The Best Diet For Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
The Best Diet For Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
If you’ve been diagnosed by your doctor with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (also known as Hashi’s or plainly Hashimoto’s), you may be questioning what an ideal healing diet would include. We help clients at our virtual clinic with an ideal Hashi’s diet that is catered to the individual while addressing the root cause(s). To discuss your bio-individual needs with one of our practitioners, please fill out this form.
It’s important to first understand what Hashimoto’s is, the role of your immune system and inflammation associated with it before we tackle your healing diet.
What is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?
Hashimoto’s is both a thyroid disease and autoimmune disease. It can cause weight gain (10-20 pounds on average), chronic fatigue, pain in the joints and muscles, depression – and other symptoms that are discussed in this article. If Hashimoto’s is not properly treated, it can result in the thyroid not being able to produce enough thyroid hormone which affects many body systems as well as physical damage to the thyroid.
Once the thyroid tissue is being attacked, the immune system now triggers chronic inflammation. By this point the thyroid cannot utilize thyroid hormone and its abilities are impaired. This is when symptoms become more prominent in day to day life. In cases where the inflammation is particularly bad, a goiter will become noticeable and/or felt by the person.
Components of a Hashimoto’s Diet
There are 3 components of a Hashimoto’s diet that are very important to include. These components are:
- Anti-Inflammatory Focus. With this condition, you are in a chronic inflammatory state. Thyroiditis literally means inflammation (-itis) of the thyroid gland. Equally important is decreasing inflammation via inflammatory foods and respectively supporting your body with anti-inflammatory foods. By focusing on decreasing inflammation, you begin to suppress the activity of Hashimoto’s because you are tending to your immune response. It is important to work with a practitioner here because inflammation is also caused from food sensitivities and internal and external stressors. Improving adrenal function and better regulating cortisol levels in the blood is very important for improving thyroid function.
- Gut Health. Research shows that at least 70% of your immune system is in your gut. By strengthening your gut most optimally and removing offenders that can contribute to dysbiosis, you can help control your Hashimoto’s.
- Thyroid Support and General Digestion. Ensuring you are consuming optimal dietary intake of foods that support the thyroid, such as selenium, iodine, zinc, B-Vitamins, magnesium, tyrosine and Vitamin D can help improve and properly regulate thyroid hormone and synthesis. It is also important to focus on general digestion to improve elimination, nutrient absorption and potentially heal leaky gut and gut dysbiosis. The thyroid needs to properly utilize the above nutrients and cannot be done with faulty digestion.
We work very closely with our clients to ensure they adhere to these principles. When doing so, you can begin to reverse Hashimoto’s, or the severity of it. You can request your doctor to test for anti-thyroid antibodies in your blood panel to monitor antibody levels. The lower the anti-thyroid antibodies in the blood, the lower the severity of Hashimoto’s and the better you should begin to feel alternately.
A Hashimoto’s diet is primarily paleo-focused and gluten free. It is important to focus on gut health because at least 70% of your immune system is in your gut.
The Best Diet for Hashimoto’s: Welcome The AIP Protocol
The AIP, or Autoimmune Paleo diet consists of a naturally nutrient-dense diet that is void of processed food and refined sugar. These foods also reduce inflammation naturally, help re-regulate an optimal hormonal profile, and improve suspected nutrient deficiencies.
VEGETABLES– Raw and cooked vegetables are loaded with healthy nutrients that will also help heal the digestive tract (and improve overall functioning). Note the vegetables that contain goitrogens, however, because those can impact thyroid function. Goitrogenic vegetables are best cooked. Nightshade vegetables are best avoided or eaten moderately.
FRUITS– Both fresh or frozen fruits are acceptable. Fruits are rich in dietary fiber which is critical for elimination and gut health. Fruits are also rich in antioxidants to support the immune system and heal cells from free-radical damage. Strawberries, peaches and pears are considered goitrogenic, so it’s important to minimize their consumption.
LEAN MEATS + SEAFOOD– These are great sources of complete protein. Ensure meats are grass-fed; poultry is free range and fish and seafood is wild-caught.
HEALTHY FATS– EFA’s, or essential-fatty acids, are very important and must be obtained through diet. Omega-3’s especially are converted into EPA and DHA which have anti-inflammatory healing properties. Medium chain triglycerides such as those found in coconut oil, as well as monounsaturated fats are good as well.
COCONUT PRODUCTS– Coconut products like coconut flour, coconut, coconut milk and coconut oil contain nutrients that are good for the immune system. Coconut contains compounds and nutrients that are anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-bacterial and are also a good healthy fat option that is easily digestible.
FERMENTED FOOD– One of the important components of the Hashimoto’s diet is healing the digestive tract and improving the gut. Fermented foods help with that process. Examples of fermented foods include kimchi, kefir, kombucha. Note: Be mindful how your body responds to fermented food. You may have to start small to avoid bloating, gas or flatulence.