Thyroid imbalance has a lot of undesirable changes in the body. Although medication works best, following the right diet for thyroid imbalance can bring about positive changes in your body.

In the case of people with thyroid, diet plays an important role in managing this hormonal imbalance.

Proper diet for thyroid is one that includes food to eliminate the nutritional deficiencies and excludes food that aggravates the medical condition.

This post is mainly aimed at discussing the types of food that can be included or excluded as part of the diet for thyroid patients.

The diet is different for those suffering from under-active thyroid (hypothyroid) and those suffering from hyperactive thyroid (hyperthyroid). Here’s why.

Diet for Thyroid containing Iodine

Diet for Thyroid
Diet for Thyroid

 

Iodine is like a fuel for the thyroid gland to work. If the body is deficient of thyroid, then it leads to an under-active thyroid. As lack of iodine is one of the causes of hypothyroid, including foods rich in iodine is a good idea for people suffering from hypothyroid.

Potatoes, eggs, cow’s milk and iodized salt are great sources of iodine. But there are circumstances where increase in iodine rich food irritates thyroid. So, consult your physician before including them as part of the diet.

Though considered as rare, over intake of iodine leads to hyperthyroid. While iodine deficiency is seen much in the world, too much of iodine is also harmful for the thyroid gland.

However in some cases of hyperthyroid, iodine comes to the rescue. Nascent iodine, Potassium iodide are some forms of iodine that slow the release of thyroid hormone.

Clinically, radioactive iodine is applied to slow thyroid hormone production.

Selenium-Rich Foods

Selenium for Thyroid
Selenium for Thyroid

Selenium-rich foods are sometimes given as a part of hypothyroid diet. Though the benefits are not clear, hypothyroid is aggravated in people who have low sodium and supplement selenium.

It is considered safe to consume foods like groundnuts, meat, fish and mushroom as they are better than the selenium supplements.

As Selenium is studied to reduce the symptoms of both hypo and hyper thyroid, adding the above selenium-rich food in moderation helps a lot.

Gluten

If a person with thyroid condition is sensitive to gluten, his/her immune system confuses gluten with thyroid tissues and starts to attack and damage the thyroid gland.

Both hypothyroid and hyperthyroid conditions improve if gluten is removed from the diet.

Caffeine

Absorption of T4 hormone given for Hypothyroid issue is greatly affected and reduced if consumed with caffeine.

Hence, it is very important for thyroid patients to drink coffee after an hour of taking the hormone replacement pill.

 

Calciferous Vegetables

Calciferous vegetables also known as goitrogens like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage aggravates the hypothyroid condition and needs to be avoided.

But intake of these vegetables at moderate levels after cooking doesn’t have much impact. Also, as cruciferous vegetables are rich in nutrients and can’t be neglected, it is important to cook and consume them.

Make sure the iodine intake is adequate while consuming these vegetables.

Goitrogens have the characteristics of inhibiting the excessive thyroid hormone and hence, consuming them as part of the diet helps people with hyperthyroid.

 

Diet to Follow

The hypothyroid friendly foods are

–          Food rich in Omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, trout, tuna or sardines.

–          Nuts.

–          Whole Grains (sometimes they interfere with medication. Hence, medication should be taken hours before consuming whole grains).

–          Fresh Fruits and Vegetables (consume cruciferous vegetables in moderation and in cooked state).

–          Seaweed (as it contains iodine. In case of iodine supplement intake, take care while including seaweed in diet).

The hyperthyroid friendly foods are

–          Fruits, especially berries as they boost the immune system.

–          Vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables.

–          Vitamin D and Omega-3 rich food.

–          Protein rich food to maintain weight.

–          Dairy products for getting calcium as part of the diet (untreated hyperthyroidism affects bones).

 

Always keep in mind that diet is only one part of maintaining health. For managing thyroid issues completely, regular exercise, proper sleep, stress-free environment and above all, hormone replacement therapy is essential.

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11 comments on “Diet For Thyroid Imbalance – Dos and Dont’s”

  1. my mom suffers from hyper throidism , thats an informative post to learn & share with our friends & family .thanks for discussing it in brief 🙂

  2. Thank You Rajlakshmi, Diet restrictions for thyroid imbalance is very important and would make it easier to get back to normalcy if combined with yoga

  3. That’s a very informative post Menaka. I didn’t know that cauliflower and cabbage needs to be reduced. So many women have started suffering from tthyroid issues… I myself know a lot of them. With proper iinformation, diet and exercise, this can be controlled.

  4. Informative post. I read it quite carefully as my husband has hypothyroidism. The diet do’s and don’ts are good to know.

  5. Very informative post Menaka. Does it help you get rid of medicine? Definitely keen to try it out.

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