Did you know that your metabolism is controlled by the thyroid gland? The butterfly-shaped organ located in the base of the neck releases hormones that control metabolism which is responsible for how your body uses energy.
Hence, it is important to tackle thyroid-related issues early through lifestyle tweaks to reach “optimum body weight”, said nutritionist Munmun Ganeriwal in a post on Instagram.
Sharing how one can strengthen the thyroid gland whether suffering from hypo or hyperthyroidism, Ganeriwal listed out these pointers.
Avoid packaged foods
‘High fibre’ biscuits, ‘multi-grain’ chips, and ‘diet’ bhel are loaded with sodium, salts and preservatives which creates havoc to the delicate balance of sodium and potassium in the body cells, mentioned Ganeriwal.
Include whole grains
Eat whole grains (jowar/bajra/nachni/rice) in the form of rotis, bhaat, thepla and bhakri. They are rich in fibre, carbs and iodine. Adequate iodine is essential for the synthesis of thyroid hormones, almost like basic building blocks.
Deficiency of vitamin D is significantly associated with thyroid gland malfunction. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. To make up for low vitamin D levels, support the thyroid and to lose weight, it’s important to have essential fats like ghee, coconut, white butter and filtered oils. All ‘low fat’ ice-creams, ‘skimmed’, ‘double-toned’ milk will actually do just the opposite, said Ganeriwal.
Since iodine combines with tyrosine (protein) in the body to make thyroid hormones, adequate protein in the diet is crucial to optimise metabolism of the body. It’s important to have milk, curd, cheese, nuts, eggs, meat, fish, dal, legumes and eat them with your whole grains and essential fats.
Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism are associated with reduced BMD (bone mineral density) leading to increased fracture risk, osteoporosis and joint pain. Consistent strength training will help increase BMD and strengthen the musculoskeletal system. Non-weight bearing cardio exercises (like swimming and cycling) will help burn fat without overstressing the joints. The practise of yoga and asana helps in opening and balancing the Vishuddha Chakra, the chakra that is located at the throat and neck and incorporates the thyroid gland.