8 Foods to Eat & Avoid for Thyroid Patients

a doctor checking his patient's throat


Hypothyroidism is a condition wherein the body's thyroid hormone production is inadequate. Growth, cell repair, and metabolism are all regulated by thyroid hormones. As a consequence, hypothyroidism patients may suffer fatigue, hair loss, weight gain, coldness, and depression, among other symptoms.

Hypothyroidism affects 1–2% of the world's population, with women being 10 times more likely than males to be affected. Hypothyroidism cannot be cured just by diet. A combination of the correct nutrition and medicine, on the other hand, may help restore thyroid function and reduce symptoms.

Definition of Hypothyroidism and its effects

The thyroid gland is a little butterfly-shaped gland near the base of the neck. It produces and stores thyroid hormones, which have an impact on almost all of your body's cells. Thyroid hormones are released into the circulation when the thyroid gland receives a signal called thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). The pituitary gland, a little gland at the base of your brain, gives out this signal when thyroid hormone levels are low.

Even when it is sufficient for TSH, the thyroid gland does not always produce thyroid hormones. The most prevalent kind of hypothyroidism is termed primary hypothyroidism. Hashimoto's thyroiditis, an autoimmune illness in which your immune system erroneously targets your thyroid gland, is responsible for around 90% of primary hypothyroidism.

Iodine shortage, a hereditary disease, using certain drugs, and surgery to remove part of the thyroid are all possible causes of primary hypothyroidism. This is known as secondary hypothyroidism and occurs when the pituitary gland is not functioning correctly. Thyroid hormones play a critical role. 

The pace at which you burn calories and the temperature at which you expend them are both affected by your metabolism. As a result, persons with hypothyroidism often feel chilly and tired, and they may gain weight quickly.

What is the impact of hypothyroidism on your metabolism?

Your body burns more calories at rest if your metabolism is quicker. In Hypothyroidism, less thyroid hormone is secreted by the thyroid gland. They have a slower metabolism and burn fewer calories at rest as a result.

A sluggish metabolism carries a number of health hazards. If you're having trouble keeping your weight under control due to hypothyroidism, consider performing some moderate or high-intensity aerobics. Fast-paced walking, running, hiking, and rowing are examples of this kind of exercise. It can also cause hair loss and has been explained in another article in detail.

What are the most vital nutrients? 

Following a diet rich in foods that contain iodine, selenium and zinc can help you manage thyroid symptoms.

  • Iodine

Iodine is a mineral that is essential for thyroid hormone production. As a result, hypothyroidism can develop in those who are lacking in iodine. Iodine deficiency is very common, affecting around a third of the world's population. It is, however, less frequent among individuals in industrialised nations like the United States, where iodized salt and iodine-rich seafood are readily accessible. Supplementing with iodine is unnecessary since you can obtain enough iodine from your diet. 

  • Selenium

Selenium aids in the "activation" of thyroid hormones, allowing them to be utilised by the body. This vital mineral also has antioxidant qualities, which may help to protect the thyroid gland from free radical damage. Eating selenium-rich foods is a great way to boost your selenium levels. Tuna, sardines, eggs, and beans are just a few examples. Only take a selenium supplement if a healthcare professional advises you to. Supplements contain large amounts of selenium, which can be dangerous in high doses.

  • Zinc

Zinc may also assist the body to regulate TSH, the hormone that signals the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones, according to research. Zinc deficiency is uncommon in modern nations since zinc is plentiful in diet. 

Foods to stay away from

  • Meals with Goitrogen
  • You should avoid consuming highly processed meals since they are often rich in calories. 

Certain foods need to be avoided which are as follows:

  • Millet
  • Cakes, hot dogs, and biscuits
  • Supplements: Thyroid health need adequate selenium and iodine intake, but too much of either may be harmful. 
  • Only take selenium and iodine supplements if your doctor has recommended them.

There are foods that can be taken which are as follows:

  • Soy foods, soy milk, tofu, and edamame beans
  • Strawberries and peaches
  • Alcohol, green tea, and coffee are some of the drinks which can make the thyroid gland aggravated. 

Foods to consume

  • If you have hypothyroidism, you may eat a variety of foods, including:
  • All veggies are safe to consume in moderation, particularly when prepared. 
  • Other fruits like tomatoes, oranges, and berries.
  • Flaxseed, quinoa, buckwheat, rice, and chia seeds
  • Dairy products
  • Non-caffeinated drinks
  • Hypothyroidism patients should consume a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and lean meats.

Take Away

Hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, is a disease that affects 1–2% of the world's population. It may induce a variety of symptoms, including fatigue, weight gain, and a sense of being chilly. Fortunately, eating the proper foods and using the correct drugs may help you manage your symptoms and enhance your thyroid function. Iodine, selenium, and zinc are all beneficial nutrients for your thyroid. A thyroid-friendly diet may help you control your weight and reduce your symptoms. It promotes the consumption of complete, unprocessed foods as well as lean protein.