Is your thyroid functioning properly? Thyroid hormones are essential as they regulate energy levels, metabolism, body temperature, mood, heart rate, and blood pressure.
If your thyroid is not producing enough hormones, a condition known as hypothyroidism, it can affect your body in negative ways and leave you feeling sluggish.
While the cause of thyroid disorders is largely unknown, there is evidence that certain foods can aid in thyroid function. If you have hypothyroidism, here are five foods to add to your diet.
- Roasted seaweed
Seaweed, such as kelp, nori, and wakame, are naturally rich in iodine--a trace element needed for normal thyroid function. Eat seaweed with sushi or get packaged seaweed snacks to toss in salads.
- Salted nuts
Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, and hazelnuts are excellent sources of selenium, which helps support healthy thyroid function. Pack a small bag of assorted nuts to snack on throughout the day.
- Baked fish
Fish is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and selenium, which both help decrease inflammation. Bake salmon, cod, sea bass, haddock, or perch for lunch or dinner to get a healthy dose of Omega-3s and selenium.
Dairy products like yogurt, ice cream, and milk contain iodine. The thyroid needs iodine to prevent its glands from becoming enlarged--known as goiter. Treat yourself to a low-fat serving of frozen yogurt to get sufficient levels of iodine.
- Fresh eggs
Eggs contain healthy amounts of both selenium and iodine. For the most health benefits, eat the whole egg, as the yolk holds most of the nutrients.
To keep track of the thyroid-healthy foods you want to include in your diet, consider making yourself a thyroid diet chart. You can pin it on your fridge or keep it in a clearly visible area of your kitchen to make sure you're staying on track.
While nearly 20 million Americans have thyroid disorders, only about 40 percent are aware of their condition. Browse this symptom checklist to see if you might have a thyroid disorder. If you're concerned about your thyroid function, make an appointment with a primary care physician or endocrinologist at Baylor St. Luke's Medical Group.
American Thyroid Association | Iodine Deficiency
American Thyroid Association | Low Iodine Diet
American Thyroid Association | Hypothyroidism
NIH | Iodine in diet
9 Foods to Avoid With Hypothyroidism
7 Hypothyroidism-Friendly Foods to Add to Your Diet