Losing Weight with Hypothyroidism: the hypothyroidism diet

February 12, 2010

Diets & Nutrition

Hypothyroidism or inactive thyroid is a disease that affects women – 10 times more than men – around the age of 45 years. Its symptoms vary depending on the type and on the severity of the disease and they include: an unjustified increase in weight, fatigue, constipation, cold intolerance, heavy menstrual periods or thinning of the hair. Beside gaining weight, losing weight with hypothyroidism isn’t easy at all. You have to be careful what you eat and include in your menu foods that will help you alleviate the effects of hypothyroidism.

So if some or all of these symptoms occur, you must see a doctor. Depending on the thyroid and pituitary hormone levels medicines will be prescribed so that the thyroid functions normally.

Even under medication, people that suffer from hypothyroidism have difficulties in losing extra pounds; therefore, an appropriate hypothyroidism diet plan and regular physical activities are essential for treating this disease. In terms of nutrition, there are a number of minerals and micronutrients which through their specific actions play a positive role in balancing thyroid functions. They should be a part of any hypothyroidism diet.

It is well known by now that a deficiency of iodine in the diet is associated with hypothyroidism. There are countries like Japan where iodine is given as a medicine (an average of 3 mg / day) and these countries have a very low rate of this disease. A sufficient amount of iodine can be taken from sea salt, and supplements should be taken only on the doctor’s recommendation because excess iodine can also lead to hypothyroidism. Significant amounts of iodine are found in fish food and fresh walnuts.

Vitamin E is particularly important in maintaining balance in the thyroid and, therefore you should eat: wheat bran and rye bread, boiled wheat, wheat germs, celery, spinach, carrots, parsley, soy and, last but not least, fish.

Selenium is considered to be a trace with an important role in thyroid health due to its antioxidant properties; it blocks the formation of free radicals. Significant amounts of selenium can be taken from: bread, bran, nuts, tomatoes, onions, broccoli and tuna.

A recent study in Italy revealed that an adequate consumption of zinc improves thyroid function for hypothyroid patients. Rich sources of zinc are: poultry, beef, lamb, fish, shellfish, milk and whole grains.

To prevent thyroid dysfunctions that may have a dietary origin take a number of simple an easy to follow precautions:
1. Limit foods with anti-thyroid action: cabbage, dry beans, and soybeans.
2. Avoid stimuli like: coffee, cola, nicotine and alcohol for they affect thyroid health.
3. Control the levels of daily stress, which is considered a major factor favoring the hypothyroid.
4. Adopt a schedule of daily physical activity for at least 30 minutes to speed up metabolism and promote rapid weight loss.

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