There are some foods that are marketed as “superfoods” because of their impressive content. These foods often contain a lot of various antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that play a big role in our overall health. However, despite being nutritional superstars some foods may not be good choices for the health of your thyroid gland - a hormone-producing organ found in your neck.
Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that creates thyroid hormones that are needed to support your metabolism, liver function, blood circulation, heart rate, and other essential body functions. About 20 million Americans suffer from thyroid issues like hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, according to the American Thyroid Association. What’s more, about half of these people are not aware they actually have thyroid problems. Keep reading to find out the foods that thyroid experts recommend avoiding:
A large number of people with thyroid disease also suffer from celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which a person can’t consume gluten since it will damage their small intestine. That’s why many people with thyroid problems might want to try avoiding gluten-containing foods. But before eliminating gluten from your diet, talk to an endocrinologist and healthcare provider first.
2. Processed foods
Lots of scientists are convinced that there is a link between thyroid disease and additives and chemicals found in processed foods. They believe that carrageenan and polysorbate 80 might be risk factors for autoimmune conditions, including thyroid disease. Although it hasn’t been extensively studied, it’s still a good idea to avoid processed foods.
Although seaweeds are considered superfoods, they’re not necessarily a friend to the thyroid gland. Seaweed is the best source of dietary iodine. While it sounds like a good thing, too high iodine intake could harm your thyroid gland. Diets that over dose in iodine can trigger hypo or hyperthyroidism.
4. Green juice
Those who have thyroid issues should avoid juicing. When juicing greens, the goitrogens become even more concentrated. It’s best to eat veggies and fruits instead of drinking them.
Researchers have proven the harmful effects of sugar on the human body, like obesity, cardiovascular problems, liver issues, insulin resistance, and gut dysbiosis. But did you know that sugar can also do a number to your thyroid health? Those with thyroid disease are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and limiting sugar intake can minimize these risks.
Kale is another well-known “superfood” that has an impressive amount of antioxidants. However, it’s not a good option for people with thyroid disease. Kale is a cruciferous vegetable that has goitrogens - compounds that tend to disrupt thyroid function by interfering with how the gland uses iodine.
Eating too many cruciferous veggies can result in an either underactive or overactive thyroid. Cooking cruciferous vegetables may help eliminate goitrogens, but since kale is typically eaten raw, it might cause problems.
Soy contains phytoestrogens (naturally occurring estrogens) that tend to raise thyroid hormone-binding globulin that increased bound thyroid hormone and needs for more thyroid hormone. Plus, just like cruciferous veggies, soy contains goitrogens that can be a problem for those whose iodine levels are already compromised.
Moreover, soy hinders the absorption of the thyroid hormones that patients are taking. Thyroid hormone should be taken on an empty stomach away from iron, fiber, vitamins, calcium, and some other foods that can lower thyroid hormone absorption.
8. Artificial sweeteners
Many people believe that artificial sweeteners are a healthy substitute for regular sugar. But they can actually negatively impact thyroid function. So, your best bet is to avoid products containing any artificial sweeteners.