When it comes to hypothyroidism, there are many different potential causes. Getting your diet right always plays a role in recovery from hypothyroidism & is something that I speak about with my clients a lot. Here are 5 general tips for supporting hypothyroidism (please note: this is very different from hyperthyroidism – if you have hyperthyroidism, look out for a future post):
1) Brazil nuts – I often suggest including Brazil nuts in your daily mix of good foods. Approximately one Brazil nut per day meets the RDI (recommended daily intake) of selenium. Research has shown selenium to be particularly helpful in autoimmune thyroid conditions (such as Hashimoto’s Disease). It is an important antioxidant which means that it helps to protect the thyroid and fight of harmful inflammation*. When selenium levels are low, this can often contribute to thyroid function.
2) Oysters – Although not an everyday food, oysters are an excellent source of zinc and are a good food to include once a week, or once every few weeks. Zinc is required for the production of thyroid hormones (T3 & T4) and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH- responsible for telling your thyroid to make T3 & T4). Additionally, some research & thousands of years of traditional use suggest that oysters are an aphrodisiac (in other words, they increase your sex drive) which could be really helpful for those struggling with low libido due to hypothyroidism.
3) Salmon – Deep ocean caught (NOT farm-caught) salmon is wonderful for reducing inflammation, as it is a good source of omega 3. Additionally, salmon contains iodine which is required for the production of T3 & T4. You can eat low-mercury fish (like salmon) 2-3 times per week. One portion of fish is about the size of the palm of your hand.
4) Eat your veggies – I know, I know, this isn’t just one food – but variety is key when it comes to veggies. Especially when you have hypothyroidism. Veggies such as broccoli, kale, spinach, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, radishes and turnips (we refer to these as goitrogens) are best eaten in smaller quantities and need to be well cooked – steamed or sauteed in olive oil is a good option. Mix it up with sweet potatoes, tomatoes, leafy greens (spinach, cos lettuce, rocket), cucumber, zucchini – a little bit of everything, having different veggies daily.
5) Eat your avos – avocado is a great source of healthy fats. It is also rich in antioxidants, reducing inflammation* that could be affecting thyroid function and providing vitamins & minerals to nourish your thyroid. It will help you to stay full between meals. Having a balanced meal (including fats, protein & carbohydrates) is important when you have hypothyroidism, to power you through the day and give your thyroid the building blocks to make thyroid hormones.
Of course, it’s really important to remember that diet as a whole is what is most important in ensuring nutritional status in hypothyroidism, and there are no ‘superfoods’ that will solve all of your thyroid problems without following a balanced diet.
In consultations we assess nutritional status which helps us to identify what nutrients your body may be lacking to support your thyroid and overall health. We are then able to tailor your diet to your individual needs & I can prescribe appropriate supplements when necessary, to give you the boost that you may need. In consultations we also assess the underlying drivers which are contributing to the thyroid dysfunction. As this is highly individual, prescriptions are then tailored specifically to the patient.
For more information on consultations, to book an appointment or a free 15 minute discovery call click here.
* Inflammation – You’ve probably noticed that I’ve spoken about inflammation a few times throughout this blog. That’s because inflammation is one of the common drivers of hypothyroidism.
This is generalized advice and is intended for educational purposes only. For individualized advice, please get in touch.