Healthy eating for the thyroids

Monday, January 15th, 2024 04:00 | By
Healthy eating for the thyroids
Top view photo of cooked foods. PHOTO/Pexels

January is not only the month when people have a difficult time understanding the difference between available balance and actual balance. Indeed, January is a crucial month when health professionals take time to sensitise the population about thyroid-related diseases, including thyroid cancer. The number of Kenyans suffering from thyroid conditions, such as hyperthyroidism, Graves’ disease, Hashimoto’s syndrome, and thyroid cancer has increased over time. Many people with thyroid illnesses, according to experts, are unaware that they have them; nonetheless, those who have had a correct diagnosis and treatment enjoy a better quality of life. Therefore, today’s focus will be on thyroid health and the nutritional titbits to prevent and manage thyroid-related diseases.

The first in understanding thyroid health is understanding how the thyroid glands work. The thyroid, a small, but crucial gland in our bodies, relies on certain key nutrients to function properly. Think of these nutrients – iodine, selenium, zinc, iron, and vitamin D – as the thyroid’s support team, each playing a vital role in keeping things running smoothly.

First up is iodine, a trace mineral found in foods like seafood, dairy, and iodized salt. It’s like the main ingredient that the thyroid needs to make its hormones. But here’s the catch – too much iodine can cause problems, so it’s a careful balance. Next, we have selenium and zinc, a dynamic duo that protects the thyroid from immune attacks and helps convert thyroid hormones into the right form for the body to use. You can find selenium in Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, and fish, while zinc is present in meat, nuts, and seeds.

Iron steps into the spotlight, preventing anemia and fatigue that can mess with the thyroid’s rhythm. Leafy greens, meats, and legumes supply the iron needed for a smooth performance. And let’s not forget vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, supporting the immune system and aiding thyroid function. In simple terms, these nutrients work together like a well-coordinated team, ensuring the thyroid does its job properly. It’s not a solo act but a team effort, and when everyone plays their part, the thyroid keeps us in good health.

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