With the new year just about here, and knowing that many people are going to go on a temporary alcohol binge, I’ve decided to dedicate the last post of 2010 to drinking in a healthy manner. You might wonder how this pertains to thyroid health. Well, for those who are looking to restore their thyroid health through a natural treatment protocol, a good part of this involves eating healthy foods, taking quality supplements and herbs, etc. But one can’t ignore the beverages one drinks as well.
Obviously, most people will do fine when drinking water alone. But I’d be fooling myself if I assumed that everyone only drank water. So I figured what I’d do here is briefly talk not only about the benefits of water, but some of the other beverages which people commonly drink, and how they can affect your thyroid health. I’ll probably expand on this at a later time, perhaps writing an article that goes into more detail with each type of beverage. But for now let’s just discuss some of the basics of drinking healthy.
As for water, you already know that this is what you should be drinking most of the time. For obvious reasons, you want to avoid drinking water from the tap. Ideally you want to drink purified water, although there is also some controversy here. For example, drinking purified water in a bottle can possibly increase your exposure to xenoestrogens due to the plastic of the bottle. Sure, some plastics are supposedly safer than others, but I still don’t think the long-term risks of using even the supposedly “safe” plastic bottles are fully known. You can buy your own water distiller for a few hundred dollars, but some sources say that you should use reverse osmosis water. Others suggest that you should avoid reverse osmosis water and drink distilled water! A whole house water filter can be a good option, but many people aren’t willing to spend a few thousand dollars on one.
Using a Brita water filter is definitely a much cheaper option, and while it won’t completely eliminate all of the toxins, it is definitely better than just drinking water from the tap. I would recommend either a whole house filter if you can afford one, and if not, I would opt for a reverse osmosis filter over a water distiller. And drinking purified bottled water or water from a Brita filter is definitely better than tap water. With regards to spring water, this may or may not be a good option, as it does depend on the source you purchase. As you probably know, you can’t fully trust the sources of many bottled waters, which is yet another reason why it’s best to filter your own water.
Now that we’ve gotten water out of the way, let’s briefly talk about some of the other beverages you might like to drink. Coffee of course is very popular, and I know some healthcare professionals might tell you that drinking one or two cups of coffee each day is fine, but the caffeine in coffee puts a lot of strain on your adrenal glands, which is frequently a problematic area for thyroid sufferers. Add to this the cream and sugar people commonly add to their coffee, which also isn’t good for adrenal health, and you can see why you want to avoid drinking coffee as much as possible. The same concept applies with soda, but in addition to the caffeine, you are also dealing with a lot of sugar. And even if you drink diet sodas, the artificial sweeteners are toxins which should be avoided. So while coffee and/or soda might give you a much needed boost to start the day, if you’re looking to restore your thyroid health back to normal then it’s best to avoid them. If you restore your health through a natural treatment protocol and then continue to eat well most of the time, as well as obtain sufficient sleep, then you won’t need caffeine to get you through the day.
But how about natural fruit juice and vegetable juice? Well, I will admit that drinking fruit and vegetable juice is better than drinking coffee and sodas. With that being said, you do want to minimize the amount of these juices you drink, especially fruit juice. These are high in sugar, and will thereby put stress on the adrenal glands if you drink these frequently. You definitely want to avoid drinking fruit juice early in the morning. Drinking vegetable juice is a healthier choice, and I have some good friends who are avid “juicers”. Ideally it is best to eat the vegetables whole and not in liquid form, but again, having some vegetable juice (ideally self-made) in moderation is fine.
Let’s briefly talk about cow’s milk. Even though milk is supposed to “do your body good”, it causes a lot of problems in people. First of all, many people are lactose intolerant. Second, many people are also allergic to the protein casein. If you must drink cow’s milk, make sure it’s organic, but I would try to either minimize the amount of milk you drink, and ideally eliminate it from your diet completely. You might also want to consider drinking goat’s milk instead.
Can you drink tea? Well, it depends what kind of tea. If you live down south like I do and love drinking sweet tea, then this isn’t a good idea. I know people who every day will go to McDonalds or another fast food restaurant and purchase a 32 ounce sweet tea, which over a period of time wreaks havoc on your adrenal glands. If you want to drink tea, choose Green Tea, as it actually has some health benefits.
Finally, let’s finish the last post of this year by talking about alcohol consumption. In just a few days, millions of people will celebrate the New year by consuming alcohol. Besides consuming wine in moderation every now and then, you want to avoid all other types of alcohol, as it once again affects your blood sugar levels, and therefore will cause problems with your adrenal glands.
Of course having one or two alcoholic beverages once in awhile, as well as drinking Pepsi, Diet Coke, sweet tea, or any other beverage on occasion won’t do much harm in most people. The problem is that most people who drink these beverages do so on a frequent basis. And the sad part is that many young children are loading up their bodies with the sugars from sodas and fruit juices, which puts a big strain on their developing adrenal glands. This obviously isn’t a fault of the children, but the parents themselves. To be fair, many parents don’t realize the impact these sugars can have on the health of their children, especially with regards to fruit juice, as many assume that this is a healthy option.
In summary, you do need to be careful as to what beverages you and your family drink. While consuming the non-H20 beverages I listed above every now and then is fine, drinking them on a frequent basis will almost definitely affect your thyroid health. I realize I left out some other common beverages, which is why in the future you’ll see an article that goes more in detail about these beverages, and discusses milk alternatives such as soy, rice, and almond milk.
Have a great New Year!