Thyroid disease (TED) is a condition that usually occurs in people who have an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) due to an autoimmune disorder (Graves’ disease). Diet plays an important role when it comes to taking care of thyroid eye disease. Certain foods can aggravate the symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Also, if you eat foods that you are sensitive to, it can affect your immune system and cause hyperthyroidism.
Excessive iodine intake can trigger hyperthyroidism in the elderly or those with thyroid disease. Foods that are naturally high in iodine include seafood. Certain foods are often iodized, meaning iodine has been added to them, including salt, bread, and dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. Other iodine-rich foods include egg yolks, milk chocolate, and commercially prepared bakery products made with iodate conditioners.
A significant number of people with thyroid disease also have celiac disease. It is an autoimmune disease in which eating gluten damages the small intestine. Gluten is the general name for the protein found in wheat, rye and barley. Some patients with celiac disease report less need for thyroid hormone replacement after eating a gluten-free diet for a period of time.
One reason is that following a gluten-free diet allows the small intestine to heal and therefore thyroid medication can be better absorbed. A gluten-free diet may also cause a lower inflammatory response and reduce inflammation of the thyroid gland.
Gluten is found in many foods such as pasta, bread and baked goods, but it can also be found in foods you might not expect, such as soups, sauces, and salad dressings. So when shopping, be sure to check nutrition labels for gluten and choose gluten-free products. Many foods that traditionally contain gluten are now available in gluten-free versions.
Foods for a Healthy Thyroid
Just as certain foods can exacerbate certain aspects of thyroid disease, other foods contain specific nutrients that are an important part of a healthy diet. These include foods and drinks that are high in the following ingredients:
Calcium: People with hyperthyroidism may have trouble absorbing calcium. This can cause bones to break down over time and increase a person’s risk of developing osteoporosis. Therefore, eating foods that are high in calcium can help. For example, green leafy vegetables with almonds, sardines and okra etc. Dairy products (such as milk, cheese, and yogurt) are also rich in calcium.
Vitamin D: This important vitamin does many things, one of which is to help calcium be absorbed more easily. Most vitamin D is obtained from sunlight, but it can also be obtained from diet. Tuna is a good source of vitamin D, and is high in iodine. Freshwater salmon and cod fish are also good sources of vitamin D.
Magnesium: It helps the body absorb vitamin D. Additionally, if the body is not getting enough magnesium, it can potentially worsen hyperthyroidism. Foods rich in magnesium include avocados, almonds, beans, and pumpkin seeds.
Selenium: It is essential for thyroid hormone production. Selenium helps protect the thyroid from damage caused by oxidative stress. Selenium is high in the thyroid and a deficiency can cause the thyroid to stop working properly. Rich sources of selenium include mushrooms, brown rice, sunflower seeds and sardines.
Combine all foods
When it comes to cooking, there are many delicious foods available. For breakfast, you can choose oatmeal. Oats are gluten-free but can be processed in the same places where other gluten-containing grains are processed. Don’t forget to look for ‘gluten-free’ on the label when shopping for it. This means that the company did not use gluten-containing foods in processing it. Try eating oats with almonds or fresh fruit.
A good option for lunch is a fresh salad of leafy greens in oil and vinegar, topped with avocado slices and pumpkin seeds. Add some gluten-free crackers on the side for a little extra crunch. Grilled salmon with roasted broccoli and brown rice is also a good choice for dinner. Just make sure that the salt you use for food preparation is not iodized.