What is Thyroid?
Thyroid is a butterfly-like gland present at the base of our neck and regulates various metabolic processes, maintains hormonal balance and regulates the absorption of numerous minerals in our body including iodine, calcium, selenium. Iodine plays a vital role for our thyroid gland to produce T3 & T4 hormones.
One of such thyroid disorders is Hypothyroidism, also known as an under-active thyroid i.e. thyroid gland does not secrete enough of thyroid hormones. The prominent symptom of hypothyroidism is feeling tired & sluggish. Other symptoms like bloating, water retention, joint pain, muscular sprain, hair fall, may build up slowly & may take up years as well. This leads to slow down of one’s metabolism making the person gain weight. Hypothyroidism also leads to weak bones due to the leaching of calcium from our bones. Before initiating the diet for hypothyroidism to lose weight, one must get his/her vitamins & minerals level checked for a know-how of nutrient deficiencies.
On the contrary, hyperthyroidism is another thyroid disorder wherein the body’s metabolism & heart rate boosts up due to the over-secretion of thyroid hormones. The common sign of hyperthyroidism is weight loss due to the fast metabolism.
How does diet play a role in Thyroid problems?
Diet plays a crucial role when it comes to losing weight & healing the thyroid gland. Do not follow any extreme fad diets to lose weight in search of quick hacks. This may lead to nutrient deficiencies & may worsen your thyroid gland.
Foods to eat and avoid
Selenium and Iodine rich foods
In case of hypothyroidism, include selenium rich foods like walnuts, pumpkin & sunflower seeds. Zinc is also a critical nutrient, thereby one should eat soaked & peeled nuts for enhanced zinc absorption. Iodine from iodised salt or iodine fortified foods, Vitamin A from all the dark coloured vegetables & fruits, Vitamin D from sunlight are few other crucial nutrients to include in your diet to recover from hypothyroidism.
Virgin coconut oil is also proven to heal thyroid gland as it metabolises quickly with the least possible oxidative stress on the liver and allows the conversion of fat into energy, thus helping weight loss. Cold-pressed coconut oil also helps you burn belly fat. 2-3 tbsp every day is enough to begin the healing process of your imbalanced thyroid gland. It can be consumed either raw or can be used for cooking as well.
incase of hypothyroidism. Consuming raw vegetables increases the goitrogen activity hampering the proper functioning of our thyroid gland. Hence it is recommended to either steam or cook the veggies especially the iodine rich cruciferous i.e. cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, mustards, soy, kale to reduce the thiocyanates present in them for proper functioning of our thyroid gland.
If you ask me for restrictions to heal the thyroid gland, then Refined foods are strictly a big “NO” when it comes to treating hypothyroidism. Avoid processed foods, deep-fried foods & refined oils especially soybean oil.
It's not diet alone, but lifestyle modifications also help in regaining the normal thyroid function. Adequate sleep as per our biological clocks, proper hydration, small & frequent meals, less intake of caffeine and low stress levels proves to be helpful in rejuvenating the thyroid gland. Exercises & meditation play a crucial role in boosting our metabolism & weight loss.
What your Diet plan should look like?
Sample Diet plan for Thyroid
1. Include short & frequent meals in your routine.
2. Consume coriander water once you wake up as it improves your gut.
3. Reduce the existing inflammation in the body by consuming ginger.
4. Avoid processed & bakery products along with your morning tea. Consume dry nuts with tea.
5. Eat a high fibre & protein rich breakfast. Eg: paneer stuffed roti.
6. Consume herbal decoctions with seasonal fruit in case you are hungry before lunch.
7. Balance your lunch with less cereals, moderate protein & high fibre vegetables.
8. Consume black tea or green tea in the evening. Avoid sugar rich foods.
9. Avoid heavy dinner due to slow metabolism. Include high fiber rich veggies & moderate protein in this meal. Eg: vegetable khichdi (more dal & more veggies)
10. Post your dinner include haldi milk to boost your immunity and healing of thyroid gland.
Along with proper planning of your meals, be consistent in your exercises.
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