The World Thyroid Day is observed on May 25th every year all over the world. It is a global event initiated by the Thyroid Federation International to spread the word about thyroid disorders and how people can minimize the effects or prevent it in the first place. The thyroid is a bow-shaped gland placed in front of your neck which releases hormones required for regulating metabolism, body weight, energy and food metabolism. A healthy thyroid keeps your metabolism in check along with your body weight and energy levels. Thyroid disorders like hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland) and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland) can be trigged by autoimmune problems, hormonal imbalance, stress, family history and bacterial inflammation. However, the good news about thyroid disorders is that it can be prevented and controlled if you know how to achieve and maintain a healthy thyroid.
An underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism can result in weight gain. On the other hand, an overactive thyroid gland can result in weight loss. Neither of these two conditions is good for your health. Experts say that thyroid disorders are quite common and 30% are likely to deal with them once in their life. And the best way to avoid them, well, is to maintain a healthy thyroid. Yes, a healthy thyroid is your key to no disorders in the first place.
This World Thyroid Day, learn how to achieve and maintain a healthy thyroid with our set of tips:
1. Go Mediterranean
One of the best things you can do in order to maintain a healthy thyroid is eat a well-balanced diet. 70% of your autoimmune system lies in your intestines and that is how an unhealthy diet affects the normal functioning of your thyroid. Inflammation in the intestines can lead to thyroid problems. To prevent any inflammation in this area, experts recommend a Mediterranean diet. Aim for four to five servings of vegetables and three to four servings of fruits every day and combine it with lean protein like chicken and salmon. Healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, nut butters, and avocados should also be consumed.
2. Say no to processed foods
One of the important principles of the Mediterranean diet is no processed foods. Foods which contain sugar, dyes, artificial flavors and sweeteners should not be included in the diet. Also, fat-free, sugar-free and low-fat foods should be avoided. These foods, when consumed too much and too often, can lead to inflammation and mess your thyroid.
3. Raw cruciferous vegetables
While cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, Bok choy and Brussels sprouts are super healthy eating them raw can mess with your thyroid. These uncooked foods contain some natural chemicals which can do no good to your thyroid. Lightly steaming or cooking them can enhance the nutritional value of your food and release antioxidant and anti-cancer properties.
4. Stay lean
Obesity is a contributing factor for thyroid problems. So for the sake of a healthy thyroid, stay lean. Studies show that people with a BMI of 40 or more have a slightly lower thyroid function. Experts say that obesity does not have a clear link with thyroid problems but it can be an important contributing factor for thyroid-related disorders.
Therefore, you must try to stay lean, while keeping your diet clean and weight healthy.
5. Proper balance in female hormones
Experts suspect that pregnant and menopausal women are more prone to thyroid problems due to hormonal fluctuations. This happens mainly due to estrogen fluctuations. Estrogen rises in pregnant women and declines in menopausal women. Check with your OBGYN as to how you can maintain a proper balance in your hormones.
6. Maintain your iodine levels
Iodine deficiencies contribute to thyroid disorders. This is more common in women of childbearing age. Look for iodine-rich foods like seafood, cruciferous vegetables and opt for iodized salt instead of sea salt. However, you must check with your doctor as to how much you should eat.
Your metabolism slows down as you age. One of the best ways to keep it active is to exercise regularly. Look for an exercise program where you can build more muscle tissue. Weight training and interval training are the best ways to do so.