7 Natural Ways To Improve Thyroid Function If You Have A Thyroid Disorder
May 4, 2018 13:36 By Fabiosa
Thyroid disorders are becoming alarmingly common these days. Fortunately, there are various ways to treat thyroid conditions, and your lifestyle and diet also play a role in how well you are going to feel living with a thyroid problem. The food you eat can significantly affect the function of your thyroid, and there are a few foods to add to your thyroid-friendly diet and a few foods to limit or avoid altogether.
So, below, we list a few tips you can use to change your diet to help your thyroid, and a couple of other natural ways to improve your thyroid function. But keep this in mind: Diets and complementary treatments can't substitute the treatment your doctor prescribed.
7 natural ways to help your thyroid function better
Use the following tips in addition to the treatment your doctor prescribed:
1. Consume the right amount of iodine
As you probably know by now, iodine is vital for your thyroid function. But consuming too much or too little iodine can make your condition even worse, so ask your doctor how much you need. Don't take iodine supplements unless your doctor prescribed them; get the mineral from foods instead. Good sources of iodine include seaweed, milk and dairy products, lima beans, and prunes.
Note: If you intend to add seaweed to your diet, make sure the kind you're going to eat is not too high in iodine.
2. Increase your B-complex vitamins intake
B-complex vitamins, especially vitamins B1 and B12, support your thyroid function. You can take a B-vitamins supplement (after checking with your doctor first) or eat more foods rich in these vitamins. Good sources of vitamin B1 are sesame seeds, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, pistachios, spinach, asparagus, and Brussels sprouts. Good sources of vitamin B12 include milk, dairy products, and foods fortified with the vitamin.
3. Eat enough selenium
Selenium is another important mineral for your thyroid. You only need very little selenium daily - just 55 micrograms - if you're an adult. One of the best sources of selenium are Brazil nuts, and other good sources include cottage cheese, oats, and baked beans.
4. Eat fermented foods
Thyroid health is linked to gut health, and eating foods containing live bacteria can improve your intestinal microflora. One of the best choices is yogurt (or kefir), as these also contain a decent amount of iodine. Other foods to try include sauerkraut, kombucha, kvass, kimchi, and tempeh.
5. Exclude or limit aggravating foods
Processed foods can trigger chronic inflammation throughout your body, and the thyroid is not an exception. So, cut out any highly processed foods from your diet. These include fast food and commercially produced baked goods. Stay away from refined sugars and refined grains; eat more whole grains and fresh fruits and berries instead. If you have hyperthyroidism, you should avoid caffeine. Soy and soy products may affect your thyroid medicines, so if you want to eat something made from soy, wait for at least a few hours after taking your meds.
6. Exercise regularly
If you have a thyroid problem, especially hypothyroidism, you may not feel like exercising at all. But with the right diet and the right medicines, you should be able to have enough energy to exercise at least a few days a week. Exercise can improve your thyroid function to some extent and also boost your metabolism in general.
7. Try relaxation techniques
Living with a thyroid disorder can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety. To calm your mind, try relaxation techniques, such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing. Or simply find time to do something relaxing, such as reading a book or walking in the park.
This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.