Superfoods for a tension-free thyroid.(photo:IANSLIFE). Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, April 17 : The Thyroid hormone is essential for normal development, differentiation and metabolic balance. It is well established that your thyroid hormone status correlates with your body weight and energy expenditure. Derangements in this mechanism can result in conditions like hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism and thyroiditis where one can experience several health concerns like hair fall/balding, constipation, weight gain/weight loss, irregular menstrual cycles, fatigue, sluggishness etc, says Dr. Sharanya Srinivas Shastry, a dietitian at Apollo Spectra Hospital, Koramangala Bangalore.

Hence, a well-balanced diet consisting of iodine and essential amino acids (protein of good quality in the right amount) with adequate exercise and regular medication makes sure that you've a healthy, tension free thyroid. The expert shares a list of top foods to take for thyroid issues.

Saffron Overnight soaked saffron if consumed on waking up is very good for mood swings in most of the people who have thyroid issues. It gives relief from abdominal cramps or PMS and is a promising anti-obesity drug as in most cases with thyroid abnormalities, people tend to put on weight. The best way to have it is home-made kesari bath with Vegetable Upma in order to get the best amino acids along with good flavour/taste or a glass of saffron milk where you're getting your calcium and protein too.

Banana (flower/plantain/stem) A super food that comes with absolute zero wastage which can be used in any form be it sambar/curry/raita/subzi or can be eaten as a fruit itself. Hence, a banana a day keeps thyroid issues at bay as it is a natural rich source of iodine that is essential for the activation/conversion of the T4 to T3 in the body. (A few slices of mango/jackfruit every day during the season is also good for your thyroid) Horse gram/Baked Fish
Horse gram is a very important crop grown in South India and also in a few states like Chhattisgarh and Bihar. It is eaten in the form of dal most often is a rich source of protein, iron, zinc which helps in the natural conversion of the inactive T4 to active T3 to produce TSH. Thus, include it in the form of a rasam/dal/soup at least twice a week.

Even baked fish, rich in selenium, Omega-3 Used sparingly (once/twice a week, preferably not consumed at night) gives the best amino acid profile along with micronutrients required for a healthy thyroid.

Khichdi or Pongal Your gut health decides how healthy your thyroid can be according to the latest studies. Gut is another location where T4 (inactive form) is converted to T3 (active form) and any imbalance in the gut bacteria (called dysbiosis) leads to constipation/bloating or gastric problems thereby disrupting your metabolic rate. Therefore, include a khichdi/Pongal at least twice/week in order to keep your gut healthy thus giving you a tension free thyroid.

Whole Grains with rasam/dal/seafood Whole grains are rich in Iodine, Copper, Magnesium along with the B group vitamins which makes sure that you've good energy levels throughout the day. Hence single polished/hand pound rice or whole wheat atta when eaten with traditionally cooked sambar/rasam/dal/sabzi / fresh sea food gives you the best combination of protein- fibre-selenium and carbohydrate giving you a balanced thyroid. So, go local, regional and seasonal.

(Siddhi Jain can be contacted at siddhi.j@ians.in)

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