10 Diet Tips for Hyperthyroidism
When 35-year-old Sheila was diagnosed withthyroid problems, she started to worry about whether she was eating right. And with good reason. Maintaining a healthy diet is one of the first steps in thyroid treatment. Knowing what to eat and what to avoid can be tricky. Foods that are considered healthy for certain health conditions, can prove unhealthy for others. Here are the top 10 diet tips you must keep in mind for dealing with hyperthyroidism.
- Include fibre-rich food
Eating a diet with fibre rich foods will keep you feeling full and energised for longer. Moreover, fibre foods help in the smooth functioning of the intestines. This counteractsany irregular bowel problems faced due to hyperthyroidism. Foods high in fibre content include apples, beans, berries, coconut, okra, lentils, nuts, citrus fruits, and flax seeds.
- Eat small, frequent meals
The main issue with hyperthyroidism is that you burn calories too fast. Eat small, frequent meals with are high in calories. This does not mean that you need to consume lots of fats and starch. Whole grains, oats, corn, paneer, tofu, beans, and sweet potato are some foods which keep you feeling full for long. Add these to your meals.
- Don’t skip meals
Thyroid problems are worsened by following crash diets or fasting. If you must fast, stay away from fried potato snacks. Tuck into fruits instead. Keep a small snack on you at all times. It could be a few dry fruits, an apple, a boiled egg, or some boiled beans. Avoid snacking on biscuits, pastries, chaat, or chips. Diet bhel mixed with some onions, tomatoes, and coriander is an excellent snack to carry in your bag.
- Suppress intake of iodine
Iodine is found naturally in fresh fish, seaweed, eggs, raw milk, and bananas. Artificially it occurs in iodized salt. Hyperthyroid patients require less amounts of iodine to counteract the activity of an overactive thyroid. This means you need to avoid processed, salty snacks such as chips, fries, biscuits, pickles, canned beans, canned fish, ketchup, salty dips, and any foods that have high levels of preservatives.
- Cut out refined flour
Refined flour is hard to digest and causes a spike in blood sugar. Moreover, refined flour barely has any nutritional value left in it. Try to avoid white bread, cakes, pastries, biscuits, breakfast cereal, and noodles. You can substitute these with multigrain bread, brown rice, corn, and barley.
- Eat cruciferous vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables contain high levels of goitrogens. Goitrogens are chemicals that block the thyroid from converting iodine into hormone. While this can be bad for someone with a slow thyroid, it works in favour anyone with a hyperactive thyroid function. Vegetables in this category are cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, red radish, turnips, watercress, and broccoli. To maximize their effect, cruciferous vegetables are best eaten raw or lightly steamed.
- Skip your daily fix of caffeine and nicotine.
Studies have found that coffee and cigarettes are two of the hardest addictions to quit. Yet, quitting them is an important part of successful thyroid treatment.While smoking does not directly cause hyperthyroidism, it definitely worsens symptoms of an existing thyroid condition. The same goes for your daily fix of caffeine. Cut down on your number of coffees and caffeine based energy drinks.
- Limit your intake of dairy products
Milk and milk products naturally contain traces of hormones, enzymes, and pus that are known to cause thyroid problems. Moreover, consuming milk daily can lead to insulin imbalance in the body. Contrary to what the media says, you don’t milk for calcium. Calcium can be obtained from other sources including seeds, dark leafy vegetables, fatty fish, oranges, figs, and almonds.
- Say no to empty calories
Empty calories are basically foods that are high in calories but low in nutrition. This may sound contradictory because hyperthyroidism calls for a high calorie diet. However, the calories should be balanced with adequate nutrition, else thyroid problems can get worse. The items to cross out of your daily intake includes sweetened fruit juice, ice cream, milk chocolates, carbonated beverages, and energy drinks.
- Include antioxidants in your daily meal
The cells in your body degenerate due to oxidative stress. This is a normal process however it is also one that can be slowed down for better health. Foods high in antioxidants helps combat a number of diseases by strengthening your immune system. Include kidney beans, berries, dark chocolate (unsweetened), walnuts, turmeric, apples, and plums in your diet as frequently as possible.