12 Food Rules For Optimal Thyroid Health

Written by Emaan Shah
Last Updated on

If you’ve been struggling with thyroid dysfunction, following a healthy diet could alleviate the worst of your symptoms. For starters, we recommend you try to eat as organic as possible.

The thyroid gland is very sensitive to any synthetic compounds, and minimizing your exposure to these can work wonders. In general, it is suggested you steer clear of fried foods, fatty foods, and meals abundant in spices or salt. Also, follow these rules to bring your thyroid function to an optimum:

1. Aim For Lower Calories And Higher Fiber

Opt for more fruits, vegetables, sprouts, seeds, and beans in your meals. Foods with high fiber content, such as prunes or even prune juice, will keep those bowels moving. Sufficient movement of your bowels is essential to prevent any accumulation of toxins in your alimentary canal.

2. Review The Dairy And Meat In Your Diet

It’s best if you try cutting back on some of the dairy and meat you consume in a week. A lot of the chemicals that are best avoided happen to be concentrated in dairy products or the fat in your meat. Hence, the lesser dairy or meat you consume, the lesser your body struggles with toxins that can disrupt your thyroid hormones.

3. Eat More Simple

3. Eat More Simple
Image: Shutterstock

Try purchasing more of your food in bags that you could fill in from those bulk bins at farmer’s markets. Or try shopping at local stores for health food more frequently. Also, add more non-animal sources of protein, such as tofu, avocado, nuts, and olives to your diet in small amounts.

4. Incorporate Good Oils In Your Diet 

Not all fats are bad. Yes, hydrogenated oils that happen to be a constituent of a majority of the processed food we eat must be avoided. They can interfere with our body’s metabolism. However, healthy fats like the monounsaturated fatty acids in extra virgin olive oil or omega-3s and omega-6s are required for maintaining your health and lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease as well as cancer (1).

5. Add Some Nutty Goodness

5. Add Some Nutty Goodness
Image: Shutterstock

Do you frequently suffer from sugar highs and lows? Then, stabilize your blood sugar levels by snacking on a handful of crunchy nuts periodically through the day. The protein in these nutritional jackpots shall balance out all that sugar.

6. Check Labels On Food Packaging 

Can’t pronounce any of the ingredients on that nutrition label? Then, it’s best you just put it back down. The chemicals utilized by the food industry to preserve foods and increase the shelf life of their products only serve to confuse our body and hinder its metabolism.

7. Never Miss Breakfast

 7.Never Miss Breakfast
Image: Shutterstock

Even more importantly, we recommend that you have smaller meals at regular intervals. After a night of sleep and fasting, the body requires energy. Eating in the morning kick starts your metabolism. And if you are a thyroid patient, instead of three huge meals, having smaller, frequent meals through the day is more suited for your metabolism.

8. Ditch The ‘CATS’

And we don’t mean the feline kind. The CATS to give a wide berth to are caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and sugar – all of which are a metabolic struggle for patients with thyroid problems (2), (3), (4). If you have grown dependent on any of the CATS, look for alternatives or make them occasional treats. For example, switch to decaffeinated coffee or herbal tea instead of coffee for your morning cup of brew.

9. Steer Clear Of Artificial Sweeteners

9. Steer Clear Of Artificial Sweeteners
Image: Shutterstock

Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, neotame, sucralose, acesulfame, and saccharin only serve to hinder your thyroid function and also promote autoimmune (read: body starts attacking itself) conditions (5). Hence, it’s best if you simply forego the fakes and opt for natural sugars like honey, molasses, or maple syrup.

10. Say No To Chemicals 

If you happen to be growing your own food, try utilizing lesser chemical pesticides and opt for more natural or organic insect pest controllers, such as diatomaceous earth (DE) or essential oils spray.

11. Ditch The Goitrogens

11. Ditch The Goitrogens
Image: Shutterstock

Goitrogens are foods that disrupt the synthesis of thyroid hormones by interfering with your thyroid gland’s uptake of iodine. This stimulates the pituitary to secrete a hormone, TSH, which leads to your thyroid gland getting bigger – a condition referred to as goiter. Common goitrogens to watch out for are broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, collards, and kale (6).

12. Keep Away From Stimulants 

Stimulants, even the supposed natural ones like gotu kola or guarana, that are the constituents of many popular modern day energy drinks, are best avoided. Though they may seemingly give a temporary boost to your metabolism, they aren’t any good for restoring your depleted organs and glands.

Eating healthier and steering away from foods that can only aggravate your thyroid dysfunction is hard. We get it. However, good willpower and strong determination will help. If you feel overwhelmed, ask a family member or friend to partner with you for the first month for motivation and support.

Was this article helpful?
Emaan is a voracious and rather indiscriminate reader. She is also a writer, history buff, insomniac, amateur doodle artist, terrible poet and a self-professed philosopher (but only after 3 am). Currently, she is pursuing a degree in medicine.

Read full bio of Emaan Shah
Latest Articles