include mustard oil, flax seeds, walnuts, and berries.

 

 

 

  1. Coconut oil

Coconut oil boosts thyroid health and function. Coconut oil is high in medium chain triglycerides which can boost metabolism and aid in weight loss. Studies have shown that hypothyroidism patients who switched from vegetable oils to coconut oil, experienced relief from many symptoms of this thyroid condition, including fatigue, constipation, and muscle cramps.

 

  1. Fruits and vegetables

Fresh fruits and raw vegetables are anti-inflammatory. This means that they can help your cells heal naturally and reverse damage from thyroid problems. Fruits and vegetables also help tackle problems caused by hypothyroidism including constipation, slow metabolism, fatigue, brittle nails, and rough skin.

 

 

Avoid

  1. Dairy products

Dairy products are known to cause sudden spikes in body insulin levels and worsen thyroid problems. Contrary to what you have been told as a child, you do not need cow’s milk to grow healthy. You can indulge in yoghurt and a bit of cheese occasionally. Replace cow’s milk with almond milk, soya milk, or even coconut milk.

 

  1. Refined carbs

One of the main culprits for most of modern diseases, refined carbs are high in sugar and low in fibre. They cause a sudden increase in blood sugar levels which, in the long run, can lead to thyroid problems, diabetes, and heart disease. Limit your consumption of sugar, pastries, white bread, aerated soda, biscuits, and breakfast cereal.

 

  1. Cruciferous vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables contain goitrogen which blocks the body’s ability to absorb iodine.Iodine is necessary for patients suffering hypothyroidism. The list to avoid includes broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and brussels sprouts. Thoroughly cooking these vegetables is known to reduce the negative impact they have on the thyroid gland. However, limit your consumption to once or twice a week.

 

  1. Processed foods

Processed foods usually offer very little nutrition and carry with them unnecessary calories. This can prove especially bad if you already have hypothyroidism, as your blood sugar levels would be far from normal. Skip your daily dose of pickles, chips, tacos, pretzels, buns, jams,canned goods and ready to eat frozen food.

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