[Healthline] Diet in Hyperthyroidism: Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid


Hyperthyroidism occurs when there is too much thyroid hormone in your body. This condition is also known as thyrotoxicosis. An overactive or enlarged thyroid gland can make more thyroid hormone.

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck. It makes thyroid hormones called T3 and T4. These hormones:

  • Helps the body use energy
  • Helps balance body temperature
  • Helps the brain, heart and other organs work properly

Some types of hyperthyroidism can be inherited. “Graves” disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism in the United States. It is 7-8 times more common in women than in men.

In some cases, thyroid cancer can also cause the thyroid gland to be overactive.

Hyperthyroidism can be easily confused with other health problems. It has many symptoms including:

  • Sudden weight loss
  • Increase appetite
  • Have anxiety disorders, irritability and anxiety
  • Mood changes
  • Sleep disorders
  • Feeling hot
  • Sweat a lot
  • Fast heartbeat or tachycardia
  • Tired or feeling weak
  • Muscle weakness
  • Hand tremors or slight tremors
  • Frequent increases or other changes in bowel movements
  • Thin skin
  • Thin, brittle hair
  • Menstrual changes
  • Thyroid enlargement (goiter)
  • Neck swelling
  • Your eyes change
  • Red, thick skin on the feet and shins

Standard treatment for hyperthyroidism

Treatment is necessary if you have hyperthyroidism. High levels of thyroid hormone in your body can be toxic. If left untreated, hyperthyroidism can lead to heart problems, osteoporosis, risk of fractures, and other problems.

Your doctor may prescribe antithyroid medication. These medications help balance an overactive thyroid. In some cases, treatment may include radiation therapy or thyroid surgery.

Certain foods can help keep your thyroid healthy and reduce some of the ill effects of the condition. Certain minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients are needed to balance thyroid function.

A low-iodine diet is often prescribed before some treatments for hyperthyroidism. For example, you will need to follow a low-iodine diet before radiation therapy to remove damaged or excess thyroid cells.

After treatment, it is still important to balance the iodine in your diet. Other foods help protect your thyroid and reduce the long-term effects of hyperthyroidism.

Foods low in iodine

Iodine is a mineral that plays an important role in the creation of thyroid hormones. Dietary iodine helps to lower thyroid hormone. Add these foods to your daily diet:

  • Non-iodized salt
  • Coffee or tea (no milk or cream made from milk or soy)
  • Egg-white
  • Fresh or canned fruit
  • Unsalted nuts and nut butter
  • Homemade bread or bread without salt, buttermilk and eggs
  • Popcorn with non-iodized salt
  • Oat
  • Potatoes
  • honey
  • Maple syrup

Cruciferous vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables and other vegetables can prevent your thyroid from using iodine. They may be beneficial for hyperthyroidism:

  • bamboo shoots
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cassava
  • Cauliflower
  • Green cabbage
  • Kale
  • Mustard
  • Swedish radish

Vitamins and minerals

Some nutrients are essential for a healthy thyroid gland and balanced production of thyroid hormones:


Iron is important for many important functions in the body, especially in the functioning of the thyroid gland. This mineral is needed for blood cells to carry oxygen to every cell in your body.

Low iron levels are associated with hyperthyroidism. Get plenty of iron in your diet with foods like:

  • Dried beans
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • lentils
  • Seed
  • Poultry, such as chicken and turkey
  • Red meat
  • Seeds
  • Whole grains


Selenium-rich foods can help balance thyroid hormone levels and protect your thyroid from disease. Selenium helps prevent cell damage and keeps your thyroid and other tissues healthy.

Good food sources of selenium include:

  • Brazil nuts
  • Couscous
  • Chia seeds
  • Mushroom
  • Tea
  • Meat, such as beef and lamb
  • Rice
  • Oat bran
  • Poultry, such as chicken and turkey
  • Sunflower seed


Zinc helps you use food for energy. This mineral also helps keep your immune system and thyroid healthy. Food sources of zinc include:

  • Beef
  • Green bean
  • Cocoa powder
  • Cashew
  • Mushroom
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Lamb

Calcium and Vitamin D

Hyperthyroidism causes weak and brittle bones. Bone mass can be restored with treatment. Vitamin D and calcium are essential for strong bones.

