What is an under-active thyroid?
When the body is unable to make sufficient amount of thyroid hormones it is termed as underachieve thyroid or hypothyroid condition.
Thyroid hormones control body growth as well as repair and metabolism of the body. That is why, the people who suffer from hypothyroid condition experience symptoms like hair loss, weight issues, tiredness, sensitivity towards hot and cold, and growth issues mainly in children etc.
What is the connection between hypothyroidism and body metabolism?
Foods alone cannot help in preventing or curing a hypothyroid condition. However, the perfect combination with balance amongst food and medications might help in restoring the impaired thyroid functioning. It further minimizes its symptoms eventually, but it takes a certain period of time to show effective results.
The main role of the thyroid hormones in our body is to control our metabolism speed. The faster our body metabolism works and more are the number of calories burnt in a given set of time that too at resting position. A person with good metabolism is expected to have a healthy body weight. However, a person who has hypothyroidism makes a lesser amount of thyroid hormone leading to a slower metabolism and eventually lesser calories are burnt at rest in comparison to the normal person. This even leads to weight gain troubles and invites several other weight-related diseases in turn.
Hence, a slow metabolism poses several health risks. So it becomes more important to focus on increasing the metabolism rate of the body for such people. This can be done by opting moderate workout sessions like cardio, brisk walking, hiking, running, jogging etc. If not done at the right time it becomes hard to maintain body weight for people with low metabolism. Aerobic exercises also boost up the thyroid hormone levels eventually speeding the metabolism. Increasing protein intake can also help in speeding up the metabolism to a certain extent.
Important nutrients for a thyroid-friendly diet.
There are many essential nutrients which are required for an optimal thyroid health.
Iodine is the basic and essentially required mineral which is needed for making thyroid hormones in the body. Hence, an iodine deficiency might pose a risk for developing hypothyroidism. Adding iodized-salt to cooked meals or eating seafood rich in iodine like fish can help to overcome its deficiency.
Selenium helps in activating the thyroid hormones for their further utilization in the body. It is such an essential mineral with antioxidant benefits which helps in protecting the thyroid gland from free radicles.
Adding up selenium-rich foods like tuna, eggs, legumes, sardines, and Brazilian nuts in diet can help increasing selenium amounts in the body. However, its overdose must be avoided to prevent toxicity.
It also helps in the activation of thyroid hormone for utilization. It even regulates TSH, which triggers thyroid gland to release thyroid hormones. Foods like oysters, beef, chicken, and shellfish are its rich sources.
Again, a balance must be looked for while eating to avoid any toxic results.
How to maintain a healthy body weight?
Follow a few tips and it will help you in boosting metabolism and maintaining weight:
- Get a full 7 to 8 hours of sleep at night. Insufficient sleep causes weight gain around the belly region which becomes hard to lose.
- Mindful eating that too in a balance. Nourishment is important but over nourishing yourself is harmful. Keep your diet on carbs as it affects hormone levels.
- Yoga and meditation is the key to connect with the innersole. It helps to relax and remain healthy for a lifetime.
Foods to rely upon
- Eggs, salmon, tuna, shrimps, and meat including chicken, lamb etc.
- All vegetables except moderation of cruciferous vegetables that too after proper cooking.
- Bananas, oranges, mangoes, apples, guava, grapes, and berries etc.
- All gluten-free gains like chia seeds, rice, flax seeds, quinoa, and wheat etc.
- Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt, etc.
- Sufficient amount of water and juices without caffeine are good to go.
A diet based on fruits, vegetables, and lean meat is low in calories as well as filling. It even prevents weight gain and hence turns out to be very helpful in thyroid conditions.
Foods you must avoid
- There are not many foods to avoid however, you can consume foods containing goitrogens, in moderation and after properly cooked.
- You should avoid processed foods like cookies, cakes, and hot dogs etc., as they contain excessive dead calories with nearly no nutritive values.
- Iodine and selenium supplements as they cause thyroid imbalance
- Gluten-containing foods like pasta, bread, and cereals and even beer etc. Especially in people with celiac disease.
- Soy foods like soy milk, tofu etc.
- Coffee, alcohol, and green tea irritates thyroid gland so is best, avoided.
- Millet’s and vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, spinach, and fruits like peaches, strawberries, and pears etc.
What is an ideal thyroid meal plan to look for?
For someone with hypothyroidism, it might become hard to decide on a perfect diet plan with a balance. So to start with you may rely on the below-mentioned diet plan and later you can customize it as per your taste and need.
A diet plan with sufficient protein and a moderate amount of cabs to help you maintain weight is below:
Omelets, Gluten-free brown bread, oats, cow milk with corn flakes, a bowl of fruits with yogurt
vegetable salad, chicken salad, rice with cooked pulses or Indian bread (chapatti)
vegetable or chicken soup, a bowl of cooked pulses, steamed vegetables etc.
You may choose any one of these at a time or a combination as per your taste. But, you must plan your meal wisely and mindful.
Always ensure to take your thyroid medication on time as prescribed by your physician. Because food alone might not help to fight with this condition. Also, an excessive amount of fiber, iron, and calcium might resist the complete absorption of the thyroid medicine in the body. So it is always better to take medicine before at least one hour you take your first meal.
A thyroid-friendly diet can be helpful in reducing the symptoms. So always go for an unprocessed and lean protein containing food items. It is always better to control and manage the situation once you get aware of it rather than ignoring and making it worse.