If you’ve been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, symptoms include fatigue, depression, constipation and weight gain. But along with medication, you can boost thyroid function with a well-balanced diet.

Thyroid hormones also play a major role in producing energy from the food that we eat. The gland needs certain vitamins and minerals to function effectively. These nutrients include selenium, Vitamin E, iodine, zinc and copper.

An early symptom of hypothyroidism is weight gain. Low-calorie, high-density fresh foods are important to keep that in check. Include either fresh fruits or veggies at each meal, if possible. While non-vegetarians get it through protein sources, for vegetarians rich sources of zinc include kidney beans, peas, watermelon seeds and dry dates.

Here are five nutrient rich options:

Low-fat cheese

Home-made paneer, prepared with skim milk, is rich in nutrients like zinc which boost thyroid function.

Egg

Both the white and yolk are a rich source of minerals like zinc, copper, selenium and vitamin E. It is also packed with protein.

Seafood

Saltwater fish (tuna) and shellfish boost the thyroid function as they are rich in Omega-3, selenium and most importantly, iodine, an important component of the thyroid hormone.

Mushrooms

are rich in zinc, selenium and copper.

Whole grains

Constipation is a common symptom of hypothyroidism. Whole-grain foods such as cereal, bread, pasta and rice are high in nutrients in addition to fiber, which can help with bowel regularity. Grains and pulses, rich in zinc, are best when soaked several hours before cooking.

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Written by R. Kalpana

R. Kalpana

Nutritionists have a role to play that goes beyond mere meal-planning, says Kalpana, who believes she can motivate others to stay on the path towards a healthier life. A certified dietician with a PhD from SPMVV University, she is a Mary C Jacob Award-winner for Merit in Physiology from Madras University and has worked across various hospitals as well as nutrition clinics. She has been published both nationally and internationally in various science and health journals and writes regular health blogs for Sify. At home, Kalpana tracks her family’s food choices – she ensures that they follow a healthy lifestyle – and she believes she can help HealthifyMe users to do the same. People who really want to change the way they eat will see success, she claims, of the opinion that nutrition, lifestyle and behavioural changes can be transformative only in tandem. Eat good food, to your heart’s content, but ensure you also exercise are fundas she urges you to follow.

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