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What Foods Give the Best Energy for Hypothyroidism?

By Chris Daniels

Your body always needs energy to function. Your thyroid gland produces hormones that help make this possible. Low thyroid hormone levels, a medical condition called hypothyroidism, can prevent your body from getting the energy it needs, leading to weakness and fatigue. Choose foods that will give your body a sustained supply of nutrients to reduce fatigue associated with hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism

Hormones produced by the thyroid gland regulate how your body uses energy, especially using energy from internal stores, especially body fat. Thyroid hormones require iodine. Iodine deficiency, damage to the thyroid gland, and other metabolic abnormalities can cause hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is characterized by unexplained weight gain; lower body temperature; depression and other mood changes; fatigue and weakness; pale, dry skin; thin, brittle hair and fingernails; water retention of puffiness; and digestive problems.

Energy

Your body breaks down fats, carbohydrates and protein to generate biochemical energy. Your body must have a steady supply of these nutrients from food and internal stores. Thyroid hormones are necessary for the release of nutrients from internal stores. Without the supply of nutrients between meals, your body runs out of energy, causing you to feel fatigued. Running out of energy also triggers the release of stress hormones that promote fat gain.

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Foods to Eat

Nutrients contained in foods can be digested and absorbed by the body quickly or slowly. Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of quick energy. A large surge of carbohydrates into your body makes it stop using fat and other internal stores for energy. With hypothyroidism, avoid foods that have carbs that are quickly digested, which means they have a high glycemic index. The glycemic index measures the speed at which carbs in foods elevate your blood sugar. Choose low glycemic index foods such as vegetables, beans, legumes, whole grains and some fruits rather than sugar or processed carbs.

Meal Planning

Eat small, frequent meals to keep nutrient levels in your body steady, without the surge that comes from eating large meals that shuts off fat burning. Choose a source of lean protein and low glycemic index carbs, especially vegetables, for each small meal. Planning and preparing meals ahead of time can help keep you on target, rather than resorting to unhealthy convenience foods.

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