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Foods that help or hurt your thyroid

Foods That Help Or Hurt Your Thyroid

Your diet can have a significant impact on the symptoms of hypothyroidism; while some foods can improve your conditions, others could make it worse or even interfere with your medication. 

Salt. Your thyroid needs iodine to work well; a mineral commonly found in fish and dairy products. You can also use iodized table salt at home.

Leafy Greens. Lettuce, spinach and other leafy greens provide you with magnesium, which is essential for your body processes. When you feel muscle cramps or fatigue and changes in your heartbeats, it means you’re not getting enough magnesium; so better load up on those greens!

Nuts. Not only will nuts like almonds, cashews, and pumpkin seeds provide you with iron – they are also rich in selenium. Both iron and selenium are important to support your thyroid’s functioning. 

Seafood. Shrimps, fish, and seaweed are great sources of iodine; but make sure to avoid kelp, which contains too much iodine that could actually make your condition worse. 

Kale. While kale is considered one of the top superfoods, it could – in rare cases – prevent your thyroid from getting enough iodine. So make sure you are getting enough iodine if you want to enjoy kale safely. The same applies to cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli.

Soy. Just like with kale, some chemicals found in soy products like edamame or soy milk could hurt your thyroid’s ability to make hormones if you’re not getting enough iodine. 

Organ Meats. If you eat things like liver, kidneys, or heart – you might get a lot of lipoic acid which if taken in excess could mess with the way your thyroid works. Lipoic acid could also affect thyroid medications.

Gluten. Gluten won’t affect your thyroid unless you have celiac disease as well. People who are diagnosed with celiac disease are prone to other autoimmune disorders like  Hashimoto’s disease (which leads to an underactive thyroid) and Graves’ disease (which leads to an overactive thyroid).

Christelle Bedrossian
Beirut, Lebanon

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Dietitian Christelle Bedrossian