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How What You Eat Affects Your Thyroid

May 10, 2023
How What You Eat Affects Your Thyroid
If you want to stay healthy, you must care for your thyroid gland. This small, butterfly-shaped organ sits at the top front of your throat and controls systems throughout your body. How do you feed your thyroid well? Find out here.

For a small gland, the thyroid has an outsized role. The butterfly-shaped thyroid produces hormones that influence just about every organ in your body. The thyroid also either aids or impedes important bodily functions, such as:

  • Metabolism
  • Body temperature
  • Mood
  • Heart rate
  • Blood pressure
  • Energy levels

When your thyroid gland produces either too much or too little of a hormone called thyroid, you may develop a serious health condition or disease. Thyroid-related diseases include:

About 20 million Americans have a thyroid disorder, but only about 40% of them are aware that their thyroid problems influence everything from the way they feel to how much they weigh. 

At Natural Health Specialists, our holistic medicine specialist, Christopher J. Fischer, ND, helps you optimize thyroid function through diet and natural treatments. The food choices you make influence your thyroid health. Here’s how to optimize your diet for your thyroid.

Get enough iodine and selenium

Your thyroid needs the minerals iodine and selenium to function optimally. If you suffer from hypothyroidism (i.e., low thyroid function) or if you want to maintain thyroid health, get plenty of iodine- and selenium-rich foods, including:

  • Roasted seaweed
  • Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, and hazelnuts
  • Fish rich in omega-3, such as salmon, sea bass, or haddock
  • Dairy from cows, goats, or sheep
  • Whole eggs

If, instead, you suffer from hyperthyroidism, you may need to eliminate or reduce iodine in your diet.

Question soy, gluten, and caffeine

Hyperthyroidism is negatively affected by soy in all its forms and also the protein gluten, which is found most commonly in wheat but is also present in other grains. If your thyroid is overactive, reduce or eliminate:

  • Tofu
  • Soy sauce
  • Soy milk
  • Edamame beans
  • Soy oil
  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Oats
  • Rye
  • Caffeinated coffee or tea

Eliminating gluten may also reduce inflammation in your gut. Resolving inflammation may then enhance absorption of nutrients, supplements, and any thyroid medications you take.

Eat a variety of fresh foods

Focus on fresh foods, such as vegetables and fruits; aim for at least five portions a day. When considering starches, choose high-fiber starch.Long grain rice is also a good starch choice.

Finding the right diet isn’t about searching the internet for the latest fad or influencer recommendation. It takes in-depth testing to determine if you have underlying conditions or hormonal imbalances that need to be corrected.

If you’ve been diagnosed with a thyroid problem, or suspect it’s at the root of your issues, contact Dr. Fischer today for a nutritional consultation, digestive health evaluation, as well as recommended tests, including thyroid tests

We’re based in East Northport, New York, but Dr. Fischer sees patients virtually. Subscribe to our New Client Spring Special for monthly telehealth sessions.