As a personal trainer I’ve had several clients with hypothyroidism, and also Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (the auto-immune version of hypothyroidism). In both cases, the thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormone, which can lead to low energy, poor concentration, weight-gain, gut problems, and other symptoms.
Foods which boost thyroid hormone production
Disclaimer: Always consult your doctor if you have or suspect you have hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s disease, and always get your doctor’s approval before making changes to your diet. This blog post is not a substitute for medical advice.
The following foods can help thyroid function:
Wild salmon (rich in omega 3 fatty acids)
Fish broth (you can make your own fish broth from fish bones)
Seaweed (rich in iodine, an essential mineral; I use Mara Seaweed, an excellent seaweed company based in Scotland which has an online shop)
Grass-fed beef (rich source of protein, B vitamins, zinc and iron)
Fish roe (there are cheaper alternatives to caviar, M&S and Waitrose have good options)
Avocados (high in potassium, folate, soluble fibre and monounsaturated fats)
Blueberries and blackberries (these dark fruits are rich in antioxidants, particularly vitamin C)
Reishi mushrooms (boosts immune system and has anti-cancer properties)
Exposure to sunshine
Your vitamin D production is enhanced by your skin’s exposure to sunshine, just make sure you use a sunscreen and don’t stay out in the sun for too long. Vitamin D helps boost your thyroid function. In the winter you can get vitamin D supplements in pill form and also as an oral spray.
Around half of people with hypothyroidism also have gut problems such as leaky gut syndrome (gut hyperpermeability). Probiotics are foods that contain “friendly bacteria” for gut health, such as kefir, live plain natural yoghurt, and sauerkraut. Include these in your diet to improve your gut microbiome.
(Dominic Londesborough is a personal trainer in London and an online nutrition coach)