Fruits and Vegetables for a Healthy Thyroid
Following a healthy and clean diet can have an incredibly powerful influence on the health of your thyroid gland. And it’s not just about staying away from processed foods and excess sugar, it’s also about adding nourishing fruits, vegetables, as well as superfoods to your daily meals and having their potent plant compounds support healthy thyroid function.
Located at the base of your neck, this butterfly-shaped gland plays an important role in a variety of different processes in your body. Its main function is to produce thyroid hormones, but it, directly and indirectly, influences everything from your metabolism and body temperature to the release and production of other hormones and your mood.
When the thyroid gland produces too much or not enough hormones, it’s considered thyroid disease as there’s a disorder in your body preventing the thyroid from performing its function. Both of these conditions can be managed and regulated if caught on time, and it’s important to recognize the powerful role a healthy diet can have in maintaining and supporting thyroid health.
Fruits That Support Thyroid Health
Plant-based foods are not only rich in a plethora of health-boosting nutrients, but they’re also in most cases minimally processed and more bio-available for your body. There are many fruits out there that are low glycemic, helping reduce inflammation, fight free radicals, and prevent the development of thyroid disease. Some of the most beneficial fruits for the health of your thyroid gland include:
- Blueberries – incredibly rich in antioxidants, blueberries are amazing fruits for improving the health of your thyroid gland. They are also rich in vitamin potassium, vitamin C, and fiber, as well as low in sugar, making them the perfect fruit to support your immune function and reduce overall inflammation in your body.
- Goldenberries – the incredibly high polyphenol content as well as large amounts of beta-carotene per serving make this Peruvian superfood one of the best fruits to promote healthy thyroid function and regulate the release of thyroid hormones.
- Pears – this fiber-packed fruit is a great addition to your thyroid-supporting diet. They are rich in a variety of micronutrients such as vitamins C and K, vitamin B9 (folate), potassium, copper, and niacin. The high fiber content lowers their sugar impact, promoting healthy digestion and nutrient absorption.
- Camu camu – fruit that contains almost the highest amounts of vitamin C in the world comes from the highlands of Peru where it’s cultivated and harvested with only the best and sustainable practices. It’s a real powerhouse for your immune system, fighting free radicals and preventing inflammation from disrupting and impairing your thyroid function.
- Avocado – rich in healthy fats, vitamin E, and a plethora of other minerals and vitamins, avocado is one of the best foods for reducing inflammation and helping decrease LDL cholesterol. It’s therefore beneficial for thyroid health as it’s actively fighting inflammatioin and its harmful effects on the body.
- Cacao fruit – another Peruvian superfood, cacao is a fruit that’s usually turned into a powder before being used for consumption. It’s packed with free-radical-fighting antioxidants, making it one of the highest antioxidant-rich foods in the world. It helps improve your mood, lower your inflammation, protect against cellular oxidative damage, and prevent myriad diseases.
Vegetables That Support Thyroid Health
The vegetables that are best in supporting the health and function of your thyroid gland are also low on the glycemic index and in addition to containing a high level of antioxidants, also contain other powerful thyroid-boosting plant compounds as well as the most important minerals and trace elements: iodine, selenium, zinc, and iron.
It’s important to note though, that some of these vegetables are great for those who have hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), while others are beneficial for those who have hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). In fact, some of these foods might be detrimental when taken with the wrong thyroid condition.
These vegetables include:
- Broccoli – the most popular cruciferous vegetable for optimal thyroid function, broccoli is a great option for those who are suffering from an overactive thyroid. Some research points out that cruciferous vegetables can interfere with the way your body uses iodine, so if you’re iodine-deficient, you might want to tone it down with broccoli and other cruciferous. This doesn’t have to be the case though, so always check with your doctor and ensure you’re not harming your health.
- Other cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.
- Seaweed – one of the most iodine-rich foods, seaweed is an excellent choice for those with an underactive thyroid and iodine deficiency. They pack a punch for such a small and unique vegetable so you don’t even need too much and you’ll be replenishing your storage.
- Yacon root – this fiber-rich Peruvian tuber helps reduce inflammation and promote hormone balance, supporting healthy thyroid function and thyroid hormone metabolism. It’s also low in sugar, making it a great option for those who are looking to lose weight and prevent any future weight gain.
- Spinach – rich in thyroid-supporting iron, as well as anti-inflammatory antioxidants, spinach is great for those with an overactive thyroid. It’s also an essential vegetable in any healthy diet as it’s packed with vitamins and minerals that support a healthy immune system function and overall hormone balance.
- Sweet potatoes – high in fiber and therefore lower on the GI index, sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A that’s known to regulate the metabolism of thyroid hormones and inhibit the release of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).
The health of your thyroid gland can be supported and regulated by keeping healthy lifestyle choices. From abstaining from processed foods and excess sugars to keeping a gluten-free diet and including a variety of nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables, and superfoods into your diet, there’s plenty you can do with just paying attention to what’s on your plate.
Add regular exercise, better sleep routines, and stress management to the equation and you have the perfect recipe for preventing thyroid disease and maintaining optimal thyroid hormone production.
A thyroid-supporting diet is important even in the case of severe thyroid disorders like thyroid cancer when thyroid medications and thyroid hormone replacement medication is necessary for your thyroid gland to even function. So, never neglect the power of food – it’s your greatest medicine.