The thyroid, a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in your neck, plays a pivotal role in regulating various bodily functions. Maintaining optimal thyroid health is essential for overall well-being, as an imbalance can lead to a range of health issues, including weight gain, fatigue, and mood disturbances. We spoke to our expert Dr Archana Batra, Nutritionist, Physiotherapist, and Certified Diabetes Educator, Gurugram, who explained the role of diet in optimising your thyroid health.
Dr Batra said, “While medication and medical treatment are important in managing thyroid disorders, a well-balanced diet can significantly support thyroid function and help optimise your thyroid health.”
Ways To Optimise Thyroid Health With Diet
Incorporate Iodine-Rich Foods
According to the Sudanese Journal of Paediatrics, iodine deficiency is the most prevalent cause of hypothyroidism in adults globally. Dr Batra said, “Iodine is a crucial element for thyroid function, as it is a building block of thyroid hormones. Hence, include iodine-rich foods in your diet, such as seaweed, iodised salt, fish, and dairy products to ensure your thyroid has the raw materials it needs to produce hormones.”
Dr Batra added, “Selenium is an essential mineral that plays a role in the conversion of the inactive thyroid hormone (T4) into the active form (T3). Good sources of selenium include whole grains, sunflower seeds, and Brazil nuts. Incorporating these into your diet can help optimise thyroid hormone production.”
Also Read: Hypothyroidism And Weight Loss: Expert Lists Tips To Lose Weight With This Health Condition
Maintain a Balanced Diet
A balanced diet is vital for overall health and thyroid function. Dr Batra highlighted, “You should ensure that you consume a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. This provides your body with essential nutrients, ensuring your thyroid gets the support it needs.”
Limit Goitrogenic Foods
Dr Batra said, “Goitrogens are compounds that can interfere with thyroid function by blocking the absorption of iodine. While these foods are not inherently harmful, people with thyroid issues may benefit from reducing their intake.” Common goitrogenic foods include broccoli, cabbage, kale, and soy. These foods’ goitrogenic qualities can be reduced by cooking them.
Prioritise Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish like salmon, flaxseeds, and walnuts, have anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce thyroid inflammation in autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Consuming these foods can help maintain the health of your thyroid.
Also Read: Rapid Heartbeat To Constant Fatigue: Expert Explains Thyroid Storm, A Life-Threatening Disease
Monitor Your Sugar Intake
Dr Batra said, “Excessive sugar consumption and refined carbohydrates can lead to fluctuations in blood sugar levels, which may disrupt thyroid function. Therefore, opt for complex carbohydrates like whole grains and control your sugar intake to maintain stable energy levels and support your thyroid.”
Adequate water intake is essential for overall health, including thyroid function. Dr Batra said, “Dehydration can reduce the efficiency of your metabolic processes, potentially affecting your thyroid. Therefore, ensure you drink enough water daily to support your thyroid and overall well-being.”
Practice Portion Control
Weight management is crucial for thyroid health. Overeating can lead to weight gain, which may exacerbate thyroid problems. Practising portion control and mindful eating can help maintain a healthy weight.
Dr Batra concluded, “While dietary changes alone may not be a cure for thyroid disorders, they can be a valuable complement to medical treatment and contribute to better thyroid health. Therefore, consult with a healthcare professional for personalised guidance on how to best incorporate these dietary changes into your thyroid management plan.”
[Disclaimer: The information in this article is shared by a registered healthcare professional and is for informational purposes only. Hence, do not substitute this information with medical treatment and consult your expert for a dietary plan tailored to your needs and body type.]