Food plays an integral role in our overall health, including the health of our thyroid. In this article, I am going to talk about the top 9 foods you should be eating if you have Hashimoto’s. These foods support the thyroid, nourish the body, and don’t trigger inflammation.
A huge part of getting into remission means taking a good hard look at the foods you consume on a daily basis. Diet plays an even more important role when dealing with an autoimmune health condition, especially because most people with autoimmune conditions also suffer from leaky gut. This is a huge reason why the foods on this list not only support thyroid health but gut health as well. Autoimmune disease and leaky gut go hand in hand. The bottom line is that the more severe the autoimmune disease, the worse the leaky gut. (1) It’s a vicious cycle because leaky gut can cause flare ups when dealing with autoimmune conditions which can then go on to damage the gut lining even further.
This is just one of the many reasons a healthy diet is essential to treating Hashimoto’s disease. Not only for gut health but for inflammatory reasons as well. When your thyroid is already inflamed, the last thing you want to do is consume inflammatory foods. It’s like adding fuel to the fire. By following a diet appropriate for Hashimoto’s disease you can remove many of the inflammatory foods from your diet and help your body go into remission. Remember that setting the foundation of health starts with our food choices!
Before I talk about specific foods to add to your diet, here are some of the dietary recommendations I share with my clients starting a Hashimoto’s style diet:
- Eliminate gluten
- Eliminate dairy
- Significantly reduce or completely eliminate sugar
- Eliminate fried and processed foods commonly found in the Standard American Diet
To read more about the best diet for Hashimoto’s, check out my article here.
Now that you know the basics behind an autoimmune supporting diet, let’s take a look at the top nine foods you should be eating if you have Hashimoto’s:
The Top 9 Foods for Hashimoto's
1. Organic Vegetables
Vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet. They contain powerful antioxidants to help keep inflammation at bay. They are also rich sources of essential vitamins and minerals to help nourish your body. While vegetables are healthy, it’s important to buy organic whenever possible. Conventional fruits and veggies are sprayed with harmful herbicides and pesticides which can cause even more harm to our endocrine systems. Buying organic ensures you steer clear of these harmful toxins.
The one thing to keep in mind when it comes to vegetables is that nightshade vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and potatoes can cause flare-ups in many people with thyroid conditions. Many people will need to eliminate them at first, and some may be able to reintroduce them down the road. Goitrogenic vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts should also be avoided in their raw state. In large amounts, goitrogenic vegetables are thought to slow down thyroid function. For this reason, these vegetables are best consumed when cooked.
2. Low Sugar Fruits
While cane and artificial sugars are off limits when trying to restore thyroid health, fruits can make a great addition to a healthy diet. Strive to enjoy low sugar fruits and enjoy a piece of fruit with a healthy fat such as nuts or seeds to help keep blood sugar levels at bay. Fruits are another rich source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and they make the perfect healthy dessert. Some low sugar fruits include things like berries, apples, pears, and cherries.
3. Green Plantains
While maybe not the most popular fruit of choice, these plantains should make their way onto your shopping list! Green plantains contain resistant starch which feeds the good bacteria in the gut.
4. Fermented Foods
Fermented foods are excellent for gut health. Remember that taking care of your gut is an essential part of getting into remission. Enjoy foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, unsweetened coconut yogurt, and water kefir. These foods pack in a healthy dose of healthy bacteria to keep your gut happy.
5. Grass Fed and Pasture Raised Animal Products
Protein is going to be an important part of your new healing diet. Keep in mind that although animal products can be a great addition to your diet, not all meats are created equal. The best option is grass-fed and pasture raised. Conventionally raised animal products are pumped full of antibiotics, steroids, and hormones. As you can imagine, this can cause imbalances in your body which is the last thing you want when trying to heal your body. If you are unable to purchase grass-fed and pasture raised 100% of the time, second best is organic. The most important thing is to completely avoid factory-farmed animal products.
6. Bone Broth
One of the best things to consume for gut health is bone broth! Bone broth is rich in the amino acids l-proline and l-glycine, rich in collagen and a handful of important nutrients. Bone broth is great for leaky gut as it helps to heal the gut lining. The best way to enjoy bone broth is when you make it yourself. It only takes a handful of ingredients and a stockpot or slow cooker. I have a recipe posted here.
7. Coconut Oil
Healthy fat is going to be an important part of your healing diet. Coconut oil can help heal the gut and provide energy which is important for anyone with Hashimoto’s. Coconut oil is rich in caprylic and lauric acid which helps support a healthy metabolism and can help fight fatigue. (2)
8. Wild Caught Fish
Wild-caught fish can provide you with a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids EPA/DHA. These fatty acids are needed for proper thyroid function as well as hormone balance. Omega-3 fatty acids are also very anti-inflammatory. Be sure to opt for wild-caught fish VS farm raised as farm raised fish tend to be high in inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids not to mention their chemical and antibiotic content.
While this may not sound like the most appetizing food choice, you can make a delicious seaweed salad using dried seaweed. Seaweed is a rich source of iodine which helps to prevent iodine deficiencies.
Food can truly be medicine we just have to know how to use it. Suffering from Hashimoto’s means there is a greater demand for a healing and nourishing diet. When you pay attention to the foods you consume you are more likely to give your body the foods it needs to repair. While diet is only one piece to a very complex puzzle, looking at your food choices is a great place to start. Try adding these top 9 foods for Hashimoto’s into your diet to get started on your healing journey!
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(1) K News (2015). Autoimmune gut-repair diet
(2) Axe. Natural Remedies for Hashimoto’s Disease