Diet changes can play a large role in optimizing your thyroid function.
Follow these recommendations whether you have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism or simply want to optimize thyroid health.
- Increase consumption of foods that support healthy thyroid function including:
Coconut oil (1 tsp daily)
Olive oil (1 tsp daily)
Brazil nuts (2 nuts daily contain your daily recommended dose of selenium)
Sea vegetables like kelp (contain iodine)
Protein rich foods
- There have been some concerns about eating vegetables from the Brassica family (kale, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage) in high amounts because they contain goitrogens, which could interfere with thyroid function. These foods also happen to offer tremendous health benefits and there are no studies that show eating these power foods in moderation will impact thyroid function in any significant way. If you have hypothyroidism, you can still eat these vegetables but try lightly steaming them before consuming which will destroy the goitrogenic properties of these foods.
- If you have been found to have an autoimmune, allergy or sensitivity to gluten you should completely avoid gluten containing grains/foods. I also advise patients to avoid gluten if they have an autoimmune thyroid condition like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
- Choose seafood options that have less risk of mercury contamination, as mercury is a significant thyroid toxin. Usually the smaller the fish the lower the risk for mercury burden. Avoid large fish like shark, swordfish, king mackeral, and albacore tuna which have the highest mercury burden. For more information about mercury content in seafood go to www.seafoodwatch.org.
- Avoid eating soy products or iron rich foods or supplements within 2-3 hours of your thyroid medications because they can interfere with absorption of thyroid medications. Thyroid medications should be taken on an empty stomach to optimize absorption.