The thyroid gland belongs to the body's hormonal system and is responsible, among other things, for metabolic rate. The most common thyroid problems are under and overactive glands, along with other diseases (Hashimoto and Graves) that also affect the normal activity of the gland.
Thyroid disorders occur in 10% -15% of women and in 2% -3% of men. Treatment of thyroid activity involves various drugs, but it is important to ensure that one’s diet is consistent with treatment. If you or someone in your family has thyroid problems, these are 10 things that are most important for you to know.
1. Cook Goitrogenic foods
Goitrogenic substances are natural compounds found in various foods that cause the thyroid gland to swell. Foods containing these substances interfere with the formation of thyroxine. Goitrogens are found in mustard, horseradish, turnips, cabbage, radishes, broccoli, and kale.
If you have hypothyroidism, you should be careful about over-consumption of unprocessed Goitrogenic substances. The enzymes found in these foods, which are responsible for the active substances, can be neutralized in the process of cooking, frying or steaming. If you have an overactive thyroid, consult a nutritionist or doctor about changing your menu for higher intake of Goitrogenic foods.
2. Coconut oil - a miracle medicine?
Coconut oil is recognized as a miracle drug for thyroid diseases, but this is not true. Coconut oil does not solve thyroid problems, but it was found to not interfere with glandular activity, making it a safe substitute for oils of other types.
3. Soy should be avoided
Soy is a Goitrogenic substance and it also inhibits the absorption of thyroid hormones, which makes it particularly problematic for those with hypothyroidism. It is not advisable to consume too much soy, especially processed soy foods with a high level of phytoestrogens, such as shakes, powders, soy milk, snacks and nutritional supplements. If you still prefer to consume soy, it is best to do so only in the form of Tempeh, both in small amounts and not as a major source of protein. For those who have hyperthyroidism, consult your doctor or nutritionist about how to incorporate soy into your daily diet.
4. Coffee is problematic
Although coffee has no effect on the thyroid gland, it can damage the absorption of drugs and their effectiveness. Therefore, it is recommended that you do not drink coffee for an hour after taking a drug or a hormone replacement. If you feel that you must drink coffee close to taking the medicine, consult your doctor. Some types of liquid medications or capsules are not affected by coffee consumption.
5. Be cautious of calcium and iron supplements
Here, too, there is a problem with consumption after taking the drugs, and not with the foods themselves (unless there are other substances in the foods that interfere with the activity of the gland). Dietary supplements or foods rich in calcium and iron can impair the absorption of the drug in the body. It is recommended to wait three or four hours between taking the medicine and consuming supplements.
6. Foods with iodine
Iodine plays an important role in the hormonal balance of body metabolism. Most of the iodine we consume reaches the thyroid gland and is used to produce hormones. Our body needs iodine for normal activity, but too much of it can cause hyperactivity. Therefore, there is no need to exaggerate with iodine-rich food, just eat these foods in moderation. Examples of iodine-rich foods are seaweed, fish, and seafood.
7. Gluten should be avoided
People with celiac or a gluten intolerance usually do not suffer from abnormal thyroid activity. The reason for this is that a gluten-free diet removes antibodies and creates a remission in diseases related to the thyroid gland. Therefore, the recommendation is to try to reduce, or completely omit, foods with gluten, even for those who do not have a special sensitivity, because it may help the activity of the thyroid.
8. Fiber-rich foods
Patients with thyroid-related diseases usually suffer from constipation and excess weight, so a combination of fiber-rich foods can help. Vegetables (avocados, beans, carrots, chickpeas, eggplant, potatoes, pumpkins, peas, peppers, and yams); fruit (apple, banana, berries, kiwi, orange, pear, plum and dried fruits), mushrooms, bran, and nuts are all high-fiber, non- goitrogenic foods that can help.
It is important to know that a large consumption of high-fiber foods can affect the absorption of drugs, so it is recommended to check once every two or three months if dosage changes are needed.
9. Small meals versus large meals
People who are interested in increasing body metabolism tend to eat smaller meals throughout the day to allow the digestive system to work longer, with the same amount of food they would eat in 2-3 meals. This may be right for some people, but for those with abnormal thyroid activity, this is not recommended at all, even for those trying to lose weight. For those with unusual activity to actually create large intervals between meals. This helps to balance insulin and leptin levels in the body, which are responsible for regulating appetite.
10. Water plays an important role
Drinking water is one of the most powerful tools used in patients with thyroid-related diseases. Water helps the metabolic rate, reduces appetite, improves digestive processes and fights constipation. Most of the problems caused by the abnormal activity of the thyroid gland can be alleviated with adequate drinking of water throughout the day.
This article does not come in place of medical advice. If you are concerned that you may harm your thyroid activity in some way, ask your doctor for a thorough examination.