Foods that Improve Thyroid Health

It is a sad but true fact that the promised golden years may not be so golden after all. As we age, our lives may be plagued with various diseases that take away all the fun of retirement. Fatigue, depression, dementia, high blood pressure and heart disease are just some of these problems. Oh, hey, since we are talking about diseases, let’s add another one to the equation. How about your thyroid health? Your thyroid health may not be easy to detect, but if left untreated, it can cause a wide variety of problems, especially to females in their post-menopausal stage. However, the good news is that with the right food, you can avoid any problems that can crop up with your thyroid. So, let’s ensure thyroid health by eating foods that improve it.

What is the Thyroid?

If you are to read any information regarding your thyroid, then you should know what the thyroid gland is and its function. Very few people pay attention to their thyroid gland. But, it does a load of work in your body. So, here goes….. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located just near the base of the neck. The thyroid secretes several hormones, mainly thyroxine. The thyroid gland ensures proper metabolism, growth and development, energy and maintains body temperature. You can be affected with either hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.

  • Hyperthyroidism –This occurs when there is excessive production of the thyroid hormone. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include sudden weight loss, anxiety and irritability, sweating, changes in bowel patterns, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, and rapid heartbeat, etc. Left untreated this condition can cause life-threatening complications.
  • Hypothyroidism – This is when your thyroid gland does not produce adequate thyroid hormones. Symptoms include unexplained weight gain, fatigue, dry skin, aches, stiffness and pains, depression, constipation, etc. Left untreated this condition can lead to myxedema, a condition that leads to congestive heart failure and myxedema coma.

Foods that Improve Thyroid Health

Now that you are aware of the problems that can occur with your thyroid, it is time to consider foods that can improve and weaken the health of your thyroid. It is important in both cases to understand which foods to avoid and which foods to eat.

  • Certain foods contain a naturally occurring substance known as goitrogens. Your thyroid gland can enlarge if you eat foods that contain goitrogens. Goitrogen vegetables are broccoli, kale, cabbage, cauliflower and soy foods. So, you should be careful about these foods irrespective of the type of thyroid disease you have.
  • You should also avoid commercially produced oils for cooking and use coconut oil instead. Coconut oil is believed to encourage the thyroid gland to work better.
  •  Avoid drinking coffee soon after or before taking your thyroid medication as this can affect the absorption of your medication. The same goes for calcium-fortified orange juice.
  • Iodized salt is a good idea to prevent iodine deficiency and encourage the proper function of the thyroid.
  • Eat foods high in fiber to prevent constipation which is a common problem with thyroid disease.
  • Drink plenty of water as this helps your metabolism function properly.

No one said the aging process was easy. In fact, it is down-right difficult. However, you don’t have to be over 55 to suffer from the problems of thyroid disease. And now you don’t have to. By eating properly and taking care of yourself, you can ensure a long, healthy life.

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