If you’re living with Hashimoto’s — an autoimmune disease that involves the body essentially attacking the thyroid — then you know how important it is to make choices that help you feel good every day. Trying to deal with symptoms such as weight gain, chronic fatigue, muscle weakness, joint pain, and more, can feel overwhelming and, on some days, defeating. So, it’s crucial to be aware of your daily behaviors, including what you’re choosing to eat.
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The 5 foods listed below should raise a red flag to anyone with Hashimoto’s. Here’s why you should avoid or limit your consumption of them.
1. Cruciferous Vegetables
If you have Hashimoto’s, think twice about eating these raw. This group of vegetables, including cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, contain glucosinolates (substances known as goitrogens that disrupt the production of thyroid hormones). More specifically, these glucosinolates are blocking iodine, which is essential in making those hormones. Small amounts of raw goitrogenic veggies have not been found to aggravate the autoimmune thyroid, but it’s safer to cook these cruciferous plants.
2. Canola Oil
Speaking of goitrogens, canola oil is another that should be avoided. Although it’s considered a good alternative oil for cooking at high heat, it’s also highly processed and refined. Try avocado oil or coconut oil and beware of processed foods that may contain canola oil, like salad dressings, mayonnaise, margarine and others. Read the ingredients!
Yet another goitrogen that can be detrimental to Hashimoto’s patients. Unlike with cruciferous vegetables where cooking them eliminates the concern, soy contains the goitrogens even after cooking. For some, consuming soy can cause a thyroid crash, leaving you feeling drained and exhausted the day after eating it.
4. Excessive Amounts of Omega 6 Foods
Our bodies require both omega-3 (reduce inflammation) and omega-6 (promote inflammation) fats, but it’s important to strike a balance and most of us are consuming way too many omega-6 fats. This can be problematic for most people, but even worse for those with Hashimoto’s, who already have some level of inflammation. Vegetable oils, for example, have a high content of omega-6 fats. Opt for olive and sunflower oils, or flaxseed oil, known for its omega-3 content. For those who enjoy meat, organic, grass-fed beef has fewer omega 6 fats than corn-fed beef.
Gluten increases intestinal permeability, which can lead to what is called “leaky gut.” If you have Hashimoto’s, you more than likely have some degree of gluten intolerance. Removing gluten from your diet helps reduce inflammation and increases the absorption of many nutrients.
To Help Heal, Eat More Probiotics
They are a great natural way to increase or rebalance gut flora (the good bacteria). When choosing foods such as yogurt with probiotics be sure to consume a natural kind, one without too much or any sugar (many yogurt brands include 4 ½ teaspoons of sugar per 6-ounce container!). Eating fermented foods such as sauerkraut and other veggies can also also offer gut-balancing benefits.
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Note: PLEASE consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or medications. The material on this site is provided for educational purposes only, and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.