Hypothyroidism (low thyroid function) is believed to be one of the most underdiagnosed health conditions. Many of its symptoms – lethargy, depression and weight gain – can easily be attributed to other factors, making the diagnosis of hypothyroidism difficult.

Best Hypothyroid Foods, Tips, and Diets

Some reports estimate that around 15 percent of the population suffers from the condition; other reports estimate more than double. The risk increases with age, especially in menopausal women. The hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), the opposite of hypothyroidism is much less common and is characterized by nervousness and intense anxiety.

A diet for hypothyroidism

Goitrogens are naturally occurring substances in certain foods that interfere with the production of thyroid hormones . These include some of the most consumed foods in the health conscious community: broccoli, cauliflower, kale, spinach, radishes, soybeans, peanuts, pine nuts, peaches and millet. The good news is that many health professionals believe that cooking them can inactivate goitrogens.

Although these foods provide many benefits for healthy people, the potential for goiter should be considered by risk groups: people who have a family history of hypothyroidism, those who already have symptoms, and women who are nearing menopause .

Some goitrogens, such as soy isoflavones, pose a particular dilemma for menopause – women can reduce certain symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, but it is believed to aggravate hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism can explain menopausal symptoms such as depression, weight gain, and lethargy.

People with poor thyroid function often feel cold, which may help differentiate the two conditions. It is not known if other phytoestrogens affect thyroid function . By avoiding goitrogens, you can mitigate the symptoms of hypothyroidism, many other dietary and non-dietary factors are also involved.

Rich foods to treat hypothyroidism


At least a dozen vitamins and minerals are recommended for the prevention of low iodine thyroid function, an essential trace element present in the thyroid gland, being the most recognized. Iodized salt in general (preferably iodine-enriched sea salt) contributes enough iodine to the diet to prevent goiter, a visible swelling of the thyroid gland around the Adam’s apple, and associated with hypothyroidism, however, it may not be sufficient to counteract other effects of low thyroid function.

Iodine may be available in foods that grow on the ground , but the amount varies considerably depending on the minerals in the soil; shellfish are a more reliable source. A significant amount of iodine is found in algae, but excessive amounts (over 600 mcg per day for long periods) can actually lead to hypothyroidism, so moderation is key.

Iodine combines with the amino acid tyrosine to produce thyroid hormones . Fish, oatmeal, sesame seeds, banana, avocado, and almonds are good sources of tyrosine. Some goitrogenic foods like mustard greens, soybeans, spinach, cabbage are also rich in tyrosine. However, current conventional wisdom says that cooking can inactivate potential goitrogens, these foods can still have a place in a varied and balanced diet.

Zinc, Vitamins B

Zinc, vitamins B2, B3, B6, B12, and antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E are also involved in improving thyroid function . Eggs, dairy and seafood and other seafood, components of high-protein diets, are often recommended for weight maintenance in people with hypothyroidism, many on supply of the above nutrients.

The variety of vitamins and minerals involved in promoting thyroid function makes a balanced diet of whole foods, particularly important for thyroid nutrition, the key. Products dairy , always consume them in moderation because it can bring harmful counterparts. Try to eat everything organic.

Diet Tips to Avoid Hypothyroidism

  1. The use of iodine-enriched sea salt.
  2. Cook goiter-generating foods: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, cassava, radish, kale, millet, mustard, mustard greens, peaches, pears, radishes, turnips, soybeans, spinach, and turnips.
  3. Eat foods rich in tyrosine.
  4. Use cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil and nuts for vitamin E.
  5. Consider including seafood, eggs, or meat for zinc and vitamin B12.
  6. Eat walnuts, whole grains, and whole wheat bread to absorb the B vitamins and zinc.
  7.  Garnish cooked foods with culinary herbs like parsley for vitamin C.
  8. Include vegetables rich in beta-carotene, such as winter squash, in your diet.
  9. Consider switching to purified water for cooking and drinking to reduce your fluoride intake. Black and green teas also contain fluoride.
  10. Eat organic.
Dr. Eric Jackson

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses. He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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