When the thyroid is struggling, there are certain foods that we need to think about removing, or having more of. There is likely to be inflammation around the thyroid, in the gut and potentially throughout the body. There may be intestinal permeability and a lack of nutrient absorption. I’ve made a list of the key foods to be aware of.
In autoimmune thyroid conditions (which is most thyroid conditions in western countries), it’s best to avoid gluten. Gluten molecules are shaped very like thyroid molecules and when gluten gets into the bloodstream the body tries to destroy it, and it seems, mistakenly can destroy thyroid tissue.
2. Oily fish
Salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines and herring are the healthy oily fish that contain high levels of the very important omega 3 fats. These fats are anti-inflammatory and are used to build brain tissue. They are so important for thyroid health. Having tinned mackerel or sardines is a great, easy way to get your 3 portions a week.
3. Seaweed and iodine.
Having too much iodine can be a huge problem for the thyroid and so I rarely supplement with iodine with my clients (and that includes seaweed and sea moss). It can actually contribute to the destruction of the thyroid. If you’ve had an iodine test and your levels are low, consult a practitioner to find out how to increase it. Supplementation should be very low and slow so as not to cause alarm!
4. Grass fed meat.
This is less inflammatory than grain-fed meat (most of what you get in the supermarket) as these animals have the optimal ratio for omega 3 and omega 6 fats (grain-fed animals have high lovels of inflammatory omega 6 fats).
Eat the rainbow of different coloured vegetables to get the broadest range of nutrients. Vegetables are bursting with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds and good gut fibre for your microbes. Don’t worry about goitrogens in cabbage, broccoli etc., just make sure most of the time you are eating them cooked.
Are you on thyroid hormone but your symptoms are still around? Maybe you’ve had a thyroid test at the GP but it came back in range.
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