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June 12, 2023 6 min read

When it comes to maintaining our well-being, especially for people with hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), it's important to pay attention to the balance of the food we eat. This balance affects our overall health and helps out our body's unsung hero, the thyroid gland. You know what they say, too much of a good thing might not be that great. So, eating only proteins or fats is not the way to go. Instead, let's learn to mix it up and bring together proteins, fats, and complex carbs to create a nutritional symphony that nurtures and empowers your thyroid and, by extension, your overall health.

Thyroid health 101

The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in your neck, just below Adam's apple and it plays a crucial role in regulating various bodily functions. Normal thyroid function will produce hormones, primarily thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which are essential for regulating metabolism, growth, and development.

When your thyroid gland is not functioning properly, it can lead to imbalances in hormone production, resulting in various thyroid disorders, such as hypothyroidism. It's a condition where your thyroid hormone production goes down and can cause hypothyroidism symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, dry skin, hair loss, and sensitivity to colds.

The most common cause of hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto's thyroiditis (or Hashimoto's disease). In this condition, the body's immune system mistakenly attacks and damages the thyroid gland, leading to your body being unable to produce enough thyroid hormones.

The importance of getting the right balance

Getting the balance right in the foods we eat is super important, especially when it comes to starch and protein. Eating them separately isn't ideal because the pure glucose from starch and amino acids from protein could make your body release too much insulin. This can throw your blood sugar out of whack (trust us, nobody wants that!).

Again, low blood sugar is a bummer for your thyroid function. When it dips too low, your body goes into panic mode and releases stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. This doesn't do your body any favors and can lead to even more problems down the line.

Here's the deal: stable blood sugar is essential for your metabolism. The amount of glucose in your liver cells has a big impact on how they convert T4 into the active T3 thyroid hormone. So, keeping your blood sugar on an even keel is crucial for keeping your metabolism running smoothly.

Ever notice that when you're super hungry, your hands and nose feel cold? That's because your metabolic rate drops when you're starving. Once you grab a bite, your rising blood sugar helps your liver convert T4 into T3, and just like that, you feel warmer.

When you're fasting, your blood sugar takes a nosedive, dragging your metabolism down with it. The good news is that adding around 300 calories of healthy carbs to your diet can help stabilize your blood sugar and keep your metabolic rate up, all without causing any extra fat storage. How awesome is that?

Ways of combining foods to improve thyroid function

Berries and other sweet ripe fruits are good for people with hypothyroidism

Creating the perfect diet to support and improve thyroid function can feel like an art form, but combining specific foods to eat can make this process much more manageable. Focusing on nutrient-rich, whole foods that pack a punch with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants will do wonders for your thyroid.

Consider building your meals around the dynamic duo of protein and healthy fats, combined with carbohydrates. This means including lean potatoes, shellfish, calf liver, eggs, and cheese for protein, whole milk and loads of fresh, starchy fruits for carbohydrates, and cacao butter and coconut oil for fats. Creating a pro-thyroid diet is all about keeping blood sugar levels in check, and a balanced, nutrient-dense meal plan is step one.

A combination of high-quality proteins, healthy fats, and good carbs in your meals has some pretty sweet benefits:

  • No more low blood sugar blues.

  • Improved digestion and absorption of the good stuff.

  • Satisfaction for both your appetite and taste buds.

  • An anti-stress effect, letting your body know it's well-fed.

Plus, saturated fats help with slow sugar absorption from your intestines, keeping blood sugar stable.

But let's not forget about flavor! Tossing in herbs, spices, onions, and garlic not only makes your meal taste fantastic, but it can also stimulate digestion and reduce stress. And don't be shy with the salt shaker – salting your food to taste can help stabilize blood sugar, decrease adrenaline, and support thyroid function.

Worried about autoimmune issues? No problem! You can still find balance with a gluten-free diet.

