Hypothyroidism (insufficient thyroid activity) can go unnoticed for a long time. Symptoms of hypothyroidism may be present, despite the fact that the test results indicate normal functioning of the thyroid gland. This is due to the fact that subclinical disorders of the thyroid gland are not determined by standard tests that are used in the diagnosis of its pathology. The most common symptoms of hypothyroidism are fatigue, constipation, a feeling of cold, dry skin.
Diet for hypothyroidism
If you fall into the category of increased risk, thyroid dysfunction is present in one of the family members (especially the mother); experiencing menopause; experienced severe stress or hormonal imbalance in the last two or three years, then you need to take care of the support of the thyroid gland, even if tests show that it is functioning normally. This will help you diet. Some foods can improve the health of hypothyroidism, providing the thyroid gland with essential minerals that are necessary for its functioning.
• Tyrosine-rich foods – meat, fish, turkey, chicken breast, low-fat milk and yogurt, almonds, avocados, bananas, lima beans, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, lentils.
• Foods rich in iodine. Excellent sources of iodine are sea salt, seafood (including sushi, rolls with nori), sea fish. Iodized salt can be used in small quantities once or twice a week. Iodine supplements are usually algae in pills or powder. Before using them, you should consult with your doctor, because the wrong dose can lead to an imbalance in the thyroid gland.
• High quality protein. Our body produces hormones from protein, so try to use high-quality protein with every meal.
• Products rich in selenium – meat, chicken, salmon, tuna, seafood, whole grains, Brazil nuts, brewer’s yeast, garlic, onions.
• Complex B vitamins and saturated fatty acids, as they affect the hormonal balance.
Foods that are not recommended for inclusion in the hypothyroid diet
Some foods help reduce thyroid function, preventing the formation of hormones. These include:
• Soy products. Isoflavones are hormone-like substances found in soy products. It has been established that the consumption of soy products in large quantities can lead to suppression of thyroid function, which can cause hypothyroidism. In particular, isoflavone genistein is able to reduce the production of thyroid hormones by blocking the activity of the thyroid peroxidase enzyme, which is responsible for the oxidation of iodine ion into atomic iodine.
In addition, it is important to consider that soy is contained in many foods. If there are cases of thyroid disease in your family, or a low iodine and selenium content in your diet, then you should be wary of using soy. In this case, soy products (soy milk, tofu, tempeh, miso, soy sauce) should be present on your table no more than twice a week. If you have already been diagnosed with hypothyroidism or have its symptoms, then you should minimize the use of soy products.
• Cruciferous vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, white cabbage, Brussels sprouts, mustard, rutabaga, kohlrabi, turnips. Cruciferous isothiocyanates can contribute to thyroid dysfunction. They reduce its function by blocking peroxidase, as well as the permeability of the membranes of thyroid cells. Cooking these vegetables helps to reduce the effect of isothiocyanates. Nevertheless, one should not go to extremes and completely exclude them from the diet – it is enough to limit the use of these vegetables to those who are diagnosed with hypothyroidism, as well as those who have obvious symptoms.
• Low levels of progesterone also contribute to low thyroid function, so avoid products that increase estrogen levels. These include animal products (chicken, beef, pork, lamb, eggs, dairy products and
• Some researchers believe that chlorine and fluoride (found in tap water) block iodine receptors in the thyroid gland, which leads to the development of hypothyroidism.
• Gluten is also related to thyroid dysfunction (both hyper and hypofunction), so if you have digestive problems or someone in your family has a hypersensitivity to gluten, you should significantly reduce the use of gluten-containing foods – wheat and flour from it.
Important: Before you go on a diet with hypothyroidism, consult your doctor.