1. Eggs and Raw Milk (eat)
Is it still taboo to talk about raw milk? I love it and both eggs and raw milk contain iodine.
2. Sea Vegetables (eat)
Kelp and dulse are both high in iodine and other nutrients. Your thyroid would like you to eat these on a regular basis.
3. Butter (eat)
Butter get’s a bad rap, but it’s high in vitamin A and iodine… and the thyroid loves both.
4. Coconut Oil (eat)
Polyunsaturated fats from many of our cooking oils can negatively affect the function of the thyroid gland by blocking thyroid hormone secretion, and affects how tissues react to the hormone. Coconut oil is a medium-chain triglyceride that may benefit the thyroid, but at the very least, it’s a healthy replacement for vegetable cooking oils.
5. Cruciferous Vegetables (limit or avoid)
Foods like kale, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts contain goitrogens. Goitrogens = goitrogenic = goiters. A goiter is an enlargement of the thyroid and that can disrupt normal function. It’s not that these foods should be avoided, since they are all great, but we need to look at them in the context of our thyroid health. If you think you may have thyroid issues, then these foods should be limited or avoided.
6. Coffee (drink, but watch the timing)
Coffee is a confusing topic, but the fact is most people are NOT going to either start or stop drinking coffee, despite “experts” saying it’s good for them or not. There is some research that shows that coffee may actually protect the thyroid (If you read the study abstract, don’t confuse “negative association” with a bad association… in statistics it means inverse… trust me, it’s a good thing). Non-organic coffee is also one of the most heavily chemically sprayed crops, and many of these chemicals have been shown to wreak havoc on the thyroid. Coffee is one of the best organic choices you can make. If you are already taking thyroid medication however, coffee can reduce the absorption of the medication and you should wait at least an hour to drink coffee after taking your medication (talk to your doctor about this).
7. Gluten (avoid)
There is a good amount of research linking gluten to thyroid issues. In fact, if you have known thyroid problems, then it’s a good idea to get tested for gluten sensitivities. And if you’re sensitive to gluten, then you might want to have your thyroid looked at. The immune’s reaction to the gliadin protein seems to also attack the thyroid. Here are a few of the studies… 1, 2, 3.
8. Soy (avoid)
Soy has been linked to thyroid disfunction. Much of the research has been around the phytoestrogen in soy and soy’s goitrogenic effects. One epidemiological study showed that teenagers with autoimmune thyroid disease were much more likely to have been given a soy based formula as infants.
9. Fluoride and Fluoridated Water (avoid)
“Fluoride exposure in humans is associated with elevated TSH concentrations, increased goiter prevalence, and altered T4 and T3 concentrations; similar effects on T4 and T3 are reported in experimental animals, but TSH has not been measured in most studies.” Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards ( 2006 )
kelp photo by shirokazan (flickr creative commons)