Diet in Hypothyroidism


Hypothyroidism is characterized by the production of low levels of thyroid hormone by the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is located in the front of the neck just below the larynx. Hypothyroidism is a very common condition in females and can also lead to the weight gain. The other symptoms of hypothyroidism are constipation, depression, joint or muscle pain, thin brittle hair or finger nails and the person is more sensitive to cold. Foods play a major role in the treatment of the hypothyroidism. So following is the list of some of the food items which should be included or excluded from the diet if you are suffering from hypothyroidism:

For the proper functioning of the thyroid gland body needs iodine. The hormone T3 and T4 are the main hormones which regulate the functioning of thyroid gland and these hormones require iodine for the proper functioning. So the diets should be sufficient in iodine content. Dietary sources of iodine are sea foods such as seaweed, saltwater fish, clams, shrimp, oyster, salmon and sardines. Some other sources in which somewhat less amount of iodine present are eggs, asparagus, mushrooms, spinach, sesame seeds, banana and parsley. Iodized salt can also be used instead of the plain salt. 

Selenium is also required for the healthy functioning of the thyroid gland. It regulates the synthesis and metabolism of the thyroid gland. Selenium also protects the thyroid gland from chemical, oxidative and social stress. Foods rich in selenium are Brazil nuts, tuna, soybeans, sunflower seeds and mushrooms.

Studies reveal that hypothyroidism can cause zinc deficiencies. Add foods like oysters, whole grains, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts and sardines in the diet.

There are also evidences which show that iron deficiency can also lead to the decreased thyroid functioning. Sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, lentils, green leafy vegetables, organ meat and nuts are the good examples of iron rich foods.

Copper is also required in trace amounts to produce TSH and T4. So a poor copper supply can also lead to altered functioning of these hormones. Shitake mushrooms, dark chocolates, nuts, sunflower seeds and beans are a good source of copper.

Along with these always keep in mind the following points if you are suffering from hypothyroidism:

Avoid fried and fatty foods as they will be high in calories. In hypothyroidism metabolism of the body slows and if you will take more calories than your body will easily absorb it.

Avoid too much sweet and sugars as they will add extra calories and you will put on more weight.

It is advisable to avoid cruciferous vegetables as they will interfere with the synthesis of thyroid hormone. Vegetables like cabbage, radishes, cauliflower, kale, turnips, mustard greens, Brussels sprout and broccoli are the members of the cruciferous family.

Avoid refined flours like maida and suji and instead of them add wholegrain cereals as they are complex carbohydrates and gives slow and sustainable energy.

Add more fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet.

Take small and frequent meals as they will help to maintain the metabolism of the body.


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Pooja Sharma

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