Underactive thyroid is also known as hypothyroidism. In this condition the thyroid glands do not make sufficient quantity of thyroid hormones, which leads to slowing of the metabolism process. It therefore leads to a person piling up a lot of weight. The symptoms of underactive thyroid include feeling tired and sleepy all the time. The person may have dry and/or pale skin and hair.
The most prominent of the symptoms is thinning of hair and brittle nails. Heavy, irregular or prolonged menstrual cycle is also among the symptoms. In some cases, underactivity of the thyroid gland does get treated on its own; however, in most cases, measures have to be taken to treat the condition. One of the important part of the treatment is following a suitable diet. When one is aware of the right foods to be eaten for tackling the situation, it becomes easier to have a diet plan in place.
Underactive Thyroid Diet
People who suffer from hypothyroidism often accumulate a lot of weight. It becomes very difficult for them to lose weight. To top that, there are certain foods that contribute to the condition and worsen it instead of helping it. The foods mentioned below will not only help in arresting the effects of the condition, but will also help in getting rid of the condition.
Iodine Rich Food
People who suffer from underactive thyroid are known to have very low iodine levels. Hence, increasing iodine consumption is necessary for such people. Some of the iodine rich foods that can be included is sea salt, iodized salt, dairy products, eggs, seafood, etc. which have to be a part of the daily diet.
Selenium Rich Food
Along with iodine, it is also important that selenium rich foods also have to be consumed. Foods rich in selenium include tuna, onions, bran, tomatoes, whole wheat bread, etc. These foods should be consumed daily as well.
High fiber foods not only help in battling hypothyroidism, but they also have a role to play in keeping the weight under check. Fruits and vegetables in its natural form should be included in the diet. A person should be able to derive 20 to 35 grams of fiber from the diet. Anything more than the said rate can interfere with the medicines meant for arresting the condition.
Along with high fiber, it is also important that the diet be rich in whole grains. It is recommended, that whole grains, seeds, unpolished rice, legumes, etc. be a part of the regular diet. As far as possible, it is best to keep processed food out of the diet itself. As a matter of fact, processed food is a strict no-no for people with hypothyroidism.
Iron Rich Food
People with underactive thyroid will have to ensure that their food is rich in iron. Foods such as salmon, leafy greens, tuna, fortified cereals, etc. are rich in iron. Green vegetables have to be a part of everyday diet and fish can be consumed twice or thrice a day, which help in regularizing the thyroid levels.
Protein Rich Foods
To regulate the thyroid levels, lean proteins should be consumed. They also help in controlling weight. Some of the protein rich foods, that can be included are lean meat, dairy products, eggs, legumes, etc. The fatty acids present in some of the protein rich foods also aid the hormonal system of the body.
Here's what you should not consume if suffering from hypothyroidism. Foods like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, turnip, peanuts, cassava root, soybeans, soy products, etc. should not be a part of the diet, as it hampers absorption of iodine in the body. These products can be eaten in real small quantities, if they are cooked, but they should not be eaten raw at all. Eating them raw suppresses thyroid function. Similarly caffeine, alcohol and sugar should also not be part of the diet. They also have an adverse effect on the thyroid level in the body. Along with the right foods, it is also important that exercise is a part of the daily schedule, as they also help in stabilizing the thyroid hormones.