The thyroid is a small gland shaped like a butterfly. It can be found at the base of the neck and produces hormones that help control various vital functions in the body. However, when it does not work in the correct way it can harm your health, either by producing too much or too little of the hormones. Thyroid disease can affect anyone, although it is more common in women and there are two main types, hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, each with its own characteristic symptoms.
In hyperthyroidism, too much hormone is produced. You may experience weight loss and muscle weakness. Also, irritability, brittle hair and nails. While hypothyroidism is the opposite, as the thyroid gland is underactive and does not produce enough hormones. This tends to lead to weight gain, fatigue, increased sensitivity to cold, and memory problems, among other symptoms. Luckily, there are a number of changes you can make to your habits and they are contributing to good thyroid health, so read on.
Healthy habits for the thyroid
Eating a balanced diet is one of the best ways to stay healthy, so making adjustments to your habits can support the proper functioning of your thyroid gland. It is for this reason that we teach you some eating tips that can actually change your life in the short and long term.
1-Eat foods rich in iodine
Iodine is essential for the health of the thyroid gland, as it is the main component of thyroid hormones such as thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3), 4 and 3 iodine molecules respectively. To avoid problems, try to include several foods that can provide iodine. This is the case with algae, shellfish, dairy products, eggs, tuna, cod, prunes, lima beans, just to name a few.
2-Increase the consumption of antioxidants
Some of the foods rich in antioxidants are strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, which in addition to being very nutritious, colorful and delicious protect you from diseases. Antioxidants are known to help reduce the signs of aging. Also to combat degenerative diseases and can be good for the thyroid which is susceptible to oxidative stress. Eating lots of colorful fruits and vegetables is vital in protecting cells and ensuring proper hormonal balance for the body to function well.
3-Stay away from fad diets
Starving yourself is never a good idea. These fasting regimens are actually bad for thyroid gandula health. This is because most diets do not provide the body with the necessary nutrients and could lead to deficiencies. In addition, it indicates to the body that it is going through famine, so it will do everything possible to help it survive by releasing hormones and thus slowing down the metabolism.
4-Include a handful of walnuts
Especially Brazil nuts are high in selenium, which is important in the thyroid gland, this is because the enzymes necessary to convert the thyroid hormone T4 into T3 depend on selenium. It also has an antioxidant effect that protects against oxidative stress. Although there are other sources of selenium, consuming a little nuts is an easy way to supply the body with various minerals and healthy fats.
5-Cook your vegetables
Vegetables like broccoli, kale, and cauliflower are a great addition to your diet to keep it healthy, but these foods could also have a negative effect on your thyroid gland, unless you cook them. This is because the Brassica family are goitrogens, which means that they can block the absorption of iodine. Make sure to cook the vegetables so that you can take advantage of them without any toxic elements.
6-Be careful with soy
In the same way as Brassica, its consumption can interfere with iodine, which is important for the proper functioning of the thyroid, remember that deficiencies of this mineral tend to cause serious problems. So if you consume a lot of soy it would be worth going to the doctor for tests and if treatment is necessary.
7-Eat as naturally as possible
Remember that the key to enjoying good health is taking care of your diet, allowing it to be of nutritional quality. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, choose lean protein, drink plenty of water, and try to get plenty of rest, while staying away from junk food, refined sugars, and sugary drinks as much as possible. All these products do not add anything positive to your body.
8-Be careful with gluten
Although gluten is not a problem for everyone. If there is evidence on how autoimmune thyroid disorders are related to gluten intolerance, it is important to eliminate it if you suffer from Graves’ or Hashimoto’s disease. Gluten protein is said to be similar to that of the thyroid and when absorbed the immune system sends signals to destroy it. Then the body itself mistakes the thyroid for this protein and attacks it. It is for this reason that special care must be taken with its consumption.