Is Foxtail Millet Good for Hypothyroidism? (Expert Answer)

Short Answer: Foxtail millet is good for hypothyroidism. Because it has goitrogens and a low glycemic index, which can help prevent excessive iodine intake and weight gain, and it is gluten-free, which can reduce inflammation and autoimmunity.

Hypothyroidism is a condition that affects your thyroid gland, which is located in the front of your neck.

The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate your metabolism, body temperature, heart rate and other vital functions.

In hypothyroidism, your body does not produce enough thyroid hormones.

This can lead to various health problems, such as fatigue, weight gain, high cholesterol, depression, constipation, dry skin, hair loss and menstrual irregularities.

One of the key factors in managing hypothyroidism is diet.

What you consume can affect your thyroid function, which can impact your hypothyroidism symptoms and overall health.

To effectively manage hypothyroidism, you should consume iodine-rich foods like seafood, dairy products and eggs, and avoid iodine-deficient foods like cruciferous vegetables, soy and gluten.

You should also consume foods that are high in antioxidants, selenium and tyrosine, which are beneficial for thyroid health, such as blueberries, sunflower seeds, meat, dairy and legumes.

Now, foxtail millet is a type of cereal grain that is widely grown in Asia and Africa.

It is rich in protein, fiber, iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc.

People usually eat foxtail millet as a substitute for rice, or make it into flour, porridge, bread or snacks.

Foxtail millet is good for hypothyroidism because it contains goitrogens, which are substances that can inhibit the uptake of iodine by the thyroid gland.

This can help prevent excessive iodine intake, which can worsen hypothyroidism in some cases.

Foxtail millet also has a low glycemic index, which can help regulate blood sugar levels and prevent weight gain.

One cup of cooked foxtail millet can give you about 8% of your daily iodine needs, 20% of your daily iron needs, 8% of your daily calcium needs, 19% of your daily magnesium needs and 15% of your daily zinc needs.

Goitrogens can negatively affect hypothyroidism if consumed in large amounts or without enough iodine.

They can interfere with the production of thyroid hormones and cause goiter, which is an enlargement of the thyroid gland.

Iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc can positively affect hypothyroidism by supporting the synthesis and function of thyroid hormones and improving the immune system, energy levels and mood.

Furthermore, foxtail millet is a gluten-free food and gluten can be bad for hypothyroidism.

Because, gluten can trigger inflammation and autoimmunity, which can damage the thyroid gland and worsen hypothyroidism, especially in people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

You can eat one to two servings of foxtail millet per day safely.

More than that can cause iodine deficiency, which can also lead to hypothyroidism and goiter.

You should also balance your intake of foxtail millet with other sources of iodine, such as seafood, dairy products and eggs.

Also, you shouldn’t eat foxtail millet if you have hyperthyroidism, which is the opposite of hypothyroidism, to prevent further lowering your thyroid hormone levels.

Because, foxtail millet can reduce the absorption of iodine by the thyroid gland, which can aggravate hyperthyroidism and its symptoms.

You can buy fresh foxtail millet in your local market or can order it online.

Always choose organic and unpolished foxtail millet, which has more nutrients and less pesticides.

Because, pesticides can disrupt your hormone balance and affect your thyroid function.

You can store foxtail millet in an airtight container in a cool and dry place for up to six months.

Finally, remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management and essential medical care is key to managing hypothyroidism effectively.

I always recommend my hypothyroidism patients to follow a hypothyroidism-friendly diet to improve their overall well-being, and enjoy a longer and healthier life.

About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutrition coach with over 7 years of experience in the field of nutrition.

He holds a Bachelor's (B.Sc.) and Master's (M.Sc.) degree in Biochemistry from The University of Burdwan, India. He was also involved with a research project about genetic variations in the CYP11A gene among PCOS and Metabolic Syndrome patients.

He has completed the following online courses: Stanford Introduction to Food and Health by Stanford University (US) through Coursera, Certificate in Nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc. (US), Lose Weight and Keep It Off certificate course from Harvard Medical School (US), and Nutrition and Disease Prevention by Taipei Medical University (Taiwan) through FutureLearn.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

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