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I am one of those women who have been struggling with hypothyroidism for years and taking medication for it. Nowadays more and more people are diagnosed with a similar problem, and fortunately the quicker the diagnosis the better the treatment options. It is quite a troublesome disease, which often turns into a chronic condition, the treatment also sometimes lasts for years, and in some cases, you even have to take medication for the rest of your life. However, we should remember that our health is in our own hands. 

So what foods to avoid hyperthyroidism? The most important thing is to limit foods containing sulphocyanins and goitrogens. These foods include cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, turnips, peanuts, etc. These substances inhibit the absorption of iodine and contribute to the formation of goiter, i.e. overgrowth of the thyroid gland. Apart from pharmacological treatment, a healthy diet is extremely important, i.e. exclusion of forbidden products and eating more of the right ones. 

foods to avoid hyperthyroidism

What are thyroid problems?

Recall that both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are caused by the thyroid gland producing an inappropriate amount of hormone than our body needs. There are several types of conditions, most of which need to be treated both with medication alone and with diet. We know that for practically every condition or disease, the right diet can have a positive effect and improve our health.

What foods should be avoided in hypothyroidism, and which should be kept in mind? The topic is quite important for every person who struggles with this subject. Taking medication alone is, unfortunately, no solution, you need to take care of yourself from the inside out as well, and a good quality diet is the best way to do this.

So what to avoid hypothyroidism?

Experts recommend that you avoid foods that contain sulphocyanins and goitrogens. These substances inhibit the absorption of iodine and contribute to goiter, i.e. overgrowth of the thyroid gland. 

You should therefore avoid foods such as:

  • Brassica vegetables (mainly cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, swedes, turnips)
  • Legumes (soya beans)
  • Mustard
  • Peanuts

Of course, not all foods are easy to eliminate from your diet, but try to eat more foods that will provide your body with the necessary ingredients. 

A common condition in hypothyroidism is the so-called Hashimoto’s disease, which consists in the fact that the body attacks healthy organs, including the thyroid gland, because it considers it to be a threat. Sometimes drug treatment is ineffective, sometimes various nodules appear that need to be removed, and sometimes the whole thyroid gland as a result. 

In Hashimoto’s, it is also important to provide additional ingredients such as omega-3 fatty acids, as well as vitamin D and B12 supplementation. The diet should consist of complete protein and it is also important to have regular tests for thyroid hormone levels. 

foods to avoid hyperthyroidism

What to eat if you have thyroid disease

So we already know what to avoid with hypothyroidism, and now I would like to describe some important points about what to eat. I have been struggling with Hashimoto’s for many years, and I know that following a diet is not that easy. However, we must keep in mind that it is for our good and health. 

Here are some important recommendations for hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s:

  • Eat on average 4-5 smaller meals, as their regularity will improve your metabolic rate
  • Choose a lean protein (preferably chicken, turkey, or rabbit)
  • Eat fish several times year

Here are some important recommendations for hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s:

  • Eat an average of 4-5 smaller meals, as their regularity will improve your metabolic rate
  • Choose a lean protein (preferably chicken, turkey, or rabbit)
  • Eat fish several times a week
  • Avoid saturated fatty acids, e.g. in fatty meats, confectionery, and sweets
  • Eat whole-grain cereals, as they contain dietary fiber
  • Limit foods such as sweets, sugary drinks, and fast food in your diet
  • Avoid frying and baking with fat, preferably bake in aluminum foil or on the grill, or steam
  • Drink at least 2 liters of fluids, preferably water or soft teas

Important nutrients

The treatment of hypothyroidism is mainly based on taking the right medication; unfortunately, diet alone cannot replace medication, but it will help improve the functioning of the body. 

Here are some important minerals and vitamins to include in your diet:

  • Thyroid hormones T3 and T4 contain iodine in their molecule,
  • thyroperoxidase (TPO), a key enzyme in the synthesis of thyroid hormones, contains iron,
  • The deiodination (i.e. removal of one iodine molecule) of T4 to T3 is performed by enzymes which are selenoproteins, i.e. they contain selenium in their molecule
  • Zinc is a component of the T3 receptor proteins, and its deficiency disturbs the binding of this hormone

It is important to avoid deficiencies of iodine, iron, selenium, and zinc because they interfere with the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. The diet of a person suffering from hypothyroidism should therefore be composed in such a way as to provide food products that are sources of these minerals.

Important minerals: 

What nutrients we should avoid in hypothyroidism is just as important as providing the following minerals. So keep an eye on ingredients in your diet such as:

  • Iodine – is essential for the synthesis of thyroid hormones to occur. Salt has been iodized since 1997 to provide the right amount of iodine for the body. Foods rich in iodine include sea fish such as cod, pollock, tuna, and mackerel, and seafood such as mussels and oysters. 
  • Iron – the best sources of iron are meat, meat offal, fish, eggs, whole grain products and cereals, vegetables such as broad beans, beetroot, green peas, parsley, sorrel, spinach, and fruits such as avocado, raspberries, strawberries, black, white and red currants. 
  • Zinc-rich sources include meat, eggs, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, beans, chickpeas, wheat germ and bran, garlic, onions, mushrooms, and oysters. 
  • Vitamin D3 – foods that provide this vitamin include cod liver oil, fatty marine fish (herring, salmon, sardines). However, 90% of vitamin D is synthesized in the skin when exposed to sunlight. Optimal conditions for the production of vitamin D3 are in the months from April to September, between 10.00 and 15.00 hrs.
hyperthyroidism

Hypothyroidism and constipation

People who suffer from hypothyroidism, even though they exclude certain foods from their diet, may have problems with constipation. This is caused by a significant slowdown in intestinal peristalsis, which is why it is so important to include protein-rich foods in their diet.

It is recommended to drink an adequate amount of fluids, at least 2 liters, and even more in summer. In addition, regular physical activity is important, which in addition to stimulating the intestines also increases the rate of metabolism. 

Conclusion: Foods to avoid hyperthyroidism

So we already know what foods to avoid in hypothyroidism, and these are mainly foods that contain sulphocyanins and goitrogens. These inhibit the absorption of iodine and disrupt thyroid function.

A suitable diet must also include products that have a positive effect on the thyroid gland, such as iodine-containing products, such as fish and seafood. Vitamin D and B12 supplementation are important.

Thyroid health problems in men are also described, you can read about them here… Although thyroid diseases can take years to heal, with the right supplements and diet, they are not a nuisance and do not impair the quality of everyday life.