There’s clear cut evidence a fresh, nutritious diet can help heal your thyroid. If you are in need of a little inspiration here’s our top 5 diet tips to safeguard your thyroid wellbeing.
Top 5 Diet Tips To Safeguard Your Thyroid Wellbeing
1. Skip Strict Diets That Slow Thyroid Activity
First and foremost, avoid extreme diets that recommend ridiculously low calorie intake. This is especially important when you have hypothyroidism.
Any time you cut calories to lose weight you switch off activity of the iodide peroxidase enzymes. These enzymes are hardwired to conserve fuel when food is in short supply. Therefore, when you cut calories there is reduced conversion of T4 to T3.
Low T3 slows your metabolic rate which can lead to weight gain. As you can imagine, strict calorie controlled diets are counterproductive, even detrimental when you have a low thyroid.
2. Avoid Processed Foods That Harm Thyroid Health
The most thyroid-damaging foods include; artificial sweeteners (aspartame and sucralose), refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), foods made with soy and corn (maize), toxic vegetable oils (soy and canola oil), and conventional fruit and vegetables that have been heavily sprayed with pesticides.
Yes! It’s possible to eat well on a budget. Having a well-stocked pantry, and fridge really helps in preparing nutritious meals quickly and easily at home.
Why is vegetable oil bad for you?
It may surprise you to see vegetable oils listed here as supermarkets sell truckloads of this type of oil. The truth is, vegetable oil is the generic term for polyunsaturated oils that are commonly derived from soy and Canola. Clever marketing has made these cheap oils sound healthy to consumers. Veggies are not a source of dietary oil, and soy and Canola are not vegetables!
According to Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig, PhD from the Weston A. Price Foundation,
Excess consumption of polyunsaturated oils has been shown to contribute to a large number of disease conditions including increased cancer and heart disease, immune system dysfunction, damage to the liver, reproductive organs and lungs, digestive disorders, depressed learning ability, impaired growth and weight gain.
When it comes to thyroid health there’s a significant problem. Let me explain more…
Your thyroid cells are covered with a flexible fatty membrane. Any type of oil you consume, good or bad, is incorporated into your delicate thyroid cell membranes. If you are consuming harmful vegetable oils these fats will get incorporated into thyroid membranes. This can cause the thyroid cells to lose flexibility which dramatically affects the function of the cell. Overtime your thyroid ceases to function properly at a basic cell level.
It’s my hope you will decide now to never use vegetable oils again!
3. Go 100% Gluten Free to Reduce Inflammation
Gluten sensitivity symptoms can be linked to specific digestive problems as well as broader health issues as gluten easily irritates the lining of the digestive tract which then triggers systemic inflammation. For this reason a 100% gluten free diet could not only stop bloating and indigestion, it could also help alleviate brain fog, fatigue, and finally help you lose weight around the belly.
A gluten hypersensitivity is usually self-diagnosable so it’s worth trialing a strict gluten-free diet for 4 weeks, and following up with comprehensive thyroid testing to see if this makes a difference.
Here’s a word of caution before buying gluten-free foods. Many gluten-free foods contain soy and corn ingredients which are used as cheap substitutes for gluten containing grains. You should avoid consuming soy and corn.
If you have been trying to lose weight eliminating gluten from your diet will help you finally lose the belly fat. You can discover more here: Problem With Gluten? Here’s A Quick Gluten Intolerance Checklist
4. Opt For Organic Fruit and Vegetables Whenever Possible
The best hypothyroidism diet is based on eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. The thyroid is extremely sensitive to pesticides so it’s best to opt for organic produce whenever possible. A visit to your local farmers market is a great way to stock up on healthy organic produce for the week.
You may also wish to add small amounts of wild fish, and grass fed meat to your weekly diet if you are not vegetarian.
Your diet should also include other thyroid boosting foods such as seaweed, sea salt, turmeric, nuts, seeds, legumes, gluten free whole grains, and healthy oils such as organic cold pressed coconut oil, organic cold pressed macadamia oil and organic extra virgin olive oil.
5. Eat Foods That Fire Up Metabolism
No doubt you are already aware that being sensitive to cold weather is a common symptom of hypothyroidism. The thyroid regulates the body’s core body temperature so when your thyroid is low your body produces less heat.
According to traditional Ayurvedic medicine, our ‘agni’ refers to our digestive fire. What does a weak agni mean? When agni is weak there is not enough digestive fire to process food into energy.
You can tune into the natural wisdom of your body by eating foods that are warming and thereby fuel your agni. Conversely, cold and raw foods are not only harder to digest, they dampen your digestive fire. For this reason they are best kept to a minimum.
In summary, opting to eat a nutritious nourishment is one of the best things you can do to naturally heal your thyroid and fortify your immunity. Along with effective stress management techniques, connecting with nature, restorative sleep and regular exercise it can help you stay strong and well. And finally don’t forget to stay hydrated. When you are properly hydrated, your urine should be pale yellow in color.
Ihnatowicz P, Drywień M, Wątor P, Wojsiat J. The importance of nutritional factors and dietary management of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Ann Agric Environ Med. 2020 Jun 19;27(2):184-193.
Liontiris MI, Mazokopakis EE. A concise review of Hashimoto thyroiditis (HT) and the importance of iodine, selenium, vitamin D and gluten on the autoimmunity and dietary management of HT patients.Points that need more investigation. Hell J Nucl Med. 2017 Jan-Apr;20(1):51-56.
Rayman MP. Multiple nutritional factors and thyroid disease, with particular reference to autoimmune thyroid disease. Proc Nutr Soc. 2019 Feb;78(1):34-44.