A healthy heart can’t stay healthy on its own — it requires the help of other healthy organs. The thyroid, a small organ located in the back of the neck, regulates a person’s metabolism and affects nearly every organ in the body, including the heart. Problems with the thyroid can in turn cause problems with the heart, and following healthy lifestyle guidelines can be beneficial for both. This can start with adhering to a healthy thyroid diet.
To prevent illnesses associated with thyroid disease, doctors suggest incorporating the following into your diet:
- Lean proteins
- Fat free dairy products
- High fiber foods
- Omega 3 fatty acids
Several types of vitamins also have different benefits for patients experiencing thyroid issues. Vitamin D is important due to an increased risk of bone loss with thyroid dysfunction and can be found in fatty fish, fat free dairy, eggs, mushrooms and sunlight. For patients with hypothyroid, foods higher in iodine can help increase thyroid function. If iodine levels are too low, focus on consuming less raw cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage) and soy products – these are goitrogens that can interfere with thyroid hormones. It’s also important to have selenium levels tested if you have thyroid concerns, as selenium is necessary for optimal thyroid function.
Regular exercise, healthy sleep habits and decreased stress also have a positive impact on thyroid function. If you have any concerns about your thyroid health or want to know more about a healthy thyroid diet, schedule an appointment with our endocrinology team. For more ideas and inspirations for eating healthier this year, check out our heart healthy recipes.