Calcium-rich foods include:

  • Spinach
  • Green cabbage
  • White beans
  • Kale
  • Okra
  • Calcium-fortified orange juice
  • Almond milk
  • Calcium Fortified Cereals

Vitamin D is found in these low-iodine foods:

  • Orange juice fortified with vitamin D
  • Cereal fortified with vitamin D
  • Beef liver
  • Mushroom
  • Fish oil

Healthy Fats

Fat from whole foods and mostly unprocessed can help reduce inflammation. This helps protect thyroid health and balance thyroid hormones. Vegetable fats are important in a low-iodine diet. These include:

  • Flaxseed oil
  • Olive oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Safflower essential oil
  • Butter
  • Unsalted seeds and nuts


Certain spices and herbs have anti-inflammatory properties that help protect and balance thyroid function. Add flavor and antioxidants to your daily meals with:

  • Turmeric
  • Green pepper
  • Black pepper

Excess iodine

Eating too many iodine-rich or iodine-fortified foods can lead to hyperthyroidism or worsen the condition in some cases.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), one teaspoon of iodized salt contains 304 micrograms of iodine (mcg).

Seafood has the most iodine. Just 1 gram of seaweed contains 23.2 mcg or 0.02 milligrams of iodine (mg).

According to the NIH, the recommended daily dose of iodine is about 150 mcg (0.15 mg). Low-iodine diets require even less.

Avoid the following seafood and seafood additives:

  • Fish
  • Seaweed
  • Shrimp
  • Crab
  • Lobster
  • Sushi
  • Carrageen (From the red algae division)
  • Seaweed
  • Algae
  • Alginate (salt or ester of alginic acid)
  • Dried seaweed
  • Kelp

Avoid other foods high in iodine such as:

  • Milk and dairy products
  • Cheese
  • Yolk
  • Iodized salt
  • Iodine water
  • Some food colorings

Some medicines also contain iodine. These include:

  • Antiarrhythmic drug – amiodarone (Nexterone)
  • cough syrup
  • Contrast drug
  • Herbal or vitamin supplements


In some people, gluten can harm the thyroid gland by causing inflammation. Even if you don’t have a gluten allergy or intolerance, it can be beneficial to limit or limit gluten.

Check food labels for gluten-containing ingredients such as:

  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Yeast
  • Buckwheat
  • Black blood vessels

Soy bean

Although soy does not contain iodine, it has been shown to interfere with some treatments for hyperthyroidism in animals. Avoid or limit soy foods such as:

  • Milk
  • Soy
  • Tofu
  • Soybean cake


Coffee is a drink that people with hyperthyroidism should avoid

Foods and drinks that contain caffeine, such as coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate, can worsen symptoms of hyperthyroidism and lead to increased anxiety, restlessness, irritability, and heart rate fast.

If caffeine is having an effect on you, avoiding or limiting your intake may be a good option. Try replacing caffeinated beverages with natural herbal teas, flavored water, or hot cider.

Hyperthyroidism is not always preventable, but it is treatable.

See your doctor if you have any symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Follow the prescribed treatment, including all dietary recommendations.

Talk to your doctor or dietitian about making short- and long-term changes to your diet. This can help balance thyroid function and protect your body from the effects of hyperthyroidism.

Home-cooked meals on a low-iodine diet offer many benefits. Stay away from restaurants, canned or processed foods, sauces and marinades. They may contain extra iodine.

If you are on an iodine diet, absorbing enough vitamin D and calcium can be more difficult. Talk to your doctor or dietitian about supplementing with these nutrients.

Seek support from a team of thyroid specialists. Most dietary restrictions will be temporary. Other dietary changes are part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle for overall better health.

Medically reviewed by Lisa Hodgson, RDN, CDN, CDCES — Written by Noreen Iftikhar, MD — Updated on March 10, 2021

Source: Hyperthyroidism Diet Plan: Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid


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Link to the original article: https://www.healthline.com/health/hyperthyroidism-diet

The article is translated and edited by ykhoa.org – please do not reup without permission!

Translated by: Danh Cuong

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