Informational Posts / Lifestyle

Food Can Help or Hinder Your Health

Food Can Help or Hinder Your Health

I started saying this last year when doing my Level 3 and Level 4 in Diet and Nutrition.

Everything you eat has the power to either help or hinder your health. 

Every single thing we eat and drink can either help us to improve our health (or maintain good health) or make it worse. When you realise the power of food, you start looking at it differently.

I’m a total foodie – I’m always thinking about food and I love trying new dishes. I also have a history of disordered eating and unhealthy dieting, so I try to focus on the eating well-balanced and in a way that makes me feel good.

Do you notice a difference between how you feel and what you eat too?

A key example of this for me is what I eat for breakfast. If I skip breakfast or eat something lacking much substance and nutrition, I feel rubbish. I could be mistaken for blaming it on my thyroid symptoms, even. And if I eat a lot of processed foods or sugar it makes me lethargic and fatigued too.

We can treat food and nutrition like another important part of that thyroid jigsaw puzzle.

Eating well or not both affect my thyroid health so much. Eating too much processed food and drinking alcohol gives me acid reflux. Not having a high fibre breakfast brings on constipation. Missing protein from my meals and snacks gives me blood sugar imbalances (with dizziness, faintness, brain fog, mood swings and headaches). Eating gluten makes my thyroid condition harder to keep under control.

Eating well for your body helps to maintain good gut health which so many of us with thyroid disease also have issues with. It also helps to maintain crucial vitamin and mineral levels, which, if low can mimic thyroid symptoms such as fatigue, muscle pain and hair loss.

What can you do? Check out the links below on foods to eat more of and foods to avoid with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s, but also – go back to basics. Ensure you are eating ample vegetables every day, that you’re eating enough protein to balance blood sugar and keep you feeling clear-headed and well-fuelled, and limit more processed and packaged foods. You can even batch cook ahead of time and freeze some meals.

See also:

The article: What is The Best Diet for Hypothyroidism?

The article: Balancing Blood Sugar

The Cookbook: The 30-Minute Thyroid Cookbook: 125 Healing Recipes for Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s

Recipes on my blog 

Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate Book Girl HoldingSee also:

The book Be Your Own Thyroid Advocatewhich contains a whole chapter about what foods and diets are good (and bad) for thyroid patients. Reclaim your thyroid healthy life.

And an important note: as someone who personally has a history of eating disorders / disordered eating myself, I am aware that the information in this article could be triggering if you’ve previously / are currently restricting foods. Do know that I will never suggest that any of us HAVE to cut out ANY food types, so I present this info for each of us to make that decision ourselves if we still have ongoing thyroid symptoms or struggles to manage the condition.

Some people may begin removing one or two foods from their diet and enter down a slippery slope in to disordered eating behaviours, so if this is you, and you start to feel anxious about food or much of your time and energy is preoccupied with this, please seek out support from a trained professional and be cautious about altering your diet. Disordered eating needs to be taken more seriously and I don’t wish to contribute to more people struggling with this.

I’m not a fan of massively restrictive diets which can encourage disordered eating behaviours, and thus, create more stress which, in turn, isn’t great for our health either.

About Author

Rachel Hill is the highly ranked and multi-award winning thyroid patient advocate, writer, speaker and author behind The Invisible Hypothyroidism. Her thyroid advocacy work includes writing articles, authoring books, producing her Thyroid Family email newsletters and speaking on podcasts and at events about the many aspects thyroid disease affects and how to overcome these. She is well-recognised as a crucial and influential contributor to the thyroid community and has a large social media presence. Her bestselling books include "Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate" and "You, Me and Hypothyroidism".

1 Comment

  • Caz / InvisiblyMe
    October 16, 2019 at 3:23 pm

    Great reference page for more tips on improving food & diet. I’m not much of a foodie but things have really gone rather downhill lately since my emergency op earlier this year, and then the recent op; I need to put more focus back on eating more and building up my strength and health again, so this has come at a really good time. Sometimes you just need a kick up the bum to put your priorities in order… (or at least I definitely do!) 😆


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