Cancer is one of the main causes of death at present, and there is at least one member in every family that dies of cancer or is suffering from cancer that it might seem to be a herculean task to take control over it. On a deeper analysis, cancer can be easily prevented in many ways, the most important of all, diet in addition to exercise.
Food does contribute much in preventing cancer. Some foods contribute to cancer while others build the immune system and prevent the abnormal mutation of the cancer genes and serve as preventative measures for thyroid cancer.
Things that contribute to cancer include the following:
Excessive sodium or very less intake of sodium both can affect the thyroid gland to a large extent, so it is necessary to have the correct level of iodine in one’s food. People who suffer from hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism require to reduce or increase their intake of sodium respectively. Salt is a great source of sodium and should be taken moderately for the thyroid to function effectively and for the production of thyroid hormones.
2. Animal fat
Red meat should be reduced as much as possible beyond age 30, as it contributes to thyroid cancer to a greater extent.
3. Dairy products and eggs
Foods that are high in saturated fats like cheese, eggs, and other dairy products and butter should be avoided. High intake of eggs affects the thyroid gland drastically, so all forms of dairy products should be avoided even if there is a slight elevation in the thyroid hormones.
Soy and soy-based products highly inhibit the absorption of synthetic thyroid hormone by the system and significantly affects patients who are hypothyroid, since they would need thyroid hormones to be absorbed and released into the bloodstream for normal functioning of the gland.
5. Canned and processed foods
Chocolates, tinned foods and drinks, and snacks that are highly processed or salted do not help patients suffering from hyper or hypothyroidism.
Foods that help the thyroid gland are:
1. Fruits and vegetables
Though cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli should be avoided in a person suffering from thyroid abnormalities, other plant foods do keep the gland functioning at a normal level. So all kinds of fruits and vegetables should be incorporated into a person’s diet for the thyroid to function well.
2. Unsaturated fats
Omega-3 fatty acids are very important for the entire system, especially the thyroid gland, as these contain unsaturated fats which can be found in salmon and tuna and seems to be a common preventative measure for thyroid cancer.
It is a very important micronutrient or mineral that is necessary in moderate quantities for the thyroid gland to function well. There are two important functions of selenium, one is to shield the thyroid cells from damage due to oxidation and the other is to convert the inactive form of thyroid, also called T4 to the most active form called T3. Also, the highest concentration of selenium is found in the thyroid gland, so it seems to be a super-supplement to treat thyroid problems. Selenium in the form of supplements or foods that contain selenium like tofu, mushrooms, whole wheat, nuts, shrimp, and tuna are highly recommended.