Eating for a healthy thyroid can make all the difference in overcoming hypothyroidism, especially by first and foremost learning what foods to avoid for hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism, or low thyroid, causes a person to become very fatigued, have poor digestion, possible weight gain, lethargy, depression, trouble breathing and have multiple food allergies. Low thyroid conditions are also linked to autoimmune disease, which has the same symptoms. Luckily, changing your diet can make all the difference in the world, and can be a great alternative to taking thyroid medication. Certain foods actually inhibit thyroid function due to their chemical makeup, and hinder the production of thyroid hormones known as T3 and T4. Even testing that shows your thyroid hormone levels are fine may not mean that you have an optimal functioning thyroid for your personal health needs. If you have any of the above symptoms, consider removing these foods to avoid for hypothyroidism.
One of the most important foods to avoid for hypothyroidism is all soy products, including emulsifiers that thicken foods and chewing gum such as soy lecithin. It is important to read every label of anything you buy to avoid soy in all forms. Soy alters your hormones, and though it can have many wonderful benefits in an organic, non GMO or fermented form, soy is still a hugely problematic food for the thyroid. Soy falls into a category of foods known as goitrogens -- vegetables, grains and foods that promote the formation of a goiter, which is an enlarged thyroid. Some goitrogens also have a definite anti-thyroid effect, and appear to be able to slow thyroid function, and in some cases, trigger thyroid disease. I know from a personal level that when I suffered low thyroid, my breathing would almost become impossible immediately and I felt like I had to lie down and take a nap I was so fatigued. Once I removed soy, within a week I was back to normal. If you’re a vegetarian, consider eating other sources of plant protein such as hemp seeds, spirulina, chia seeds, almonds, and include nuts like Brazil nuts that are excellent for your thyroid.
Gluten is such a controversial topic. Avoid it, or include it? There are arguments for both sides, and dieting aside, when it comes to your thyroid, the gluten needs to go.There is a direct connection between autoimmune thyroid disorders and gluten intolerance and it’s best to avoid gluten if you are concerned with your thyroid health. Gluten can suppress many functions in the body, with the thyroid being at the top of the list. Gluten is also a very allergenic food and a problematic food for digestion. There are delicious alternatives from other grain sources such as quinoa, brown rice and gluten-free oats, so ditch the gluten and your thyroid will thank you! Try to eat more protein rich foods such as quinoa, eggs, and spirulina. Spirulina and all other seaweeds, such as chlorella, are actually thyroid supportive foods, which make them a great replacement for gluten.
Broccoli and cauliflower are two of the healthiest veggies you could get your sweet hands on, but when it comes to your thyroid, they can cause hypothyroidism if you eat them on a regular basis. Just like soy, they are one of the highest source of goitrogens, which can cause a goiter or large lump in your throat where your thyroid is located, or they can simply aggravate an already low thyroid condition. Replace these foods with romaine lettuce, zucchini squash, avocados and asparagus to get in plenty of necessary nutrients and eat foods that support the thyroid. Also, avoid cabbage and Brussels sprouts which are also high in goitrogens.
Sorry, sweetie, but you need to skip your Skippy peanut butter if you have a low thyroid. Peanuts are not only goitrogenic foods, but also a highly allergic ones. Most people with food allergies do not tolerate peanuts well. They are very hard on the digestive tract to digest, they can cause joint pain, fatigue and inflammation, and they can make those who have hypothyroidism exhausted and cause an onset of nausea, diarrhea and/or constipation. Replace peanuts with almonds or almond butter instead, and Brazil nuts, which are supportive of thyroid health.
Strawberries are so tasty and healthy! I know it is hard to believe they could hurt your thyroid, but it's true. Strawberries are essentially one of the highest goitrogenic foods of all, along with peaches. Again, goitrogens keep the thyroid from functioning properly and fatigue, allergies, weight gain, inflammation, poor digestion and other signs of hypothyroidism can take place by including too many foods with goitrogens like strawberries. Though strawberries are healthy for you, there are many other berries to eat instead that are even healthier for you and just as yummy! Try blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and acai or gogi berries, which are fantastic for you and your thyroid.
I’m a firm believer sugar is the enemy for so many reasons, especially in refined form. Sugar causes wrinkles by breaking down collagen, it causes weight gain and the onset of diabetes, it causes unhealthy blood sugar levels, mood fluctuations and sugar cravings. Worst of all, it is terrible for your thyroid. How so? By altering your blood sugar levels, sugar can cause sugar cravings, hypoglycemia or insulin resistance, and normalizing these first is key. Without fixing your sugar issues, your thyroid will never improve. This is because the pancreas is responsible for sugar metabolism, and same as the thyroid, the pancreas is also part of the endocrine system. All of these glands are connected to help your thyroid function at its peak. When one of them is hindered, so is your thyroid. Read every product label of any processed foods you buy and don’t buy anything with added sugar.
Believe it or not, your water and your toothpaste can interfere with your thyroid. Crazy, I know, right? It’s true though. Water toxicity is a major problem in thyroid conditions due to the fact that all water systems add fluoride in the US to prevent contamination, yet fluoride can cause many different health issues, and is now linked to slowing down the thyroid. Fluoride is believed to be leaching onto the thyroid cells, inhibiting the uptake of iodine, which can slow the production of thyroid hormones. Buy a special water filter to remove flouride if you have hypothyroidism. Flouride is also found in toothpastes, so I like to buy all natural toothpastes that are fluoride-free. You can find most of these at all health stores or supermarkets. Flouride is also high in black tea, so instead switch to herbal teas or green tea.
Luckily, even though there are many foods to avoid if you suffer from hypothyroidism, there are also many wonderful foods you can eat that enhance the functioning of your thyroid. The best foods include all seafood, seaweeds, eggs, asparagus, Brazil nuts, yogurt, grass-fed animal products, avocados, walnuts, coconut oil, coconut butter, blueberries and almonds. Do you know anyone with hypothyroidism?
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