Thyroid disease leaves people on a constricted diet, unsure of what to take. Beets are a contested vegetable that has many asking: are beets bad for your thyroid? Read on to find out.
As a trained nutritionist, I work with healthy and patients alike. In my experience, beets have come to be somewhat of a contested food. One camp is adamant that beets are a superfood and can do no wrong in the body while others cite that it indeed can be problematic to some people. Those of the latter opinion also bring up the effects of beets on one’s thyroid.
Here we will explore what the thyroid is and how beets affect it.
What is the thyroid?
Briefly, the butterfly-shaped thyroid gland is located at the front of one’s neck below Adam’s apple. It wraps itself around the trachea. Its primary role is to regulate many metabolic processes in all parts of one’s body. The glad uses iodine to produce essential hormones for these processes.
The primary hormone produced is thyroxine, which then makes its way to body tissues through the bloodstream. Some of it is converted to triiodothyronine, which is considered to be the most active hormone. When you have a thyroid disorder, depending on the kind, the function or structure get affected.
When to see a doctor
Thyroid disorderscome with many symptoms. They include fatigue, weight gain, brain fog, low body temperature, brittle nails, thinning hair, constipation or loose stool, joint aches, sleep disturbances, light sensitivity, and depression.
In this case, the likely diagnosis is hypothyroidism and soon after, Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune thyroid disease where the immune system goes and attacks the thyroid gland. Data shows that once a person gets diagnosed with hypothyroidism, there is a high level of certainty that Hashimoto’s will also be present. That means a person will have both thyroid diseases at the same time.
The reason why the hormone is essential is that it affects how other hormones in the body function. The thyroid, without enough iodine, will not function well and thus cause the chain reaction. It is also what controls the metabolism, that is, the rate in which you burn calories. When the thyroid disease go untreated, one is at an increased risk of getting diabetes.
There are cases where beets are considered bad for the thyroid gland. One of them is in breast cancer patients. During their treatment, most turn to carrot and beet juice to help boost their body’s cells. It tends to work against them in that the nitrates in the beets inhibit the thyroid gland from using the iodine. When that happens, the patient ends up having hypothyroidism or thyroid nodules. The study concluded that breast cancer patients are at high risk of getting thyroid disease from an increased intake of nitrates. Other foods to avoid are those equally have high levels of iodine or fluoride.
For those with a thyroid problem, doctors and nutritionists do recommend beets. It contains an amino acid called beatine which help fight heart disease. It also promotes an increase in protein synthesis within one’s body. However, what helps a person with thyroid disease most is its support for methylation which supports the body to detoxify.
Even then, however, the intake should be measured. The recommended amount is half a cup of beets, either cooked or juice, about two to three times weekly. You don’t want to overload the body with nitrates as well.
Beets are overall good for the body but can be problematic if you have underlying health issues. If you are cleared to take beets, you can use this juicing recipe. As mentioned, be stingy with your beet intake to avoid further triggering the thyroid. Overall it requires a delicate balance to make sure you are harnessing the goodness of beets and taking care of yourself.
People also ask
What is the leading cause of thyroid problems?
Thyroid diseases arise when the gland is not making enough hormones vital for other body processes. It can also be caused by an issue with the gland itself.
How does the thyroid affect the body?
The hormones produced play vital roles in other parts of the body. That includes regulating one’s heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, and metabolism. With hypothyroidism, some body functions end up slowing down, and that’s when you experience things like fatigue, memory problems, depression, joint aches and other symptoms the condition brings.
Can you drink beet juice when taking thyroid medication?
Beets contain nitrates that further aggravate the thyroid. Have a conversation with your doctor as different thyroid diseases react differently. If in doubt it is better to keep off altogether or take it in small amounts.
What other foods help or hurt the thyroid?
When it comes to thyroid problems, the issue is often making the symptoms worse. You have to learn your body to know what works and doesn’t as there is no exhaustive list of foods you can or should not eat.
How can I boost my thyroid naturally?
One of the ways is taking thyroid hormones until it stabilizes. You can also work out more and eat a balanced diet without skipping meals or starving yourself for prolonged periods. Carbs should be taken sparingly and take lean protein. Finally, cut back on caffeine, take loads of water and get enough sleep.