While thyroid disorders aren’t very common, you may have a friend or relative who has hypothyroidism, as this disorder affects more women than men, especially those over the age of 60. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormone to help the body with key functions, one of which is metabolism.
Hypothyroidism develops slowly and many people might not notice symptoms in the earlier stages, so it’s important to check in regularly with your doctor if you have any of the symptoms below since, over time, this condition can lead to obesity, joint pain, infertility, and heart disease.
- weight gain
- cold intolerance
- joint and muscle pain
- dry skin & hair
- decreased sweating
- heavy or irregular menstrual periods and impaired fertility
Hypothyroidism can be a tricky condition to manage, and your diet is a big part of staying ahead of this disorder. Some nutrients heavily influence the function of the thyroid gland, and certain foods can inhibit your body’s ability to absorb the replacement hormones that your doctor may have you taking as part of your thyroid treatment. We’ve compiled a list of 5 foods that you should consider limiting if you are trying to manage hypothyroidism, and as always, check with your doctor to make sure you are doing what’s best for your health and your body.
Studies suggest that phytoestrogens in soybeans and soy-rich foods may inhibit the activity of an enzyme that makes the thyroid hormones. One study found that women who consumed soy supplements were three times more likely to develop hypothyroidism. This includes soy sauce, soybean oil, and other soy products, so make sure and read your ingredient labels.
While it’s important to always eat your vegetables, you may want to limit your intake of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts. If you’re cooking your veggies, and limiting them to less than 5 ounces a day, then you should be fine. But since these vegetables may limit the absorption of some of the medicine you’re taking, check with your doctor on what a proper daily amount should be for optimal thyroid health.
Peanuts, almonds, and pine nuts are all a great source of unsaturated fats and omega 3s, but eat them in very small quantities to manage hypothyroidism. For that crunch in your granola or salads, opt for Brazil nuts instead. These nuts help your thyroid health in two ways. Not only are they a good source of iron, but they’re also rich in selenium, another mineral that supports thyroid function.
Organ livers contain lipoid acid and eating too much of this could disrupt the way your thyroid works. Lipoic acid could also have an effect on any thyroid medicines you take, so check with your physician before making these a part of your diet.
Juice & Soda
Many sodas and reconstituted juices contain fluoridated water, and fluoride is a goitrogen. Goitrogens are naturally-occurring chemicals that are ingested in foods that may interfere with thyroid function and disrupt signaling across the thyroid’s cell membranes. To stay hydrated the healthy way, opt for good old-fashioned water or try our recipe for Strawberry detox water!
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