All You Need to Know About Thyroid and Veganism
Sophia is 19 years old and in college. She pays strict attention to her health and diet. Sophia is also an animal activist and follows a strict vegandiet. She stays away from the Chinese frankie and chaat counters at campus. So, when she started feeling sluggish and was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, her mother was really surprised.
A vegan diet is healthy only if the right foods are eaten. Research shows an alarmingly high number of vegetarians falling prey to heart disease, diabetes, and thyroid problems. The reason behind these statistics is that vegetarians consume a diet high in simple carbs and sugars. Let’s explore the effects on thyroid health and which vegan foods are good for your thyroid.
Understanding the thyroid
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck. Along with the pituitary gland in your brain, the thyroid functions to secrete hormones which monitor body metabolism. A healthy metabolism greatly influences your sleep cycle balance, heart rate, blood flow, digestive cycle, muscle function, and brain signals.
Symptoms of thyroid disorders
There are two main thyroid problems: hypothyroidismand hyperthyroidism. In hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland doesn’t secrete sufficient hormones. As a result, many body functions slow down. Symptoms include constant fatigue, irregular menses, depression, slow metabolism, constipation, weight gain, muscle cramps and severe hair loss.
Hyperthyroidism is a condition marked by a hyperactive thyroid gland. In this scenario, symptoms of thyroid disorder include sudden weight loss, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety attacks, insomnia, irregular menses, palpitations, and shortness of breath.
Thyroid disorders are mainly genetic. They are passed on in the form of autoimmune diseases. However, bad dietary habits, chronic stress, lack of sleep, and addiction to smoking can set off an internal trigger for thyroid problems.
Vegan foods that promote thyroid health
Maintaining a healthy diet is the first step to curing thyroid problems. Without a doubt, most of modern health issues are caused by a bad diet combined with a stressful routine. Eating right is half the problem cured. It is common perception that a healthy thyroid requires certain nutrients found only in animal and dairy foods. While lean meat and eggs do contain a lot of necessary nutrition, there are many suitable vegetarian substitutes. Here are some great tips for vegans to maintain thyroid health.
- Season with rock salt
Substitute your regular iodized salt with pink sea rock salt. Rock salt contains high amounts of natural iodine which is the primary nutrient necessary for your thyroid to function.
- Choose complex carbohydrates
Complex carbs are rich in fibre and low in sugar. They release energy slowly in your body, sustain insulin levels and keep you feeling full for longer. This list includes whole wheat grains, oatmeal, corn, green leafy vegetables, sweet potato, pumpkin, and green peas.
- Love your legumes
Legumes are a vegan’s main source of protein. You can either consume legumes as a gravy or sprout, boil and eat them as a midday snack. The lesser salt and oil that you use to prepare them, the healthier it becomes.
- Say yes to raw vegetables
The nutrients lie in the skin. When you peel and cook a vegetable, you often consume empty calories. Include a salad with all your meals. Salad doesn’t have to be boring. You can dress it up with a low-fat dip, nuts, seeds, and baked corn chips.
- Indulge in good saturated fats
Completely boycotting fats in your diet for fear of heart disease or weight gain is a bad idea. Saturated fats are known to raise the HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol levels in your body. Saturated fats can be found in coconut oil, palm oil, and cocoa. Vegans avoid dairy but for vegetarians who consume milk products, butter, cream and goat’s cheese are great sources of saturated fats.
Homeopathy and thyroid treatment
A thyroid disorder often acts as a warning signal of major illnesses such as heart disease and cancer. Therefore any symptoms of thyroid should not be ignored. Nor should you try to self-medicate. Moreover, treating thyroid problems in the early stage can save you from painful and expensive operations in the future.
Homeopathic thyroid treatment targets the root cause of thyroid problems. For some people the cause is genetic and for some the cause is bad lifestyle habits and addictions. Homeopathic treatment is personalised with a focus on long term solutions. Homeopathic medicine aims to enable your body’s immune system to fight off infection on its own, without having to depend on medicines for life. Above all, homeopathic thyroid medication is free from side effects.If you are tired of conventional medication, do explore homeopathy as the first step in your journey of permanent recovery from thyroid problems.