Thyroid Diet: A thyroid diet is crucial for normalizing thyroid function. The thyroid gland, situated below Adam’s apple, secretes hormones that regulate development, growth, sleep, and menstrual cycle. Sometimes, the thyroid can become underactive (hypothyroidism) or overactive (hyperthyroidism). This may cause sudden weight loss or weight gain, stunted growth, depression, irregular periods, and hinder brain development.
According to the American Thyroid Association (ATA), it is estimated that over 12% of Americans will develop a thyroid disease some time in their life. It is further estimated that 20 million US citizens have some type of thyroid disease and over 60% of those with thyroid disease are unaware of their issue.
Thyroid Diet, Therefore, it is recommended to go on a thyroid diet. This post tells you what to eat if you have hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, along with sample diet plans for each. Scroll down!
A Glance: Thyroid Diet
Thyroid Diet, Principle: Focuses on including nutrient-rich, anti-inflammatory foods and avoiding specific food groups (like gluten-rich foods) to support optimal thyroid function and manage related symptoms.
Purpose: To help regulate thyroid hormone production and promote overall thyroid health.
Who it is For: Individuals with hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
Thyroid Diet, Who Should Avoid: People with a history of eating disorders, pregnant or breastfeeding individuals, and people taking anticoagulants and antibiotics.
Cons: Dietary restrictions may be challenging to follow in the long term. It may lead to nutritional deficiencies.
Hypothyroidism Diet – Foods To Eat
Thyroid Diet, Hypothyroidism can lead to a disrupted menstrual cycle, weight gain, constipation, goiter, depression, dry skin, hair fall, muscle fatigue, slow heart rate, high blood cholesterol, and a puffy face. Apart from medicines, you can consume these foods to boost your thyroid function.
1. Iodized Salt
Thyroid Diet, Thyroid DietAccording to the American Thyroid Association, iodine is needed for the production of the thyroid hormone. Iodine deficiency can lead to hypothyroidism and goiter. Since your body cannot produce iodine naturally, you should eat thyroid-healing foods that contain a good amount of iodine. And the best way to do that is to consume iodized salt.
2. Brazil Nuts
Thyroid Diet, Brazil nuts are a great source of the mineral selenium that helps catalyze the conversion of the inactive thyroid hormone to the active form. Scientists have found that Brazil nut supplementation improved thyroid hormone levels.
Selenium also helps reduce inflammation and inhibits cancer cell proliferation. You can consume up to 8 Brazil nuts per day. Do not eat too many as it may lead to nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Thyroid Diet, Fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and selenium. Omega-3 fatty acids help lower LDL cholesterol, and selenium keeps your thyroid hormone kicking. Consume salmon, sardines, and tuna to counteract hypothyroidism. You can have 3-5 oz fish every day. Make sure not to overcook the fish.
4. Bone Broth
Thyroid Diet, By consuming bone broth, you can kill two birds with one stone. First, bone broth contains the amino acids glycine and proline that help repair the digestive lining and improve hypothyroidism. Second, hypothyroidism can fracture your bones and having bone broth can help strengthen your bones.
Consume a cup of bone broth for lunch or dinner. Toss in some vegetables. Make sure to cook the vegetables properly. Raw cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, turnip, and brassica seeds contain goitrin, an active goitrogen that reduces thyroid hormone secretion. However, proper cooking destroys the goitrogen factor.
5. Vegetables And Fruits
Thyroid Diet, Green leafy vegetables, colorful vegetables, and fruits are great sources of minerals, vitamins, antioxidantsi, and dietary fiber. However, you should be careful if you have hypothyroidism because a few veggies and fruits can hinder the production of the thyroid hormones and are known as goitrogens.
Vegetables such as cauliflower, spinach, kale, broccoli, cabbage, radish, peach, avocado, and mustard greens are goitrogens. However, cooking these veggies and fruits properly can render the goitrogens inactive.
Katie, a lifestyle vlogger, shared how she treated her hypothyroidism symptoms . She included leafy greens in her diet and avoided cruciferous vegetables and sprouts as they are hard to digest. She says, “The ones I like to eat plenty of are things like asparagus and a lot of spinach.
Thyroid Diet, You need the iron, iodine, and different things from those vegetables to really help your body and your thyroid function more properly and you want to make sure you’re able to absorb the iodine which again is really important for that thyroid function.”
Thyroid Diet, Seaweed like nori, kelp, and kombu help treat hypothyroidism as they are great sources of iodine, B-vitamins, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid. They absorb more iodine from the sea and also contain an amino acid called tyrosine, which is the most important amino acid to form thyroid hormones.
They help upregulate the thyroid hormone production, uplift mood, prevent lethargy, and improve brain function. You can have up to 150 mcg of seaweed per day.
You can add seaweed to your soups, use dried seaweed as a garnish, or use the seaweed sheets as wraps to up your iodine intake.
Thyroid Diet, Low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese are rich in iodine and selenium that help boost thyroid hormone production and activation. They are also rich in the amino acid tyrosine that helps combat the symptoms of hypothyroidism like depression and fatigue.
Have a glass of milk, half a cup of yogurt, and ⅙ cup of cheese per day to increase the thyroid hormone levels.
8. Beef And Chicken
Thyroid Diet, Your thyroid function can also be accelerated by providing your body with the required amounts of zinc. It is mostly found in beef and chicken and can help convert triiodothyronine (T3) to thyroxine (T4). This conversion is of great importance because T3 is the inactive form while T4 is the active form of the thyroid hormone. Consume at least 3 oz of chicken breast or lean cuts of beef to boost thyroxine production. Zinc supplementation also improves the hormonal balance.
Thyroid Diet, Eggs, especially the yolk portion, are a great source of iodine and can help alleviate hypothyroidism. Include whole eggs 2-3 times in a week in your diet, depending on your lipid profile.
Boiling eggs for more than 10 minutes can change the egg protein structure and reduce its iodine content.
Thyroid Diet, Shellfish like shrimp and lobster are packed with iodine and zinc. And, as you know, iodine and zinc can help boost the production of the thyroid hormone. Consume at least 3 oz shellfish to improve your thyroid levels.