Hypothyroidism is caused by underlying inflammation and immune dysfunction in over 90% of cases. This goes hand in hand with gut damage and nutrient deficiencies, so diet is foundational in healing and reversing symptoms of low thyroid. In general, a whole food and plant-powered diet is best, but adding these six superfoods can supercharge your recovery.
Given processed foods’ already low nutrient content, consuming many foods in the SAD give way to malnourishment, despite the high calorie count.
1. Fruits and Vegetables
Increasing veggies and fruits means boosting vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, which combats inflammation and damage from free radicals. Updated dietary recommendations suggest that adults should be eating between 9 and 13 servings of vegetables and fruit per day.
2. Wild Fish
Wild fish is chock-full of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, critical for hormone balance and thyroid function. Omega-3 fats balance inflammatory omega-6 fats and help reduce inflammation and support healthy brain function. Follow safe fish eating practices so that you don’t increase your toxic load and make matters worse.
3. Brazil Nuts
Focusing on eating more selenium-rich foods like Brazil nuts will support healthy thyroid function.
Adults can tolerate about 55-400mcg of selenium per day, and eating 2 Brazil nuts per day contains an average daily serving of about 150mcg in total.
Selenium also reduces inflammation and regulates free radicals.
4. Super Seeds
Seeds are bursting with health-promoting qualities. Flax, hemp, and chia seeds are rich in ALA, an omega-3 fat that supports thyroid function and other hormone balance. Healthy fat is imperative to keeping inflammation low and mood high. They also help regulate blood sugar, brain function, and appetite control.
5. Filling Fiber
Most people with hypothyroidism have digestive issues, so consuming high amounts of fiber can keep things moving smoothly. Although the USDA only recommends 25 grams of fiber a day, I suggest aiming closer to 40 grams and consuming those from a variety of plants like seeds, nuts, vegetables, and fruit instead of fiber supplements. Fiber also helps detox the body and is powerful for chronic disease prevention.
6. Bone Broth
Sipping on homemade beef, fish, and chicken stock helps repair the intestinal lining with nourishing amino acids. The mineral density of broth also prevents deficiencies like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and silicon, which are critical to overall health and healing gut damage.
Focusing on these six thyroid-supporting foods is a great first step in designing a healing diet. However, hypothyroid sufferers are at a high risk for food sensitivities and other individualized dietary challenges. This means that even the healthiest foods could cause unwanted and harmful symptoms. It’s always best to design a unique nutrition plan based on comprehensive diagnostic testing to help you decide which foods are best for you. Following generalized nutrition advice will only get you so far; to fully heal from a low thyroid, you need a therapeutic plan built just for you.