What to Eat When You Have Hashimoto’s

You are what you eat! We’ve all heard this since childhood, right? But if you are of the 14 million people in the United States living with Hashimoto’s right now, this little nugget of wisdom is especially important to pay attention to. Why?

Because autoimmune diseases, like Hashimoto’s, are often driven by inflammation and directly tied to diet and lifestyle. Which is great news because your choices around what you eat and how you live are solely in your hands.

So here are some simple guidelines on what nutrition best supports the management of Hashimoto’s:

  1. Cut out inflammatory foods. Toreduce the inflammation response in the body that is causing the immune system to attack the thyroid, reduce inflammatory foods. Two culprits in our modern diet include gluten and dairy (especially pasteurized/homogenized dairy products). Soy, sugar and vegetable oils (like sunflower, safflower, canola and corn) can also trigger an inflammatory response, as can regular unsprouted grains and many food additives.
  2. Eat nutrient-dense foods. If you’re cutting out inflammatory foods, replace them with nutrient-dense choices, as in the ones loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber—aka fruits and veggies. These are the foods that are easiest for your body to digest, are the least allergenic and pack the biggest antioxidant punch.
  3. Pile on the leafy greens. Think kale, spinach, arugula, bok choy, collards and watercress. These powerhouses offer an abundance of B vitamins, which are needed to support thyroid health and boost the immune system.
  4. Add fish and other healthy unsaturated fats. Wild-caught fish contains omega-3 fatty acid, which is a type of polyunsaturated fat essential for hormone balance and thyroid function. And monounsaturated fats, like those in avocados and nuts, ease inflammation.
  5. Choose complex carbs. Found in whole plant foods, complex carbs are digested and absorbed slowly by the body. Meanwhile, simple carbs, found in sugary and processed foods, cause spikes in blood sugar that detrimentally affect metabolism and overall thyroid health.

When it comes to what to put in your body to promote healing, remember inflammation = inflammation. So reduce inflammatory foods and add in those nutrient-dense ones instead. Happy eating!