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Eat right to improve thyroid health: Here are foods you can add in your diet

Women are more prone to thyroid issues than men. © Shutterstock.

Deficiency of nutrients, specially iodine, can hamper the proper functioning of your thyroid gland. Include these foods in your diet to improve your thyroid health.

Written by Longjam Dineshwori |Updated : January 8, 2020 11:27 AM IST

The thyroid is a gland in the neck that creates hormones, which regulate energy levels, metabolism, body temperature, mood, heart rate, and blood pressure. Too much hormone (hyperthyroidism) or not enough (hypothyroidism) can lead to different thyroid disorders including a small, harmless goiter (enlarged gland) to life-threatening cancer.

Thyroid problems are on the rise and figures suggest that women are more prone to the issues than men. According to the American Thyroid Association, one in eight women is likely to develop a thyroid disorder. Hormonal changes during perimenopause and child bearing and chronic stress, are among the main factors causing thyroid conditions in women.

Extreme fatigue, unexplained weight gain and memory lapses are some early symptoms of thyroid problems. Several factors like aging, chemicals and deficiency of nutrients, can hamper the proper functioning of your thyroid gland. Iodine deficiency can also affect thyroid function. Thankfully, these deficiencies can be covered up by eating the right foods. Here are some foods to include in your diet to improve your thyroid health.

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Seafood is the best natural source of iodine, which is essential for your thyroid to function. In the absence of iodine, your thyroid gland may not be able to make the two most important hormones circulating in your body thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Kelp, shrimp and prawns are good sources of iodine.

Brazil nuts

Selenium is another vital element for the functioning of thyroid gland. Selenium is essential for the conversion of thyroxine (T4) to its most active form, T3. This nutrient also protects the thyroid gland from oxidative and chemical stress. You can find selenium in Brazil nuts, oysters, tuna, salmon, chicken, eggs, mushrooms and turkey.


You can also enhance your thyroid function by increasing your intake of healthy omega-3 fats. Avocados are all good sources of omega-3 fats. You can also have olive oil, sunflower, sesame and flaxseeds to get the nutrient.

Red meat

Besides iodine and selenium, elements such as zinc, iron and copper are also essential for the smooth functioning of the thyroid gland. These elements can be found in red meat, poultry, shellfish, spinach and nuts.

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