Managing Your Thyroid with Diet
Thyroid disease is extremely common, affecting more than 27 million Americans. While it is important that a thyroid condition be managed by a doctor, you are your own best advocate for your health, and there is much you can do on your own to support your thyroid health. The foods you eat are an important factor that can have a major effect on your experience with thyroid disease. Certain foods can help you manage hypothyroidism, reduce the symptoms of fatigue, and balance your hormones while other foods can make the condition worse.
Consider Food as Your Medicine
The modern American diet is generally not one that promotes health and wellness. Fast food and processed foods are cheap, heavily advertised, and designed by scientists to trigger cravings for more. But these foods are also likely to contribute to symptoms of hypothyroidism. Consider food as part of your treatment plan and choose foods that will help your thyroid to function properly.
Choose Foods With Key Nutrients
Eating the right foods can help support an underactive thyroid. If you choose to eat dairy, try consuming grass fed butter to help your endocrine system. Eating sea vegetables such as seaweed or kelp a couple times a week can also provide iodine, a nutrient that is deficient in many people with hypothyroidism. Foods high in selenium, like brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, salmon, beef, and mushrooms, can also be of benefit.
Cruciferous vegetables, which include cabbage, kale, broccoli, and cauliflower, are a source of controversy when it comes to thyroid health. Some experts believe that raw cruciferous vegetables can worsen hypothyroid symptoms. But cruciferous vegetables come with an enormous array of health benefits, so you may want to try having cooked kale or broccoli as a side dish instead of putting raw kale in your morning smoothies.
Foods and Substances to Avoid
Eating well with thyroid disease is also a matter of which foods you should avoid. Some people believe caffeine can interfere with thyroid medication. Even if you’re not on thyroid medicine, you may want to avoid caffeine because caffeine can activate the HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis, also known as the fight or flight system. When the HPA axis is chronically overactivated, it can lead to fatigue and other symptoms. Other foods that can lead to unnecessary stress on your HPA axis and worsen hypothyroid symptoms include sugar, gluten, casein (found in dairy), and fried or processed foods.
Managing your thyroid health is easier when you pay attention to your diet, take the right supplements, and have a physician who is well versed in natural health on your side to provide support and guidance. The physicians within the BodyLogicMD network have advanced training in thyroid health, including thyroid replacement therapy, nutrition, and other treatments that can support a healthy thyroid. Contact the BodyLogicMD physician nearest you today to take control of your health and start feeling like yourself again.