1 in 10 Indian adult suffers from thyroid, as per a report more than 42 million people are suffering from thyroid disorder in India. Thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland in the front of our neck that produces a hormone which influences every cell, tissue and organ in our body hence, it plays a big role in helping the body to work right.
Underactive thyroid gland impacts cell repair and metabolism to regulating our energy levels and moods. Without these hormones, people with hypothyroidism end up dealing with a whole range of possibly risky symptoms and complications.
Mood changes
Weight gain
Thinning of hair
Muscle weakness
Puffy face
Dry skin
Increased LDL
Joint pain
1. Auto immune disorder – your immune system is on an overdrive leading to chronic inflammation
2. Radiation therapy- Radiation used to treat cancers of the head and neck can affect your thyroid gland and may lead to hypothyroidism
3. Iodine deficiency -Too little iodine can lead to hypothyroidism, and too much iodine can worsen hypothyroidism in people who already have the condition.
4. Low stomach acid – Affects digestion and in turn gut health
5. Leaky gut- Affects digestive health and nutrient absorption resulting in food intolerances and deficiencies which in turn impacts thyroid health
6. Sluggish liver- Affects the conversion of thyroid hormones T4 to T3. Nearly 60% of this conversion takes place in the liver. Your body needs the most active form of thyroid hormone T3
7. EstrogenDominace- Stops conversion of T4 to T3 leading to low T3 levels
Diet during hypothyroidism
Since underactive thyroid impacts metabolism, digestion, growth etc. So, the diet should be linked accordingly, There should be a decrease in the energy for stimulation of oxidative processes in the body. Patients should opt for foods rich in plant fiber as it delays the gastric emptying, gives sense of fullness at a low energy value, and helps in bowel movement.
Proteins should be part of diet in sufficient quantities as the contribute to increase the metabolic rate. Consumption of the important vitamins and minerals.
Coconut oil should become one of the important ingredients in the diet of people suffering from hypothyroidism. It contains medium chain fatty acids and has antioxidant properties. Sprouted flax and chia seeds saturate the body with alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) which regulates the function of thethyroid gland.
Fix nutrient deficiencies
For proper functioning of thyroid gland there are certain vitamins and minerals which are required and sometimes we consume them but they doesn’t get absorbed and deficiency happens. Nutritional deficiencies can occur due to poor diet &lifestyle, leaky gut, chronic inflammation, low stomach acid, lack of digestive enzymes.
Check for nutrients like
Selenium,Zinc , Iron , Magnesium , Vitamin D , Vit B
Include diet which is anti-inflammatory
Add foods rich in antioxidants like nuts, green veggies, fruits etc.
Prioritize Sleep
Have a consistent sleep time, healthy circadian rhythm.Avoid, blue light and gadgets at night.
Improve gut & liver health
T4 hormone produced by your thyroid gland is largely converted to T3 (usable form by your body) in the liver & gut.Healthy gut bacteria have a beneficial effect on the immune system & thyroid.
Boost your metabolism by being active throughout the day.
Focus on self-care – Manage your stress by doing stress management activities like writing journal, meditation, deep breathing etc.
Avoid foods with high glycemic index
Foods like refined flour, bread, corn, muffins, cakes etcare high in glycemic index and they lead to weight gain.
Goitrogens, but not completely
Goitrogens are substances that interfere with the functioning of the thyroid gland and block enzymes that allow thyroid to use iodine. This forces the thyroid gland to produce more cells to counter the deficit, which leads to the enlargement of the thyroid gland. But do not completely cut down on goitrogens-rich foods as it contains other important nutrients essential for staying healthy.
Avoid toxic products
Avoid products with hormone disrupting chemicals in household, cosmetics, toiletries etc. Chemicals like parabens, fluoride, chlorine, phthalates should be avoided.
Sample diet plan
Early morning – Wheatgrass / Seaweed powder / Spirulina + 5 almonds + 2 wanuts
Breakfast – 2 Eggs + 2 Bread slice / Moong daalcheela + green chutney + curd / Besan oats cheela 2withGreenchutney + curd / Stuffed paneer roti 2 + curd
Mid-morning – Buttermilk + Seasonal fruit
Lunch – Salad (steamed / sautéed ) + 1 bowl daal / chicken / egg + 2 chappati / 1 chappati + ½ katori rice
Evening – Sattu drink + Makhana chat
Dinner – Salad + 1 bowl green vegetable + Daliya / Oats / 2 chappati
Post dinner – 1 tsp Flaxseed powder
The writer is Nutritionist, Diabetes Educator, Founder of Nutrivibes