Is What You’re Drinking Causing Your Underactive Thyroid Symptoms?

drinksWhen discussing changing your diet for better thyroid health and avoiding underactive thyroid symptoms, beverages are often overlooked. In reality, beverages play a huge role in thyroid health, as well as our overall diet. You may not realize it, but if you’re not drinking water all day, you are adding a significant alternative source of nutrients, chemicals, sugars, and caffeine to your diet. Obviously, depending on what type of beverage you’re drinking, the elements mentioned will vary. The key is knowing what the best beverages are and how the ingredients of your favorite drinks are affecting your thyroid health and function. Essentially, you need to know what beverages are conducive to your thyroid diet, and which are downright counterproductive!

Beverages to Avoid The beverages discussed here play a big role in thyroid dysfunction, thyroid symptoms, and worsening thyroid conditions. This is primarily the case because they work against natural body function, and bodily organs that are necessary for the healthy functioning of the thyroid. The thyroid is extremely sensitive to imbalances in blood sugar, as well as stress put on the adrenal glands, so consuming foods or beverages that have this effect can greatly, and negatively, impact thyroid health. Consuming too many beverages that bring on adrenal gland stress and imbalances, as well as imbalance the blood sugar can not only impact thyroid health, but cause thyroid dysfunction, bringing on the symptoms of an under or overactive thyroid.

Caffeinated Beverages This is a tough one for most of the world population. Caffeine is a pretty big part of a lot of the beverages we like to drink most. It is found in your daily cup of coffee (or three), many commonly enjoyed teas (including breakfast, Earl Grey, and green tea), in chocolate, energy drinks and in cola based sodas. In moderation, an individual with normal thyroid function won’t see any harm from small amounts of caffeine. However, most of us don’t just consume caffeine in moderation. Through one form or another, we’re consuming too much. And, those of us with underactive thyroid symptoms we can’t afford much more than one cup of coffee’s worth of caffeine a day, if even that.

So, why is caffeine so bad? Caffeine causes the body to release epinephrine and noreponephrine, two hormones that are associated with adrenaline. While this gives a rush of energy to the body, it also taxes the adrenal glands. Over time, leading to adrenal fatigue. This stress triggers symptoms like weight gain and fatigue associated with an under-active thyroid. When you have an underactive thyroid it is very common to also have adrenal fatigue. This is because these two organs are closely related, the adrenals can help to support the body if the thyroid is underactive, but over time is under greater levels of stress and cannot continue. If you do suffer adrenal fatigue it is vital to address this issue as you improve your thyroid function or you may lead up only exacerbating your underactive thyroid symptoms. Sugary Beverages The biggest issue with sugary beverages is their affect on the blood sugar. As mentioned earlier, the thyroid is very sensitive to blood sugar imbalances. So, drinking sugar-filled beverages like sodas, and high sugar fruit juices, can really cause a lot of problems for your thyroid. To make matters worse, most sodas and energy drinks contain caffeine, so you’re doing double damage to your thyroid health.

The best course of action? Cut the soda completely, and then limit your juice intake. Ensure there are no added sugars. There is no need to power up on the fruit juice. Moderation is key! I prefer to incorporate Green Smoothies into the Thyroid Diet, these contain some fruit but it is the whole fruit, and by maintaining the fibre of the fruit it slows down the digestion of the sugars and also leaves even more valuable nutrients.

So, what about diet sodas, you may be wondering? Avoid them! Diet sodas contain artificial sweeteners that tend to send the blood sugar in a downward spiral of confusion. These sweeteners are also known to be toxic. If you’re trying to lose weight and drinking diet soda, try going for flavored sparkling water. Diet sodas have been found to increase sugar intake because drinking a sweet beverage increases your cravings for something sweet. Do yourself an all around health favor and cut all sodas, regular and diet. Beverages to Include Just as there are beverages to avoid, rest assured, there are also beverages you can, and even should include. Yes, water will be topping the list, but be sure to read on for the specifications. Not all waters are created equal. Water OK, you knew it was coming. Water had to be on this list because our bodies are made up primarily of water. Water is a necessary and essential element to a healthy body and life. However, with all the water available, what is the best water for you to drink and why?

The best water route is to get a nice, high-end water purifier. You can purchase pure bottled water as well, but this can get really expensive. In the end, a good water purifier will pay for itself. Be sure when choosing a water purifier that you’re getting one that’s going to get all the additives out, including fluoride and chlorine, which can work against your overall health and thyroid function. 100 percent pure water is the best route for your optimal thyroid diet. Coconut Water Coconut water is a great substitute for water, or for fruit juices. Not only does it taste great, it has also been shown to boost metabolism! This means you’re less likely to suffer from under-active thyroid symptoms, and more likely to experience the benefits of optimal thyroid health, including more energy and an increased weight loss.

Because of the recent popularity of coconut water, you’re now able to find it in nearly every grocery store. However, this doesn’t mean that all of it is good. Look for, and purchase only those coconut waters that are 100 percent pure. Be sure that your coconut water isn’t packed with added sugars that will cause your blood sugar to skyrocket, and your thyroid health to plummet. The other important note to mention here is that like with all things moderation is key. Please limit to 1 cup per day for weight loss, while coconut water has amazing health benefits and tastes great, it does also contain some natural sugars. Herbal Tea Herbal teas can offer a lot to your optimal thyroid diet, and because there are so many great teas out there, you have a lot of options to choose from. Additionally, herbal teas generally don’t contain the caffeine that black teas do. Many people here simply look to green teas, however it is important to note that green tea also contains caffeine, the levels are lower than coffee but it should still be limited in a thyroid diet.

One of the most common, and easily accessible herbals teas is chamomile, and having a cup of chamomile tea a day is fantastic for your blood glucose (blood sugar) levels. Chamomile naturally balances blood sugar, which helps your thyroid to function optimally. Cinnamon tea can also work to level out blood sugar, as well as bolster memory and brain function.

Other teas like black cohosh, cayenne, and oolong can assist in alleviating under-active thyroid symptoms like coldness in the extremities, menstrual irregularities, and a slow metabolism. These can all be brewed at home, and consumed on a daily basis as part of an overall thyroid health diet. Some of my favourites are:

  • Dandelion
  • Fennel
  • Peppermint
  • Lavendar
  • Rooibos
  • Licorice

Also look for all the incredible blends that are easily available or make your own blends in a tea pot. Be as creative as you like and please send me your favourites!