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People who suffer from thyroid or diabetic disorders have to be on strict and regular medication. Missing even a single dose can affect their daily life and normal activities. Often these two diseases are interrelated and the incidence of finding them together in one person is rather high. Untreated or under treatment of these disorders can lead to long term complications including Hypertension, Heart disease and Renal diseases. Diabetes is often known as the silent killer. Thyroid is a tiny gland at the base of our neck that controls to a huge extent the quality of our life. It controls our physical and mental well-being and also the glasses through which we look at life. Thyroid and Diabetes are auto immune disorders that attack the host body. Vegan lifestyle promotes a holistic lifestyle aimed at addressing these imbalances in the human body. The debilitating effects of weight gain, hair loss and bad skin that are often the result of these disorders are often highly discounted by the society. Recent studies have pointed out the important part played by diet in controlling and sometimes reversing these diseases. People whose diets were based mainly on plant-derived whole vegan foods—that is, bown rice, noodles, beans, and vegetables—were less likely to develop diabetes, compared with people whose diets were more focused on animal based fat and protein. These studies suggested that meaty, fatty diets cause the body to be more resistant to insulin’s actions. Research has shown that adopting a low-fat, plant-derived vegan diet improves insulin sensitivity, helps with weight loss, and reduces blood sugar and cholesterol.
It is crucial to avoid animal-derived products. All animal based fat and protein must be
eliminated from one’s diet. Animal proteins accelerate kidney damage in people who have already lost some kidney function. They also increase the loss of calcium from the body, potentially increasing the risk of osteoporosis. Plant sources of protein do not present these problems. Excellent sources of plant based proteins are available in vegan stores. I have also put up a chart on the blog vegalyfe.wordpress.com about the vegan sources of protein. Eating a vegetable-based diet reduces levels of a key blood-protein called Glycated Hemoglobin (HbA1c). For people with diabetes, the higher the HbA1c in their blood, the greater the risk of developing diabetes-related complications such as nerve damage, eye problems, and heart disease. A plant-based diet improves blood sugar, body weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol all at the same time, which is something more than a pill can do.
Vegan food also provides healthier, plant-based sources of iodine that includes cereals and grains, such as whole wheat and rye. Plant based proteins and fats are very helpful to combat such conditions. Gluten sensitivity has been linked with autoimmune disorders including autoimmune thyroid disease. People with autoimmune-caused hypothyroidism must also test for gluten allergy.
Selenium is essential for healthy thyroid function. It is needed for enzymes which help control thyroid hormone synthesis and metabolism. The B vitamins play an important role in the control of Auto immune disorders like these. They are found in whole grains and vegetables based diets.
Vegan food choices when made mindfully are all about healthy eating. This introduces us to a rich and nutrient dense variety of produce that work as enablers for our body. They suffuse us with greater energy and lightness of being. Just avoid eating cruciferous vegetable (such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and similar leafy vegetables) in raw form as they contain chemicals that interfere with the absorption of thyroxine. They are much better in their cooked form. Also avoid eating them for a few hours after taking medication. In addition to becoming healthy yourself, the thought of not harming other creatures for our selfish gains in the process is a reward by itself.