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Food as medicine - thyroid disorders

Food as medicine - thyroid disorders

The food we eat has a significant impact on our health and wellbeing. When we are diagnosed with a health condition, whether we choose to manage the condition with medication, natural therapies, or a combination of both, food can be a powerful tool for healing.  

This is particularly true for thyroid disorders. While there is no one-size-fits-all diet for thyroid disorders, there is a lot you can do to improve your thyroid health, and your health and wellbeing generally with food.

Eliminate processed foods

Eat a wide variety of fresh wholefoods, predominately plant based, and avoids foods that have been processed and contain added sugar, colours, flavourings, preservatives and artificial sweeteners.  Each day aim for:

  • 5 serves of fresh fruit and vegetables,
  • 3 serves of good quality protein, animal and plant based, and
  • 3 serves of good fats such as avocado, extra virgin olive oil, nuts and seeds

Adequate thyroid nutrients

Our thyroid needs an optimal level of specific nutrients to function. If we become deficient in these nutrients our thyroid function is impacted. Ideally we would get these nutrients from food, but sometimes, supplementation might be needed initially.

  • Iodine - wild caught salmon, seafood, seaweed, and eggs
  • Selenium - grass-fed beef, chicken, seafood, eggs, brazil nuts and sesame seeds
  • Zinc - grass-fed red meat, pumpkin seeds, oysters
  • Tyrosine - dairy products, grass-fed red meat, fish, eggs, nuts and oats
  • Vitamin D - sunshine and good fats like fish oils 

Investigate any food intolerances

Some foods can be a trigger for inflammation in the gut which impacts nutrient absorption and can lead to dysbiosis of the digestive system, aka "gut". These intolerances range from low grade to severe. Often they are so chronic you don't even know these foods are impacting your health. Gluten is a common reactive food and I often recommend my clients with thyroid disorders eliminate gluten for 6 weeks to see how this impacts their health.

If eliminating foods sounds too challenging, testing for compatible foods is a good alternative. Biocompatibility testing evaluates your compatibility with 500 foods and household products and provides you with a list of the items that are not compatible with your body.

Gut healing foods

Poor gut health is almost always a factor with thyroid conditions. Improving your gut health will increase your ability to absorb essential nutrients for your thyroid; it will also relieve any digestive complaints, reduce inflammation and improve your energy levels.  Poor thyriod function plus thyriod medication impacts your gut's motility which can cause constipation.  It is a viscous cycle which can be resolved by inproving hydation, increasing fibre and ensuring you have the right bacteria in your gut.  

If you need help managing your diet and your thyroid health make an appointment at Elemental Health today with a naturopath to start your journey to health.

Posted on 16 August 2021
Author:Jean Jarrett
Tags:NutritionGut healthThyroid healthFood as medicine

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