Maintaining a well-balanced diet is essential for supporting thyroid health. The thyroid gland plays a crucial role in regulating metabolism and overall well-being, and certain nutrients are particularly beneficial in promoting its optimal function. According to Dr Dheeraj Kapoor, Chief of Endocrinology at Artemis Hospital Gurugram, here are 10 nutrient-rich foods that you must include in your thyroid-friendly meal plan:

Iodine-Rich Foods: Iodine is a key component of thyroid hormones. Include iodine-rich foods like seaweed, iodized salt, fish, and dairy in your diet. However, achieving a balance is important, as excessive iodine intake can also have adverse effects.

Nuts: Selenium is essential for thyroid function, and Brazil nuts are a potent source of this mineral. Just a few nuts a day can provide your body with the selenium it needs. Be mindful not to consume excessive amounts, as selenium, like iodine, should be consumed in moderation.

Salmon: Fatty fish like salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids with anti-inflammatory properties. These can be particularly beneficial for individuals with autoimmune thyroid conditions, such as Hashimoto's thyroiditis.

Leafy Greens: Spinach, kale, and other leafy greens are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals, including iron. Iron deficiency can impact thyroid function, so incorporating these greens into your meals can be beneficial.

Lean Protein: Protein is essential for overall health and can support

thyroid function. Include lean protein sources like chicken, turkey, tofu, and legumes in your diet.

Berries: Berries, such as blueberries and strawberries, are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants help combat oxidative stress, which can be beneficial for individuals with thyroid issues.

Yoghurt: Probiotics found in yoghurt can support gut health. A healthy gut is crucial for nutrient absorption and may contribute to overall thyroid function.

Quinoa: Quinoa is a nutritious whole grain that provides a good balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fibre. It also contains various vitamins and minerals, making it a valuable addition to a thyroid-friendly diet.

Coconut Oil: Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids that can support metabolism. While its impact on thyroid health may require more research, using it in moderation as a cooking oil can be a flavorful alternative.

Zinc-rich foods: Zinc is essential for the proper function of the thyroid gland. Incorporate zinc-rich foods like pumpkin seeds, lentils, and chickpeas into your meals.

It's important to note that individual nutritional needs vary, and consulting with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian can provide personalised guidance. Additionally, while these foods can contribute to thyroid health, they are part of an overall balanced diet. Avoiding excessive intake of specific nutrients is as crucial as ensuring their inclusion in your meals.

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