• Remana Jamal

Nutrition for Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid gland is low or underactive and doesn’t make enough thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland is located in the front neck and has the shape of a butterfly. It produces important hormones for growth, repair, and metabolism, so people with hypothyroidism may experience low energy, weight gain, hair loss, and feeling down.

Food alone can’t treat hypothyroidism, medicine is required and some dietary changes might also help. Now we’ll talk about the causes, the symptoms, and the appropriate nutrition for hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism causes:

· Thyroid inflammation

· Low selenium and iodine intake

· Genetics

· Medications (psychiatric disorders)

· Low physical activity

· Too much stress

Hypothyroidism symptoms:

· Low energy and fatigue

· Enlarged thyroid gland (goiter)

· Irregular period

· Anxiety & depression

· Weight gain

· Constipation

· Dry skin

· Muscle aches

Nutrition for hypothyroidism:

· Iodine

Iodine is needed for the production of thyroid hormones and a deficiency of this nutrient can cause hypothyroidism. Foods high in iodine are iodized table salt, seaweed, saltwater fish, eggs, milk, and cheese. Too much iodine can harm your thyroid, so eating these foods in moderation is the answer.

· Selenium

Selenium is an important nutrient for the activation of thyroid hormones, especially (T4) and it has antioxidants, which protect the thyroid from free radicals. One study showed that when selenium deficiency was treated, thyroid antibodies were reduced by 40%. Foods high in selenium are Brazil nuts, oatmeal, tuna, chicken, beef, turkey, spinach, sardines, and shrimp.

· Zinc

Just like selenium, zinc activates thyroid hormones (T3 and T4). Foods high in zinc are, oyster, fortified cereal, legumes, chicken, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, beef, and crab.

Foods to avoid:

Some foods contain goitrogens (compounds that can affect thyroid hormones production); these foods are soy products, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, spinach, pine nuts, peanuts, calcium, and iron supplements.

It’s so important for hypothyroidism patients to follow a well-structured diet plan to help them lose weight, along with adding the thyroid friendly foods mentioned above for better thyroid function. And avoid the foods that can make the condition worse by eating them in small amounts and in moderation, and always ask your doctor first before you make any dietary changes.


Healthline. (2019). Best Diet for Hypothyroidism: Foods to Eat, Foods to Avoid.

Johnson, S. and Marengo, K. (2019). Best diet for hypothyroidism: Good foods, what to avoid, and meal plan. Medical News Today.

Dr. Axe. (2019). 5 Natural Remedies for Thyroid Health - Dr. Axe.

Dr. Axe. (2019). Hypothyroidism Symptoms, Causes and Treatments - Dr. Axe.

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