Your thyroid gland has the shape of a butterfly and is situated in your lower neck. It helps control your metabolism through the release of triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), two powerful hormones. If you have thyroid disorders, it’s essential that you get enough of the right nutrients to prevent further complications. This can be done through the right foods and certain supplements.
Approx. 27 million Americans have diagnosed thyroid problems, with either not enough or too many of the needed hormones being produced, and this causes lots of problems. However, because this problem often goes unnoticed, there are millions more people who have the disorder and aren’t doing anything about it.
Goitrogens are found in certain foods and can increase the size of your thyroid. These foods also reduce the effect of your thyroid, so you need to avoid them as much as possible, while eating other foods that can boost your thyroid and metabolism.
You should eat foods that are rich in iodine, because this helps produce thyroxin, another hormone that helps the thyroid function properly. These foods include: onions, eggs, haddock, pineapple, fresh fish, cod, artichokes, fish oils and iodized salt. You can also take supplements, but never take topical or antiseptic iodine internally.
Eat foods that are rich in iron and copper to help your thyroid remain healthy as well. These are the absolute best types of foods to eat. The iron-based foods include: shellfish, red meat, leafy greens, poultry, tomatoes, bell peppers, beans and citrus fruits. Copper-based foods include: crab, oysters, cereals with wheat bran, cashews, organ meats, whole grains and sunflower seeds.
If you have a thyroid disorder, you will usually have a selenium deficiency as well, so it is also important to add selenium-rich foods to your diet. These include: eggs, seafood, kelp, onions, Brazil nuts, mushrooms, sunflower and sesame seeds, garlic, kidneys, beef liver, turkey and shellfish.
You need to include plenty of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids in your diet, and that means eating foods such as leafy green vegetables, fish, canola oil, chia seeds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, walnuts, flaxseeds and shellfish.
It is common for thyroid patients to suffer from constipation and weight gain. To help reduce these problems, you should eat foods that are high in fiber. Many high fiber foods have already been mentioned in this article, but you should add these vegetables to your list as well: carrots, avocado, eggplant, rhubarb, sweet potato, peppers, green and black-eyed peas, potatoes with their skins on, pumpkin and lima beans.
High fiber fruits include: apples, kiwi fruit, oranges, prunes, pears, berries, bananas, guava and dried fruits. However, try not to have too much fruit, because you may get too much sugar in your system, and this can affect your health in other negative ways, especially if you have diabetes.
These lists are just a guide as to what to eat if you have thyroid disorders. You should consult your doctor for more specific advice, because you may have reactions to certain foods if you take certain medications, for example.