Thyroid gland, as per the vertebrate anatomy, is one of the largest endocrine glands located below the cartilage in the neck. The primary function of this gland is to secrete hormones like thyroxine and triiodothyronine, which are responsible for regulating the metabolism rate in the body. However, if the secretion of these hormones is in excess or below the required level, the condition is termed as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism respectively. In such cases, a person has to take great care when it comes to diet as these hormones are synthesized using nutrients present in the diet that is consumed.
Thyroid Diet Plan
People suffering from hypothyroidism can suffer from excessive and unexplained weight gain in a short span of time. Constipation, fatigue, high sensitivity to cold, heavy menstrual periods (in women), high cholesterol levels in blood, weakness in muscles and a puffy face are some of the common symptoms, experienced by people whose thyroid gland is under active. And this condition is more prevalent in women than in men. So the foods consumed must be high on iodine, zinc, fiber content and selenium, which are essential for boosting up the secretion of thyroxine.
To combat problems caused due to an underactive thyroid gland, necessary measures in terms of proper diet, medication and exercise, should be taken. The diet drawn up, usually consists of food that trigger the gland to secrete more hormones.
|Breakfast||2 Eggs with a whole wheat toast/whole oat cereal
Herbal tea or a glass of hot milk (preferably Cow's milk, as it is high in iodine)
Fresh fruit and yogurt
|Mid Morning Snack||A handful of Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds (packed with selenium) and almonds (rich in vitamin E)
Fruits like apples, blueberries, avocado (rich in vitamin B6), mangoes, pears, cherries, plums, raspberries, cranberries and pineapples
|Lunch||Well cooked white meat (turkey) with whole wheat bread/tortilla/pita wrapped in lettuce and containing some olive oil (rich in vitamins, zinc, niacin and selenium)
Side dish containing potatoes, chickpeas and fresh legumes
A salad of tomatoes and cucumber with a sprinkle of pepper and salt
A fruit at the end of meals, like a banana.
A glass of water
|Afternoon Snack||Freshly cut cantaloupe with yogurt and a hard-boiled egg.
Fruits like kiwi or pomegranate.
|Dinner||Fish (salmon, shrimp, halibut and snapper) with brown rice and eggplant dish
Salads with lettuce, tomatoes and bell peppers
Dessert can be fresh berries served in yogurt
People suffering from hyperthyroidism usually suffer from mood swings, nervousness, fatigue and excessive sweating. They may also experience an irregular heartbeat and may lose weight in spite of having a normal diet. Due to excess secretion of thyroxine, the iodine content within the body is high. So, people suffering from hyperthyroidism can follow the above thyroid diet plan, but carefully avoiding intake of excess salt.
As this is a case, where thyroxine secretion is more than normal, to regulate the hormone levels, calcium (400 milligrams) and magnesium (300 milligrams) supplements should be added to the above diet plan. Essential fatty acids that are required for the normal regulation of the immune response, are found abundantly in black currant seed oil, evening primrose oil and flaxseed oil. These supplements help in stimulating the steroid production and enhance the transmission of nerve impulses.
Amino acid supplements like gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) help in calming down jittery nerves, which is a symptom most commonly diagnosed in hyperthyroidism. Consumption of about 500 milligrams of GABA, twice or thrice daily, is advised. Green foods like spirulina and chlorella can be consumed which are better alternative to direct consumption of iodine. And also include a lot of vitamin B supplement in your diet, as vitamins are essential for an active immune system.
So include foods like fish (cod and salmon), green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, fresh fruits and vitamin supplements in the diet menu. Also some foods (like soybean flour, tofu based foods, sugar substitutes, caffeine) that should be avoided by people suffering from thyroid problems. Not to miss on the important point, avoid alcoholic beverages and smoking cigarettes. Many a time, thyroid problems remain concealed and are asymptomatic in nature. But if the symptoms show up, do consult a doctor who would recommend a diet menu depending on the secretion of thyroxine hormone. So good luck and take care!!