Monday, July 15, 2024

Nutrition in Hashimoto’s Disease



The thyroid gland is the organ most affected by autoimmune processes. Hashimoto’s disease occurs as a result of damage to the thyroid gland.

When the level of thyroid hormones in the blood is affected, it is treated with medication. Studies are showing that Hashimoto patients, whether treated with medication or not, have improvements in their quality of life and the course of the disease as a result of changes in their lifestyles and nutritional habits.

Autoimmune protocol diet:

In the nutritional treatment of Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune protocol diet is used, which aims to reduce inflammation in the body and treat leaky gut. In this diet, grains, legumes, dairy foods, nightshade vegetables, refined sugar, and refined oils are eliminated from the diet. Naturally sourced animal meats, vegetables, nuts (except peanuts) and healthy oils should be included in this diet. Oily fish, spices, and vegetables, which help reduce oxidative stress in the body and thereby reduce inflammation, should be consumed frequently. These foods, which are eliminated for a period determined by the doctor, are gradually added to the diet after a while. Foods to which the person is allergic are detected in this way. While applying this diet, support must be obtained from a specialist doctor and dietitian to obtain maximum benefit and to absorb sufficient nutrients into the body.

Gluten-free diet:

Activation of the immune response for a long time may cause a condition called molecular mimicry. Molecular mimicry is the molecular similarity between harmful substances entering the body and body cells. The immune system, which is at war, mixes the harmful substance with its body tissue and attacks its tissue. As a result, autoimmune diseases occur. It is thought that there is a molecular similarity between gluten and thyroid tissue. Studies have observed the positive effects of a gluten-free diet on Hashimoto’s disease.

In this diet, foods containing gluten (rye, wheat, barley, oats) are eliminated from the diet. During the application, increasing daily consumption of gluten-free products, foods, and flours (corn, potatoes, rice, etc.) with low fiber content causes a decrease in fiber intake and an increase in blood sugar imbalances. Therefore, it would be more appropriate to consume gluten-free foods with high fiber content (such as buckwheat, and quinoa).

Another mistake made is to increase the consumption of beans, lentils, chickpeas, and their flour. The lectin protein contained in these foods can also cause a leaky gut and increase inflammation in the body. Therefore, care should be taken regarding consumption amounts.

Anti-inflammatory Diet:

A nutrient-dense diet can help reduce the severity of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis symptoms and improve your overall health.

Vegetables: beets, broccoli, zucchini, artichokes, asparagus, carrots, peppers, arugula, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, zucchini, etc.

Seeds, nuts: almonds, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, pecans, almond butter, tahini, black cumin, black cumin, etc.

Healthy fats: olive oil, olives, avocados, avocado butter, coconut oil, unsweetened coconut flakes, full-fat yogurt, coconut yogurt, etc.

Spices, herbs, and condiments: sumac, turmeric, basil, rosemary, paprika, saffron, black pepper, tahini, honey, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, etc.

Animal protein: salmon, eggs, cod, turkey, chicken, etc.

Fruits: berries, pears, apples, peaches, citrus fruits, pineapples, bananas, etc.

Gluten-free grains: buckwheat, quinoa, black rice, etc.

Beans and lentils: chickpeas, black beans, lentils, etc.

Dairy and non-dairy substitutes (fortified with calcium and/or vitamin D): Coconut milk, coconut yogurt, almond milk, full-fat unsweetened yogurt, goat cheese, etc.

Foods to avoid

Avoiding refined sugary foods, packaged foods with additives, fast food, frozen foods, gluten grains (wheat, barley, rye, oats) and pasta and pastries using their flours, frozen ready meals, and processed meats will reduce the severity of the symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease and may help improve general health.

Important vitamins and minerals

Selenium; Studies show that getting enough selenium may help reduce and improve thyroid antibodies in people with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Brazil nuts, fish, and red meat are foods high in selenium.

Zinc; It is necessary for thyroid function. Research shows that adequate zinc intake, when used alone or in combination with selenium, may improve thyroid function in people with hypothyroidism. Cocoa and dark chocolate, meat, kefir, yogurt, Pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, spinach, and mushrooms are foods high in zinc.

Vitamin D; People with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis have been shown to have significantly lower levels of this vitamin than the general population. Additionally, studies have linked low vitamin D levels to the severity of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

Iron; People with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis are more likely to develop anemia. Red meat, legumes, and offal have high iron content.

B complex vitamins; People with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis also tend to be low in vitamin B12. Red meat, fish, and eggs have high B12 content.

Magnesium; It is associated with an increased risk of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and high thyroid antibodies. Cocoa and dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, avocados, hazelnuts, whole grain cereal products, some fatty fish (salmon) green vegetables, yogurt, and kefir are foods with high magnesium content.

Dear Hashimoto’s disease patients, you can be sure that these changes in your diet will visibly improve your quality of life. I recommend you get help from a dietitian when making this change.

This month’s bright idea: Not consuming liquids one hour before and one hour after meals and during meals, and chewing your bites at least 20 times will reduce your digestive system complaints and help you lose weight. I would be glad if you shared your experiences with me.

Expert Dietician Esra Toktay

Functional Medicine Dietitian

Instagram: @uzmandiyetisyenesratoktay


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