Trouble with the thyroid? Here's what to eat and what not to eat

The thyroid is an endocrine gland found around the throat

This small gland regulates metabolism and hormone secretion, indirectly controlling many organs

It regulates heartbeat, memory, bone marrow production, bowel movements and our energy levels

The gland converts iodine from our diet into various hormones that regulate the body

When diet lacks enough iodine, the thyroid works extra to create the hormone, making the gland enlarged

Although medication is required for a malfunctioning thyroid, some foods can help improve thyroid function

Fatty fish like sardines contain iodine and omega 3 fatty acids, and can be included in the thyroid diet

Plant sources of Omega 3 like flax seeds, and of iodine like apples are a good addition to the diet

Eggs are an important food source for those with hypothyroidism as they contain iodine and omega 3 as well as selenium

Chicken is a good lean protein which contains zinc, an important mineral for thyroid functioning

People with hypothyroidism have higher levels of free radicals in the body and need antioxidants

Berries like strawberries, blueberries, cranberries and goji berries are good antioxidants

As for what not to eat, junk food, fried food and anything with a high amount of sodium are a no-no

Although cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and cauliflower, as well as radish and ladies' finger are full of nutrients, they make it hard for the body to absorb iodine. So eat these sparingly

Soya is also said to interfere with the thyroid. So consume in moderation