Using a Diet to Cure Hypothyroidism

You’ve heard it before: “You are what you eat.” Although it’s hard to limit every characteristic of your body to that simple phrase, the truth of that statement is nonetheless significant. Much like the certainty of that statement, hypothyroidism is directly affected by the foods you eat. Hypothyroidism is a condition of the thyroid gland where insufficient levels of its two main hormones T-3 (triiodothyronine) and T-4 (thyroxine) are produced.

Though there are several different causes for hypothyroidism ranging from iodine deficiency to autoimmune imbalance, one thing is certain—your thyroid’s function can be drastically improved through diet.
Certain foods have been proven to naturally boost thyroid hormone levels, such as foods high in B-vitamins and iron. Antioxidants and polyphenols are vital in reducing whole body inflammation and fighting the free radicals, both of which cause autoimmune imbalance and inhibit proper thyroid function.
Below is just a short sampling of the plethora of foods that have been linked to improving the health of your thyroid gland:
  • Brazil nuts
  • Dark greens (excludes kale and broccoli)
  • Eggs
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Fish
  • Gluten-free pasta
  • Organic yogurt
  • Quinoa
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Avocado
  • Vinegar
Just as knowing which foods improve thyroid function, knowing which foods inhibit thyroid function is equally as important. It’s easy to recognize that highly processed foods, preservatives, white flour, artificial flavors/colors, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and aluminum aren’t good foods for your body in general, much less your thyroid. Most notably, one family of foods to avoid if you suffer from an under-active thyroid is a type called goitrogenic foods. These foods are known for inhibiting iodine absorption in the thyroid and can lead to the development of a goiter or an enlarged thyroid.
The strange thing about goitrogenic foods is that they appear to be very healthy foods, primarily legumes, vegetables, and some fruits—which are the craze in healthy diets. Here’s a list of a few goitrogenic foods to particularly avoid:
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cheese
  • Garlic
  • Kale
  • Milk
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Mustard
  • Peanuts
  • Soybean
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Turnips
  • Wheat
Once your thyroid has had a chance to detoxify from the foods that are weakening its function, it will begin to get stronger and your immune system will regain proper balance. As you change your diet to directly target the symptoms of an under-active thyroid you will begin to feel the difference.
Don’t take my word for it; experiment with these foods yourself and pay attention to what your body is telling you. That statement, “You are what you eat.” may take on a whole new meaning as you regain your energy and heal your thyroid.

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