To stay on top of your thyroid-healthy food choices, whip up a thyroid diet chart to keep you accountable. Stick it on your fridge or somewhere visible in your kitchen, and ta-da! You're well on your way to supporting your thyroid through fantastic food combinations.å

Don't go too long without eating

Keeping blood sugar levels consistent has a significant impact on our well-being, and one strategy is to make a point of eating regular meals throughout the day.

If you're someone who's more susceptible to low blood sugar, it's essential to be aware of this and plan for multiple smaller meals. On the other hand, if you aren't typically affected by low blood sugar, you may follow a more flexible eating schedule. In either case, it's crucial to avoid snacking on purely starchy or protein-based foods between meals.

To ensure your blood sugar remains stable between your main meals, here are a few snack suggestions:

  • Savor some fresh fruit or sipping on fruit juices. Aim for fruits that are ripe and naturally sweet.

  • Indulge in a natural sweet treat like honey. You might also find it helpful to have a warm cup of coffee or tea accompanied by milk, honey, or sugar, ensuring your blood sugar stays on even footing.

  • Nourish yourself with dairy options such as milk, cheese, yogurt, or even ice cream as a special indulgence. They work great because they contain a combination of fat, protein, and milk sugar, making them a balanced snack. A simple glass of milk can be a perfect in-between meal, and you can even treat yourself to a delicious hot chocolate.

In addition, don't forget the importance of consuming enough salt. Doing so can help stabilize blood sugar and reduce adrenaline levels.

Which nutrients are good to stimulate your thyroid hormones?

A woman looking healthy

Certain nutrients play a crucial role when it comes to supporting the optimal function of your thyroid hormones. By incorporating these essential nutrients into your diet, you can promote the stimulation of your thyroid hormones and minimize the risk of thyroid dysfunction. Let's explore the key nutrients to stimulate your thyroid hormone production.


Selenium is a trace mineral that plays a vital role to support and provide healthy thyroid function. Selenium helps regulate the thyroid gland's activity and assists in synthesizing thyroid hormones, particularly T3 (triiodothyronine).

Iodine & zinc

Iodine deficiency can cause an enlarged thyroid gland, known as a goiter, and primary hypothyroidism. Additionally, iodine has major significance in the production of thyroid hormones, T3 and T4, as well as thyroid stimulating hormone. Thyroid cells absorb iodine and combine it with the amino acid tyrosine to create T3 and T4. However, consuming too much iodine can cause hyperthyroidism in some people.

Zinc is an essential mineral that plays a significant role in supporting thyroid function and hormone production. Additionally, it also helps maintain the health of the thyroid gland itself.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a crucial nutrient that can improve TSH levels as well as thyroid antibodies in people with autoimmune thyroid disease. Vitamin D receptors are found in various tissues, including the thyroid gland, where they regulate thyroid hormone production.

Don't forget your thyroid hormone replacement therapy

In addition to a well-balanced, healthy diet, thyroid hormone replacement therapy plays a crucial role in managing thyroid health. Thyroid hormone replacement medication or supplement is an effective way to restore thyroid hormone levels and manage symptoms.

Levothyroxine, a synthetic form of the T4 hormone, is the most commonly prescribed thyroid medication. However, some people prefer natural desiccated thyroid (NDT). Extracted from pig thyroid glands, NDT contains both T4 and T3 in a balanced ratio, which resembles the natural hormone production in the human body. This makes NDT an ideal option for those who may struggle with converting T4 to T3, have an allergy to levothyroxine, or prefer a more natural approach to thyroid treatment.

Finding NDT can be challenging, as not all doctors prescribe it. However, you have the option to buy desiccated thyroid online in supplement form. One excellent choice is VitaliThy. This NDT supplement is carefully formulated to deliver the benefits of natural desiccated thyroid conveniently. Plus, it's free of gluten and lactose, making it a great option for those with special dietary restrictions.

Wojciech Majda
Wojciech Majda

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