Nutrients for Hypothyroid and Hashimoto

As a holistic nutritionist, I often work with clients who are struggling with low thyroid function, or hypothyroidism, and Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune thyroid disorder. Supporting thyroid health with nutrition is becoming increasingly important as these conditions become more common. 

In this blog post, we will discuss the signs and symptoms of low thyroid function, nutrient imbalances that can contribute to thyroid problems, and dietary strategies for supporting thyroid health.

Understanding Thyroid Function and Symptoms of Thyroid Problems

Your thyroid gland, located in the neck, controls a wide range of processes in the body, including metabolism, digestion, sleep, mood, and fertility. When the thyroid gland is not functioning optimally, it can result in a range of symptoms, including:

  • Fatigue and difficulty sleeping
  • Mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety
  • Weight gain or weight loss resistance
  • Fertility issues, such as difficulty conceiving or recurring miscarriages
  • Feeling cold easily
  • Digestive issues, including constipation and bloating
  • Stiffness or swelling in joints
  • Hair loss or hair thinning

If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider to determine if your thyroid function may be contributing to your health problems.

Nutrient Imbalances and Thyroid Health

In addition to the symptoms listed above, certain nutrient imbalances can also contribute to thyroid problems. For example, insufficient levels of vitamins D, C, A, and E, zinc, and selenium can negatively affect thyroid function. These nutrients are essential for the production and conversion of thyroid hormones, which play a crucial role in regulating metabolism, growth, and development. Therefore, it is important to focus on consuming foods rich in these nutrients to support optimal thyroid function.

Dietary Strategies for Supporting Thyroid Health

Now that we have covered the basics of thyroid function and the nutrients that support it, let’s dive into some dietary strategies for supporting thyroid health:

1. Focus on Liver Health

The liver plays a critical role in thyroid health, as it is responsible for converting thyroid hormones into their active forms. Therefore, supporting liver health is essential for optimal thyroid function.

Some foods that can support liver health include:

  • Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, and cabbage
  • Beets
  • Dandelion root tea
  • Turmeric

2. Support Nutrient Imbalances

As we discussed earlier, certain nutrient imbalances can contribute to thyroid problems. Therefore, it is important to focus on consuming foods rich in the following nutrients:

  • Vitamin D: fatty fish, egg yolks, and mushrooms
  • Vitamin C: berries, citrus fruits, and bell peppers
  • Vitamin A: sweet potatoes, carrots, and leafy greens
  • Zinc: oysters, beef, and pumpkin seeds
  • Selenium: brazil nuts, seafood, and organ meats

It is also important to note that certain foods can interfere with the absorption of these nutrients, such as phytic acid in grains and legumes. Therefore, it may be beneficial to soak, sprout, or ferment these foods to reduce their phytic acid content.

3. Support Gut Health

The health of your gut can also impact thyroid function, as the gut plays a role in the conversion of thyroid hormones. Therefore, supporting gut health is essential for optimal thyroid function. Some foods that can support gut health include:

  • Fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir
  • Prebiotic foods, such as garlic, onions, and asparagus
  • Bone broth
  • Collagen peptides

Foods to Avoid for Thyroid Health

While there are plenty of foods that can support thyroid health, there are also some foods to avoid or limit as they can have a negative impact on thyroid function. Here are some examples:

  • Soy Products: Soy products like tofu, tempeh, and soy milk contain compounds called goitrogens that can interfere with thyroid function. It’s best to limit your intake of these products, especially if you have an underactive thyroid.
  • Gluten: People with autoimmune thyroid disorders like Hashimoto’s disease may be sensitive to gluten. Gluten can cause inflammation in the body and increase intestinal permeability, which can worsen autoimmune symptoms. Consider avoiding gluten-containing grains like wheat, barley, and rye and opt for gluten-free alternatives like quinoa, rice, and buckwheat.
  • Sugar and Processed Foods: A diet high in sugar and processed foods can lead to insulin resistance and inflammation, which can negatively impact thyroid function. Try to limit your intake of these foods and instead focus on whole, nutrient-dense foods.
  • Cruciferous Vegetables: Like soy products, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and kale contain goitrogens that can interfere with thyroid function. However, cooking these vegetables can reduce the goitrogenic compounds, so they can still be included in moderation in a balanced diet.
  • Alcohol: Excessive alcohol consumption can interfere with thyroid hormone production and metabolism. It’s best to limit your intake of alcohol to support thyroid health.

Final Thoughts

Nutrition can play a crucial role in supporting thyroid health, especially in cases of hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s disease. By focusing on nutrient-dense whole foods, supporting liver and gut health, managing stress, and avoiding foods that can interfere with thyroid function, you can support optimal thyroid function and improve symptoms like fatigue, weight gain, and mood disorders. If you are struggling with thyroid issues, consider working with a Naturopathic Doctor or Holistic Nutritionist to develop a personalized nutrition plan that meets your specific needs and supports optimal thyroid health.

If you feel you need support in figuring out what’s going on with your Hashimoto or more information about Thyroid function, feel free to book a FREE discovery call with our practitioners at Cared For Wellness Virtual Health Clinic HERE and we start creating a strategic plan that will help you.

We encourage all our clients to get testing done so we can create a tailored approach to their hormones. We also go over how to read your test results and what to do about it.