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Can Diet Fix a Low Thyroid?

Can Diet Fix a Low Thyroid?
Organic Kale inhibits thyroid hormone levels Photo Credit: thaumatrope/iStock/Getty Images

Low thyroid is characterized by the inability of the thyroid gland to produce enough hormones for body cell metabolism functions. Certain foods can further inhibit hormone production in this disease, also called hypothyroidism. No magic diet will cure a low thyroid problem, however.

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Foods That Suppress the Thyroid

Brussels sprouts for sale at farmer's market
Brussels sprouts for sale at farmer's market Photo Credit: Ingram Publishing/Ingram Publishing/Getty Images

Certain foods can suppress thyroid hormone production, which can be especially troublesome in hypothyroidism. These include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kale. Often called goitrogens, these foods stop the thyroid gland from using iodine to produce an adequate amount of hormones. Eating too much of these foods can lead to goiter, or an enlarged thyroid gland. Simply avoiding these foods, however, won’t fix an underactive thyroid.

Problems With Soy

Soybeans in bowl
Soybeans in bowl Photo Credit: Cindy Chen/iStock/Getty Images

In an effort to lose weight, some thyroid patients opt for vegetarian or vegan diets. If you choose this type of diet, be conscious of your soy consumption. Soy and related food products can act the same way as other goitrogens. Also, soy may interfere with thyroid hormone replacement drugs you may take.

How Dieting Does Help

Couple jog on the Brooklyn Bridge, New York City
Couple jog on the Brooklyn Bridge, New York City Photo Credit: Maridav/iStock/Getty Images

No diet can fix hypothyroidism. But certain dietary choices may maximize your thyroid function and even help you lose related weight gain. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends eating a balanced diet filled with antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables as well as B-vitamins found in whole grains. Regular exercise can complement a healthy diet and even help promote the synthesis of thyroid hormones.

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