The thyroid gland is located in the front part of the neck and is responsible for regulating the body’s metabolism. There are different kinds of foods that affect thyroid function in both positive and negative ways.
Thyroid gland disorders are of two main types. Hypothyroidism is the insufficient production of thyroid hormones that is characterized by fatigue, depression and significant weight gain. The excessive production of thyroid hormone is known as hyperthyroidism. The symptoms of the condition include fast heartbeat, significant weight loss and anxiety.
According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, about 27 million Americans suffer from a form of a thyroid disorder. Thyroid disorders result from numerous factors among which poor nutrition. Medics state improper nutrition as one of the main thyroid problem causes.
Iodine is one of the substances that the thyroid gland needs to produce hormones. The insufficiency of iodine will naturally affect thyroid gland health. Some foods have the power to affect the condition of the thyroid gland. This is what you need to know about the relationship between foods and thyroid health. The following guide will introduce you to common foods that affect thyroid function and help you make smarter nutritional choices for yourself and your family.
Foods to Avoid
Some foods contain the substance goitrogen. Goitrogen obstructs the function of the thyroid gland, since it has the power to block iodine absorption.
Foods that are rich in goitrogen include Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, radishes, spinach peaches, pears and strawberries. Keep in mind that the excessive consumption of these foods is dangerous in their raw state only.
Soy products are also included in the same food group. People on thyroid medication are banned from consuming soy foods. Soy contains isoflavones, which block enzymes from adding iodine to the thyroid hormone.
On the other hand, people who suffer from excessive thyroid hormone production should increase the intake of foods containing goitrogen.
Before deciding on a diet, consult a medic and a nutritionist to discover the perfect nutrition balance for your condition.
Thiamine and Its Effect on Thyroid Function
The mineral thiamine is needed for proper thyroid function. According to the Journal of Nutrition, thiamine deficiency affects metabolism.
Foods rich in thiamine are mostly cereals, dairy products and vegetables. Specifically, you need to increase the intake of brown rice, whole grain bread, rye, asparagus, potatoes, liver, oranges, eggs and sunflower seeds.
Foods that Affect Thyroid Function in Stimulating Ways
Various foods stimulate the function of the thyroid gland. All products that contain caffeine have a stimulating effect. These include coffee, black tea and chocolate.
All products that contain iodine affect thyroid functioning, as well. Iodized salt and marine foods are rich in iodine. Other foods that contain significant amount of iodine include eggs, cheddar cheese, mayonnaise and malt bread.
Keep in mind that selecting a thyroid-friendly diet yourself could be tricky, since the balance is hard to find. If you worry about the effect of the foods that you consume and you want to modify your diet, you will need to talk to a physician and have diagnostic tests run in advance.