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Autoimmune thyroid diseases are the most prevalent organ-specific autoimmune diseases that affect 2 - 5% of the population every year worldwide. Autoimmune thyroid diseases include Graves’ disease and Hashimoto Thyroiditis. In Hashimoto's– just like in any other autoimmune disease– the immune system gets confused and mistakenly attacks the healthy tissues of the thyroid gland resulting in a condition called hypothyroidism.

Environmental and nutritional factors are the major factors contribugting to the occurrence of autoimmune thyroid diseases. The thyroid hormones released from the thyroid gland help regulates the body's metabolism, cell growth, and healing. When the thyroid gland doesn't produce enough thyroid hormones the metabolism slows down, and the weight increases, and vice versa. This leads to a condition called hypothyroidism. The malfunctioning or underactive thyroid gland is responsible for increasing the body weight and brings on the additional struggle. People suffering from hypothyroidism need to maintain weight to avoid non-communicable diseases associated with weight gain. Apart from weight gain, hypothyroidism can lead to a disrupted menstrual cycle, constipation, depression, dry skin, hair loss, muscle fatigue, slow heart rate, high blood cholesterol, and a puffy face. Apart from medication and exercise, modifying your diet can help boost your thyroid function.


How Can A Healthy Diet Help Control Hypothyroidism?

A good quality diet can regulate hormonal function and help improve your thyroid condition. Eating the right type of foods, which offer the right levels of micro and macronutrients and a good amount of fiber, can help minimize your symptoms. Here are the top 5 AIP healthy diet tips for hypothyroidism


1. Up Your Protein Intake and Limit Your Carbs : Eating proteins from healthy sources such as bone broth, lean meats, wild-caught fish, or salmon at each meal can help normalize your thyroid function. A protein-rich diet also stabilizes blood sugar and keeps you satiated. Many studies have proved that high protein diets help in weight loss and a healthy weight maintenance regime. Studies have shown that a low-fat, high protein diet is a more helpful weight-loss treatment as compared to a low-fat, high carbohydrate diet.


2. Go Gluten-Free : The molecular composition of the thyroid gland closely resembles that of gluten (a protein found in cereals such as wheat, rye, barley), making this a case of mistaken identity by the immune system for those who suffer from Hashimoto's. Eating gluten-containing foods can trigger an autoimmune attack on the thyroid, making the situation worse. It is always good to avoid gluten-rich foods in your diet.


3. Increase Iodine Intake : Iodine plays an important role in maintaining the health of your thyroid gland. Most seafood such as salmon, shrimp, oysters, sardines, haddock, clams, and sea vegetables like kelp, nori, kombu, wakame, hijiki, dulse, arame are excellent sources of Iodine. Mushrooms, summer squash, spinach, garlic, Swiss chard, sesame seeds, asparagus, and cranberries are also good food sources of iodine. Adding a limited amount of sea salt to your daily AIP diet can also provide you with iodine your body can use.


4. Avoid Eating Raw Goitrogens : Goitrogens are the chemical compounds that disrupt the regular functioning of the thyroid glands. Certain foods contain goitrogens and such foods are called goitrogenic foods. These include broccoli, cabbage, kale, spinach, brussels sprouts, peanuts, soybean, cauliflower, kohlrabi, turnips, radishes, rutabaga, millet, and watercress. All of these foods are hard on your thyroid function, but that does not mean that you have to permanently eliminate all these foods. Since the benefit of cruciferous vegetables outweighs any negatives, cooking these foods on higher heat greatly lowers or deactivates goitrogens, you will have to fully cook these veggies and you can continue to enjoy eating them. However, still make sure you avoid soybean, peanuts, and millets.


5. Increase your Fiber Intake : Most of the foods we eat, including carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, are broken down and absorbed by our bodies. The exception is dietary fiber, which passes through your body virtually untouched and helps in healthy bowel movements. For people with hypothyroidism, a diet that's high in fiber can be particularly beneficial in helping with weight loss and easing chronic constipation, a common effect of hypothyroidism.


Bonus Tip : Since Hypothyroidism is an autoimmune condition, you can also consider including autoimmune disease supplements in your AIP diet to supply your body with extra nutrients. At Autoimmune Health & Nutrition, you get the best AIP protein powder that has a high amount of protein sourced from grass-fed bone adhering beef which is an excellent source of micro and macronutrients that could benefit your health and help in your healing journey.