What You Should Eat to Combat Hypothyroidism

September 9, 2015
What to Eat to Combat Hypothyroidism

Is your thyroid under-active?

Hashimoto disease, also known as hypothyroidism, is an autoimmune disorder, which means immune cells are attacking healthy tissue.  In this case, your immune cells are specifically attacking your thyroid gland, located in your neck. The thyroid gland is responsible for the production of thyroid hormones, which are the metabolic regulators of the body. There are thyroid hormones receptors located in cells throughout the body. When thyroid hormones are low, the receptors do not receive signal as readily, therefore your metabolic rate slows down.  This is why weight gain is one of the main symptoms of hypothyroidism.

Other symptoms of hypothyroidism include: fatigue, sensitivity to cold, muscle weakness, aches, dry skin, depression, constipation, and more.

Before I fill you in on the forgotten nut you should be including in your diet, there is an important micronutrient that needs to be considered.  For Hashimoto disease, research suggests that an intake of the micronutrient, Selenium, can decrease anti-TPO anti-bodies.  The anti-TPO anti-bodies are the immune cells that are attacking your thyroid gland.

Studies have shown Selenium decreases peroxidase antibodies when taken in 200 mcg or greater with levothyroxine, a specific medication for hypothyroidism.

In 2007, a 1-year study showed a 200 mcg dose of selenium or greater with levothyroxine reduced thyroid peroxidase antibodies. At the six month mark, half of the participants stopped taking Selenium while the other participants continued to take the same Selenium dose as before. The study concluded a greater decrease in Serum anti-bodies with the participants who continued to take Selenium supplementation. It was an additional 8% decrease while the other participants showed a 4.8% increase in antibodies.

Selenium also showed improvements in relation to postpartum thyroid function and decrease the risk of postpartum thyroiditis. Study shows that taking selenium during pregnancy reduces postpartum thyroid issues by around 40%.

So what high Selenium containing food should you include in your diet? The notorious Brazil nut.

What to Eat to Combat HypothyroidismTwo Brazil nuts alone contain 100 mcg of selenium! Leave supplementation alone and prescribe yourself 2-4 Brazil nuts a day to get your daily intake of plant-based selenium. There is a lot of nutrition support that can be done to aid in hypothyroidism. Other plant-based sources of Selenium are sunflower seeds, cremini and shiitake mushrooms, asparagus and mustard seeds. Make sure to get a variety in your diet as there are other micronutrients that show great improvement for Hashimoto disease.

Do you have any questions about hypothyroidism? Please let me know in comments! 

Also by Katherine: Is High-Carb, Low-Fat Diet Right for You?

What a Vegan Nutritionist Really Eats in a Day

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Photo: greenberyl_ via Instagram; CIFOR via Flickr



Originally from a meat-loving state and dairy-heavy culture, Katherine is here to make living a vegan lifestyle simple, practical and sustainable. Katherine's topics include: hormone regulation, women's health, nutrition advice, tips and tricks to help every vegan be their best. As a traveler looking for her next journey, you can also find some great traveling advice.


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