The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck. It helps in regulating various functions of your body such as metabolism, temperature, and heartbeat. However, it performs its work quite smoothly that you might even forget its presence and thus it is considered the silent workhorse of your body. But, it may come to notice with any dysfunction, one such being hypothyroidism.
What exactly is hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism occurs as a result of lower production of 2 thyroid hormones, triiodothyronine (T3) and tetraiodothyronine (T4; also known as thyroxine). It can lead to weight gain, sluggishness, and even depression. Thus, it is important to manage it appropriately. Apart from the medications prescribed by your doctor, you must also keep a track of your diet and try to avoid food items that are not thyroid-friendly.
People with hypothyroidism, are you eating any of these? It is time to recheck what goes on to your plate!
1) Soy protein
Soy contains isoflavones that may not be beneficial for the thyroid of those of you who suffer from hypothyroidism. It may not only have negative effects on your thyroid function but may also interfere with its ability to absorb medicines given by your doctor for treating the condition. For this reason, you may have to wait many hours before or after eating soy-based food items for taking your dose.
You must try to limit intake of products containing gluten–a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and other grains. It is likely to hamper absorption of your medicine given for treating hypothyroidism.
For those who are hypersensitive to gluten, it has been proposed that your immune system can get confused between components of gluten and thyroid tissue, thereby mistakenly attacking and damaging the thyroid gland. Moreover, if you have celiac disease (an autoimmune disease marked by intolerance to gluten) along with hypothyroidism, gluten can act as an irritant for your small intestine.
3) Cruciferous vegetables
Vegetables belonging to the Cruciferae family including cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, turnips, bok choy, mustard, turnip, radish, bamboo shoot and cassava contain goitrogens– naturally occurring substances that have the potential to inhibit the production of thyroid hormones. In addition, they may block your thyroid’s ability to use iodine, which is required for normal functioning of the thyroid.
But, there is a good news!!!
You can cook and eat them as cooking can destroy the enzyme responsible for activation of progoitrin to goitrin and thus reduce their negative impact on the thyroid gland.
4) Sugary/fatty foods
Hypothyroidism can slow down your body’s metabolism which means you are likely to gain extra pounds. Therefore, you must develop eating habits that help in maintaining your weight. You must avoid fats and the excess amount of sugar in your diet. Apart from promoting weight gain, fats interfere with the thyroid’s ability to produce hormones and also disturbs your body’s ability to absorb thyroid hormone replacement medicines.
5) Processed foods
Hypothyroidism is known to increase the risk for high blood pressure. Therefore, you must try to reduce your sodium intake which is believed to be extremely high in processed foods and can further enhance this risk.
6) Excessive fiber
Although fiber intake through whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, and legumes is considered good for health, it may interfere with the absorption of your thyroid hormone replacement drugs if consumed in higher amounts. To prevent this interference, you may have to wait several hours before or after eating high fiber foods.
To conclude, people with hypothyroidism should EAT SMART by choosing food products that can make their condition better.
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