If you are feeling constantly tired, sluggish, and in a bad mood, and you have gained weight without an evident reason, you might be one of the 27 million who suffer from hypothyroidism, a malfunctioning of the tiny butterfly-shaped gland called thyroid.
This gland is located near the neck base and regulates numerous functions in the body, so its malfunction can lead to depression, weight gain, dry skin and hair, and foggy thinking.
In the case of low levels, the pituitary gland sends a signal to this gland to secrete a thyroid-stimulating hormone(TSH) into the bloodstream.
Primary hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid does not function properly even the THS levels are increased.
On the other hand, secondary hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid never receives the signal it needs to increase TSH.
Yet, the symptoms of both conditions are the same.
Fortunately, studies have shown that you can boost the function of the thyroid in a completely natural way, with the help of the following 11 foods and supplements:
1. Chickpeas are abundant in fiber, which controls constipation often associated with hypothyroidism, as well as zinc, which is essential for the healthy function of the thyroid.
2. Seaweed is a rich source of iodine, which is vital for healthy thyroid function. Other good iodine sources include dairy, eggs, and seaweed.
3. Apples, citrus fruits, plums, and pears, are rich in pectin, a gelatinous fiber that lowers the levels of heavy metals in the body, which have been linked to hypothyroidism
4. Sardines support the function of this gland since they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which fight inflammation and strengthen immunity.
5. Guggul is a popular herb in Ayurvedic medicine, and it prevents hypothyroidism by turning certain hormones into a more potent form.
6. Brazil nuts are rich in selenium, whose deficiency can be a primary cause of hypothyroidism. Other sources of this nutrient include legumes, eggs, tuna, sardines, beef, and turkey.
7. Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, which optimizes the thyroid function.
8. Optimize your vitamin D levels by consuming yogurt, as Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune disorder, is a common cause of hypothyroidism
9. Vitamin D supplements are necessary especially if you live in the Northern hemisphere. This vitamin boosts the immune system, and its low levels are linked to Hashimoto’s and other autoimmune diseases
10. Zinc deficiency can lead to hypothyroidism, so make sure you find a good quality thyroid-balancing supplement that contains zinc, copper, and selenium.
11. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that ensures a healthy metabolism, and lowers THS levels, thus preventing hypothyroidism.
You can take vitamin A supplements in two forms: preformed and provitamin A carotenoids, and the recommended daily dosage is 5,000 IU.
On the other hand, when on a hypothyroidism diet, you should avoid the following foods:
-- Goitrogen foods, such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, soy and Brussels sprouts, since they contain goitrogens, molecules which impair thyroid peroxidase.
-- Sugar disrupts the hormonal balance and leads to weight gain, fatigue, depression, and mood changes, all symptoms you would like to prevent when curing the thyroid gland.
-- Refined flour products negatively impact hormone levels and contribute to weight gain, so avoid the consumption of bread, cereals, pastas and all baked goods, and turn to 100 percent whole grains like quinoa, buckwheat, etc.
-- Tap water, as in most cases, it contains fluorine and chlorine, which disrupt the function of the thyroid and inhibit the absorption of iodine in the body.
-- Gluten, as many people who suffer from thyroid issues, are sensitive to it. Therefore, avoid the consumption of all wheat, rye and barley products, as well as many packaged foods.
-- Conventional dairy, since it can be especially problematic for the thyroid, triggering reactions that raise inflammatory responses. Instead, stick to organic, raw goat’s milk or organic A2 cow’s milk.