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Foods to help thyroid function

Some traditional doctors do not believe that including certain foods in the diet is helpful to people who suffer from hypothyroidism. However, there are many holistic doctors who strongly believe that diet can be either beneficial or harmful to people with a hypothyroid.

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Both fields of medicine agree that there are some foods and supplements that should be avoided by the hypothyroid patient. They also agree that eating a healthy diet is an important part of staying healthy in general.

Thyroid Stimulants

Stimulating the thyroid gland can help people suffering with an underactive thyroid. Foods and drinks that contain caffeine, like coffee, tea, soda and chocolate, work to stimulate thyroid function. Avocado and coconut are also thyroid stimulants. These foods can be useful in limited amounts, but any diet should be balanced, so they should not be consumed in large quantities. Some hypothyroid patients have found that these foods help to control headaches when used in moderation.

Raw Foods

Raw vegetables are fresher than cooked veggies. Many times they are also grown organically. Raw foods reportedly have good effects on the metabolism. Since one of the main problems for the hypothyroid sufferer is a slow metabolism, raw vegetables are truly beneficial.

Nourishing Foods

Foods that are rich in iodine are believed to nourish the thyroid and increase its function. Sea vegetables, such as kelp, and fish are great sources of iodine.

Foods rich in vitamin A are also beneficial. Yellow vegetables, carrots and dark green vegetables all contain high amounts of vitamin A. Vitamin A is also a proven antioxidant.

Zinc and copper are important minerals that help the body produce the thyroid hormone. Foods that contain zinc include beef, chicken, seafood, oatmeal, beans, spinach, seeds and nuts. Foods rich in copper include eggs, beans, nuts and raisins.

Vegetable Juice

Drinking juice that contains chlorophyll helps the digestion and helps to regenerate cells, both of which are beneficial for the thyroid. Select juices that contain ingredients like radishes, carrots, tomatoes, celery, zucchini, kelp, alfalfa, leafy greens, beet tops, green peppers, parsley, seaweeds, sprouts and watercress.

Foods and Supplements to Avoid

According to Dr. Todd Nippoldt of the Mayo Clinic, there are some foods and supplements that people who take synthetic thyroid medication should avoid. Walnuts, soybean flour and cottonseed meal should all be avoided, or eaten at least two hours before or two hours after taking the medications.

Iron supplements, calcium supplements, antacids that contain aluminium or magnesium, as well as some cholesterol medicines should be used carefully when taking thyroid medications.

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About the Author

Susan Elliott

Susan Elliott teaches studio art and creative writing to home schooled students. She is a graduate of Northwest Arkansas Community College and the Memphis School of Preaching Student Wives Program. She has written for Christian Woman Magazine and Virtuous Magazine. When she's not writing, she is painting or making costumes.

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