Finding the “proper” diet to follow when you suffer from hypothyroidism is a daunting task. You will have no trouble finding a diet that claims to help with thyroid function, but finding a diet that does improve hypothyroidism and has scientific research to back it up, are not as common. Some of the suggested diets for people with this condition actually recommend foods on them that are detrimental to hypothyroid patients.
In the following article I have compiled some basic useful tips that you can use when you are considering a diet suggested for hypothyroidism. The tips I have compiled for you are all based on scientific research that has proven what vitamins and nutrients you actually need in order to have normal thyroid hormone production restored to your body. You will also find tips that include the proper nutrients to help your body convert the hormones the thyroid gland produces and then helps these hormones be delivered to the cells that need them.
An Anti-Inflammatory Diet for Hypothyroidism
Any inflammation in your body causes undo stress. Your body has a natural response to this stress that actually slows the thyroid hormone production. A good diet for hypothyroidism will include nutrients that make it anti-inflammatory.
Stress and the hormones you produce when you are under stress send messages to the thyroid to slow down so that the stress hormones can try and overcome the inflammation you have. This happens each time you are injured and have inflammation and it happens continuously if you eat a diet that is not anti-inflammatory by nature.
Continuous inflammation can lead to serious complications of the thyroid gland and of other systems within the body.
Do Grains Have a Place in a Diet for Hypothyroidism?
One of the biggest sources of inflammation from our diet is in the gluten that grains like wheat contains. All grains contain some form of gluten. Wheat is just the grain that is mentioned most often because it is the most frequently consumed grain.
Most of the time the grains that you consume have a high glucose content that causes your blood sugar levels to rise abnormally. You can not only have thyroid gland complications eating these high starch foods, you can also develop diabetes while eating this diet.
We all need to have protein as part of our diet. A hypothyroidism diet will need to include protein, but you have to choose the proper protein sources to get the benefits.
At one time humans ate all of the animals they killed, including all of the organs, using the bones for soups and broths, and all of the muscles. Today we select a few cuts from an animal and we dispose of the rest.
What we are now eating is not as healthy as what we once would have eaten. Muscle meats are our favorite cuts and they are the worst ones we could choose for an anti-inflammatory diet. These cuts are less nutritious and they are chocked full of amino acids that tend to promote inflammation. Tryptophan, cysteine, and methionine, are not something you want to ingest a large amount of when you have thyroid gland problems.
When you are eating to reduce inflammation you should incorporate more bone broths, and soups made from these broths, as a means of getting the proper proteins. This is not a new age idea, for over one hundred years people have used these proteins to help with diseases like arthritis and diabetes.
Hypothyroid sufferers need saturated fats in their diets. I know that you have heard how bad these fats are so much that you are trying to completely eliminate them from your diet. Some of what you have heard is true, but some of it is misinformation that is stopping you from getting what you need.
Histamine causes a large amount of the inflammation in the body. Saturated fats inhibit histamine production. These fats are very easy for the body to metabolize and use. They help to stop the anti-inflammatory proteins you eat from doing any harm to your body.
The biggest reason to include saturated fats in your diet is because they allow your body to utilize your T3 hormones from the thyroid gland more effectively.
If you want to get all of the benefits from saturated fats include coconut oil in your diet. Coconut oil is comprised of things like Lauric acid, which can be easily converted into energy your body can use.
The saturated fats you receive when you eat butter can help your thyroid gland and it can help provide you with the amounts of vitamin A and vitamin D you need to be healthy.
A Hormone Supportive Diet for Hypothyroidism
In a good diet for hypothyroidism there must be anti-inflammatory foods and there must be foods that support your hormone production. This hormone production support is crucial.
Your body produces several different hormones that all have a special purpose. Some of the hormones need each other in order for them to do their jobs. Whenever one of your hormone levels gets out of whack the other hormone levels in your body are also likely to become unstable.
The thyroid hormone is a good example of how one hormone supports many others. In your body the thyroid hormone is combined with Vitamin A and together these two elements convert cholesterol into protective hormones like progesterone.
When your thyroid is not producing enough hormones then your body cannot convert the cholesterol and you can become susceptible to illnesses like cancer because of it.
When you follow a good diet for patients who have hypothyroidism then your body will increase the hormone production from this gland, and it will also lower your cholesterol count at the same time. Your cholesterol count is high when you have an underactive thyroid because it cannot be converted to useful hormones. Medicating for high cholesterol will not be useful until you get all of the hormones in balance.
Any good diet for hypothyroidism will include plenty of foods that provide your body with selenium. This is one of the most important nutrients you can take in for your thyroid.
Your liver has the task of converting any non-active thyroid hormones to active thyroid hormones. The liver has to have selenium to fuel this conversion. A deficiency in selenium leads to an underactive thyroid.
Foods rich in selenium include shellfish like shrimp, mussels, crab, and lobster.
Vitamin A is not just important to help your cholesterol be converted, it is also important to the thyroid functions.
If you do not get enough Vitamin A then your thyroid functions will not be supported they will be suppressed. You can also cause your thyroid hormone production to become suppressed by taking in too much Vitamin A. You have to have a proper balance of vitamins and nutrients.
Vitamin E is not used to make a conversion like Vitamin A, or to suppress the functions of the thyroid gland. It is used more as a means of counter-acting the side effects of some of the things we eat that are not healthy for our thyroids.
Polyunsaturated fats not only suppress the production of thyroid hormones they actually stop the cells in the body from being able to absorb the thyroid hormones. Vitamin E can help to block the polyunsaturated fats from doing these things.
In order for a diet to be a good one for people with hypothyroid it does not have to be complicated and hard to follow. All you really need to remember is that the diet must support the needs of the gland and provide useful vitamins and nutrients.
In order for you to be healthy you will need a healthy thyroid. You can say that the healthier this gland is the longer the life of the person is. The most important thing you can do for yourself, your thyroid, and your future, is to eat a proper diet filled with all of the essential vitamins and nutrients you need each day.