Hyperthyroidism and Your Diet 

Hyperthyroidism and Your Diet 

Do you know the connection between hyperthyroidism and diet? If you don’t know, what you eat can impact your condition to get better or worse. Hyperthyroidism is a condition that happens when your thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone in the blood. It is also known as an overactive thyroid. It causes symptoms such as rapid heart rate, weight loss, tremors, etc. There is a permanent treatment for this condition, but the doctor removes your thyroid gland, and you need to take thyroid replacement medication for the rest of your life. But you can manage your symptoms with medication and diet changes by removing and adding certain foods to your diet. Learn about the foods to eat and foods to avoid with hyperthyroidism in this article.  

Foods to eat 

Certain foods that you should add to your diet to improve your hyperthyroidism, including:  

  • Low-iodine foods: Iodine is used to produce thyroid hormones by the thyroid gland. Consuming low-iodine foods allows you to produce lesser thyroid hormones. Good source of low-iodine foods includes – egg whites, lemonade, beer and wine, moderate portions of beef, turkey, chicken, veal, and lamb, fruit and fruit juices, vegetable oils, herbs and spices, non-iodized salt, fresh vegetables, jams or jellies, unsalted nuts, and nut butter, etc.  
  • Cruciferous vegetables: Some cruciferous vegetables contain compounds that can decrease thyroid hormone production and also stop the thyroid from using iodine properly. Both of these effects are beneficial for someone with hyperthyroidism. Some good sources of cruciferous vegetables include – kale, radishes, brussels sprouts, collard greens, mustard greens, turnip roots, cauliflower, broccoli, bamboo shoots, etc. 
  • Foods containing selenium: This micronutrient is required by your body to metabolize thyroid hormones. And if people take selenium supplements with anti-thyroid medications, then they achieve normal thyroid levels more quickly than those who don’t. Good sources of selenium-rich foods include – rice, spinach, egg whites, oatmeal, Brazil nuts, oatmeal, baked beans, fortified pasta, cereals, etc.  
  • Foods containing iron: Iron is an important nutrient that helps in body processes, especially thyroid health. Besides that, it also helps to carry red blood cells with oxygen to other cells in the body. Researchers also found low levels of iron are linked with hyperthyroidism. So, you should maintain an adequate intake of iron by eating iron-rich foods, including – dark chocolate, spinach, beef, turkey, chicken, pork, raisins, fortified cereals, etc.  
  • Foods containing calcium and vitamin D: Hyperthyroidism can decrease your bone density which can lead to osteoporosis. To prevent that, add calcium and vitamin D to your diet to keep your bones healthy. Foods rich in calcium are – broccoli, kale, Bok choy, orange juice, and milk (no more than once a day). For vitamin D, the primary source is taking sunlight and the body produces vitamin D on its own. However, many people avoid sun exposure due to skin cancer and getting dark skin. Not many foods are good sources of vitamin D, but you can consume these foods that contain some amount of vitamin D – orange juice, mushrooms, fatty fish, and fortified cereals.  
  • Spices: Certain spices, especially turmeric, and green chilis, can reduce the effects of thyroid disease including hyperthyroidism, and also has anti-inflammatory properties. People can use different spices to add flavor to their foods and drinks.  
  • Healthy fats: Monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats are healthy fats that can help to reduce inflammation and also protect thyroid health and balance thyroid hormones. Good sources of healthy fats include – avocado and avocado oil, olive oil, coconut oil, flaxseed oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, unsalted nuts, and seeds, etc. 

Foods to avoid 

These are the foods you should avoid or limit your intake so that your symptoms of hyperthyroidism do not get worsen. It includes:  

  • Iodine-rich foods: Iodine is required to make thyroid hormones. And consuming iodine-rich foods can increase the production of thyroid hormone can lead to hyperthyroidism or worsen your symptoms. So, you should avoid and limit intake of iodine-rich foods, including – iodized salt, egg yolks, blackstrap molasses, fish and shellfish, seaweed or kelp, dairy products, carrageen, etc.  
  • Caffeine: Caffeine can increase the symptoms of hyperthyroidism and lead to increased anxiety, irritability, nervousness, insomnia, and rapid heart rate. So, avoid foods and beverages that contain caffeine such as coffee, tea, soda, chocolate, etc., and instead replace them with natural herbal teas, flavored water, or hot apple cider.  
  • Soy: Soy doesn’t contain iodine and does not impact the symptoms of hyperthyroidism. However, some studies show that soy interferes with the treatment of hyperthyroidism in animals. However, the impact of soy is not clear to humans, but you should take precautions to avoid and limit foods that contain soy such as – soy milk, soy sauce, tofu, and soy-based creamers.  
  • Gluten: While gluten is not harmful to all people, some people develop celiac disease (a disease that happens from ingestion of gluten and damages the small intestine) that can lead to autoimmune disorders, especially grave disease. It can also cause inflammation. So, if you have a gluten allergy or celiac disease you need to follow a gluten-free diet. Foods that contain gluten are – wheat, barley, triticale, oats, rye, brewer’s yeast, malt, etc.

Hyperthyroidism shares a connection with your diet. Avoiding some foods with hyperthyroidism can prevent worsening your symptoms and eating some foods can improve your symptoms. So, medications and foods that help you with hyperthyroidism can improve your overall health and life quality.  

If you want to learn more about diet and nutrition, call us at  1-347-384-5690 to schedule a consultation. And if you’re in need of dietary advice, walk-in for an appointment at 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11212 

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