6 Food Sources That Can Impact Thyroid Health

6 Food Sources That Can Impact Thyroid Health

The thyroid gland is responsible for producing and secreting hormones that affect nearly every aspect of the body. When the thyroid becomes stressed, the rate in which it produces hormones slows down, which can cause weight gain, sleep disturbances, skin problems, constipation, fatigue, and psychological problems. Certain foods may be disruptive to how well the thyroid gland functions. Here are six foods your thyroid gland wants you to avoid like the plague.

6. Soy
Soy contains a hormone known as phytoestrogen that may interfere with the thyroid gland's ability to produce hormones. Some research suggests that consuming too much soy may increase the risk of hypothyroidism, which occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones. Soy can hide in a lot of unsuspecting foods, so be sure to read the labels on any packaged foods you buy. It is commonly found in bean sprouts, teriyaki sauce, chocolate, cereal, dairy substitutes, and even some vitamins.

5. Cruciferous Vegetables
Although cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, boy choy, turnips, kale, and cauliflower, are extremely beneficial for preventing cancer, they may have an adverse impact on thyroid gland functioning. Iodine deficiency is a common cause of hypothyroidism, and cruciferous vegetables may inhibit iodine absorption. Limiting your daily intake to five ounces per day appears to have no effect on thyroid health. Cooking the vegetables also helps prevent them from blocking iodine absorption.

4. Gluten
Gluten is a highly inflammatory food that may aggravate the digestive system, which can impact the absorption of thyroid hormone replacement medication. Gluten may also contribute to an autoimmune condition known as Hashimoto’s disease that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks thyroid tissue. If you choose to eat gluten, make sure you are consuming whole-grain versions of pasta and bread that are higher in fiber and nutrients and do not take thyroid medication at the same time.

3. Sugary Foods
Processed foods tend to contain a large amount of refined sugar, which causes an inflammatory response in the body. They also tend to be high in calories and low in nutrition, which affects hormone production, causes weight gain and increases your risk of developing hypothyroidism. Replacing refined sugar with naturally sweet foods such as berries and other fruits supports weight loss and thyroid function. Be on the lookout for pastries, candy, granola bars, cereal, and just about anything that comes in a package.

2. Coffee
Your morning cup of Joe might be responsible for getting you out of the house on time, but it can also be affecting your thyroid health, especially if you are taking medication. Caffeine has been shown to block the absorption of thyroid hormone replacement drugs. If you take your thyroid medication in the morning, be sure to take it with water and wait at least thirty minutes before drinking coffee. If you need something warm first thing in the morning, try herbal tea or hot water with lemon.

1. High Sodium Foods
Too much sodium affects your thyroid gland in many different ways. Sodium causes water retention, which can lead to weight gain that disrupts your hormone levels. An underactive thyroid also puts you at an increased risk of developing hypertension, or high blood pressure. If you have hypothyroidism, limit your sodium intake to one thousand five hundred milligrams of sodium per day. Replace fast food and fried foods with fresh produce or salads with olive oil and vinegar dressing.