Many doctors will lead you to believe that regularly monitoring your thyroid hormone levels and making necessary adjustments in the drug dosages is all you need to be concerned about. However, a right combination of eating healthy foods, taking supplements, getting enough exercise and de-stressing your life will go a long way to support your thyroid and your health.
If you have an underactive or overactive thyroid, your risk for having cardiovascular disease becomes much higher. Even though your imbalance may be corrected with treatment, you need to be aware of the positive effects of a healthy lifestyle, good nutrition and the importance of anti-oxidant foods on the health of your thyroid and your heart.
The best diet to follow for a healthy thyroid is a low-glycemic, low-fat, high-protein diet. This will help prevent the occurrence of an autoimmune disease. Eating too much fat hormones your immune system as well as all your other organs including your thyroid.
An eating plan that is high in good quality protein and complex carbohydrates, low in fat and simple sugars will help you control your cholesterol, blood pressure and it will help prevent damage to your brain from a poor blood supply and strokes.
The effect of food on your mood is really being thyroid friendly because the functioning of your brain depends on what you eat. A low-glycemic diet that is rich in good quality proteins containing essential amino acids improves your intellect and your mood. If you feel tired or sluggish after a meal, have a rapid heartbeat or start sweating, then you may be experiencing a rise and fall of blood sugar too rapidly. This can be hazardous to your health and your thyroid.
What can you do?
1. Eat more foods that are low-glycemic – these are foods that will not elevate your blood sugar too quickly and are not highly processed.
2. Eat more complex carbohydrates, whole grains, and vegetables as these will increase tryptophan and serotonin levels in the brain and help prevent depression.
3. There are some raw foods that contain goitrogens which are substances that can impair the manufacturing of thyroid hormone. They include broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cage, brussel sprouts, radishes, peanuts, pine nuts, peaches, apricots, strawberries and millet. Of course, it is good to eat these foods and cooking them will neutralize any goitrogens.
4. Eat good (essential) fats – your thyroid needs certain kinds of fat to work properly. The best are Omega 3’s like alpha-linolenic acid and Omega 6’s which are linolenic acid. Olive oil, avocados, and other vegetable oils will increase your intake of these good fats.
5. Eat deep sea fish like salmon, tuna, herring and sardines which can help prevent autoimmune attacks on the thyroid. Taking an Omega 3 fatty acid supplement is a must for anyone dealing with thyroid issues.
6. Get enough antioxidants because they will help your thyroid function properly as you age so you will not have a deficit in zinc and selenium which can produce lower thyroid hormone. Vitamin C and E are good choices taken together.
Thyroid imbalance itself can make you deficient in antioxidants and promote excessive production of free radicals in the body. This can lead to all sorts of degenerative diseases and when the thyroid is over-active, the consumption of oxygen is higher leading to an accumulation of free radicals that are toxic to your cells. Getting enough antioxidants from fruits and vegetables and supplementing with an antioxidant formula will help prevent cellular damage in many parts of the body including the thyroid.
7. Take a B-complex to help prevent cardiovascular disease, support the adrenal glands, nerve endings and to help de-stress the body.
8. Pay attention to trace minerals. Some of them, such as copper and manganese, have antioxidant properties and will protect you from free radicals. You can easily become depleted of magnesium if you consume too much alcohol or sweat a lot during exericse, so supplementing with magnesium is a good idea.
Healthy nutrition is so important for controlling weight, preventing degenerative diseases and maintaining a positive attitude and mood. It is even more crucible for people dealing with thyroid issues because the thyroid hormone is one of the major factors that allow the body to adjust its metabolism to the foods we eat, especially when it comes to weight loss. Be good to your thyroid.