Randy Brittell, Contributor
Thyroid Nation



A note from the author on how to eat to nourish your thyroid.



Diagnosing thyroid problems is not as simple as diagnosing diabetes with a

blood test. With thyroid issues, you need to go by symptoms that the patient is

suffering from, and most of the time it is your thyroid causing the symptoms.


A 2006 article in The Diet Channel, writes that 10% of men and 20% of women

suffer from some type of thyroid problem. I personally feel those numbers are

too low. As for men, they don’t complain much about their physical problems,

so they aren’t seeking medical advice for their possible thyroid problems. Most

doctors will blame what a woman suffers with, on other health conditions of

her body.

A book published by Thunder Bay Press, entitled, Alternative Healthcare, has this

to say about the thyroid and nutrition, saying,

“Nutritional deficiencies and a toxic overload are thought to be the main factors

involved in the onset of hypothyroidism.”

Some examples of these deficiencies are magnesium, zinc, vitamin A, selenium

and iron.


The World Health Organization states that vitamin-A is one of the main causes of

malnutrition, which is not eating the foods or enough of them that contain this

vitamin. Magnesium, an important mineral, is also lacking in the American diet.

Zinc is needed to help vitamin-C not only ward off colds, but also help keep your

collagen firm.


How the Thyroid Functions

Most of us with thyroid problems have a brief if not an extensive understanding of

how the butterfly-shaped gland works. But for the readers who may not have this

understanding, they would benefit to know how the thyroid works and also

understand how food can nourish the thyroid in a beneficial way or even have a

negative effect on it. The thyroid makes hormones that control the metabolism in

your body. These hormones are called T3 and T4, and both regulate the rate your

body uses energy and oxygen, which are the two components of a healthy

functioning metabolism. To produce these hormones, the body uses about 80%

of the iodine you get from the foods you consume. Examples of the food sources

with iodine are cranberries, potatoes, yogurt, navy beans, and strawberries, just

to name a few. If your diet is deficient in iodine, this could cause the gland to

become underactive, known as hypothyroidism.


Maybe you are eating the prior foods just stated and even other sources containing

iodine, but do you notice yourself suffering with weight gain, slower heart rate,

and an increased sensitivity to cold, including fatigue, weakness of the immune

system, and possibly even mental states such as anxiety and depression? If so,

it is possible you are eating the foods that are suppressing the function of the

thyroid or causing it to be underactive. This is why it is important to know the

functioning condition of your thyroid. (Full Thyroid Panel)

What to Avoid

Let’s say at this point you don’t know if you have a dysfunctional thyroid. There are

two types, one already stated, hypothyroidism (underactive), and the other is

hyperthyroidism (overactive). The later condition would have symptoms opposite of

hypothyroidism. When the thyroid gland is overactive (hyperthyroidism) the body’s

processes speed up and you may experience nervousness, anxiety, rapid heartbeat,

excessive sweating, weight loss, and sleep problems.


Eating-To-Nourish-Your-Body-And-Your-Thyroid-HealthIf your thyroid is underactive and you eat raw

cruciferous vegetables like cabbage bok choy,

brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, kale,

collard, mustard, spinach and turnip greens,

you can further suppress thyroid hormone

function. These vegetables are referred to as

goitrogenic” foods, which mean they impair

the function of the thyroid or suppress it. It has also been reported

that soybeans, peaches and pears can also further suppress an

underactive thyroid. Cooking these fruits and vegetables may help lessen their

impact on thyroid function, as cooking them can break down the chemical

compounds that make it harder for the thyroid to make the hormones that the

body needs. But, the opposite is true if you have an overactive thyroid. Two

servings a week of cruciferous vegetables can help to reduce the extra

hormones the thyroid is producing.


Soy contains large amounts of goitrogens, and those who suffer from a

hypothyroid condition should avoid any packaged food product that contains

soy in any form. If you are taking thyroid replacement medication, soy can

interfere with the absorption of the thyroid hormone.


Dairy foods are high in calcium, and can also interfere with the absorption

of thyroid hormones. Taking calcium or iron supplements within a few

hours of taking thyroid medication can hinder absorption.

Foods That Nourish Your Thyroid

The following are foods that can nourish your thyroid depending if you have a

hypothyroidism (underactive) or hyperthyroidism (overactive) condition.

For Hypothyroidism


1. All leafy greens

2. Beet tops

3. Carrots

4. Celery

5. Sweet Bell peppers (all colors)

6. Parsley

7. Seaweeds

8. Sprouts

9. Watercress


1. Apples

2. Apricots

3. Cranberry

4. Grapefruit

5. Grapes

6. Pineapple


1. Alfalfa

2. Bayberry

3. Black cohosh

4. Ginko Biloba

5. Goldenseal

6. Kelp

7. Licorice

8. Primrose oil

9. Rosehips

10. Rosemary

It is also recommended to avoid all processed and refined foods, all

stimulants, including coffee and nicotine. Also avoid the chemicals,

antihistamines and chlorine. That would mean avoid drinking your faucet

or tap water. Bottled water is better. I recommend either Fiji or Essentia

bottled water. Also avoid Fluoride, excessive iodine, soft drinks, and

sulfa drugs. Also, replace your table salt with Himalayan salt (contains

all necessary minerals essential to human health). Last but not least,

a deficiency of essential fatty acids, like omega-3, can cause

imbalances in how your thyroid functions.


About the Author

Eating-To-Nourish-Your-Body-And-Your-Thyroid-Health-Thyroid-NationRandall Brittell, is a writer and contributor to Thyroid Nation
and his own blogs. He suffers from a dysfunctional thyroid and
has for years until he was able to find the right doctor. He had
constipation, dry skin, emotional problems, acne, sensitivity to
both cold and hot, and a low basil temperature, just to name a
few thyroid problems. His blood work indicated he was fine.
like so many other sufferers. Born in Arizona, he grew up in
Southern California. Later, he moved to Mexico for 5 years,
where he met his wife and where his first son was born. After one year of
marriage, he moved to Idaho where his second son was born. The two boys
are now 22 and 18 years old. He has a certificate in Human Health – Diet and
Nutrition and Healthy Living, and a Diploma in Health Studies. Follow him at
his website, and at his blog,

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