The foods you eat can have an impact on how you feel if you have thyroid problems. Here are 11 foods that are good for your thyroid and 3 to avoid.
Medically reviewed by Isabel Casimiro, MD, PhD Share Tweet Pin Email Trending Videos Failed to load video flexitarian vegetarian vegetables vegetables woman health meat food diet health meal table cholesterol sustainability KatarzynaBialasiewicz/Getty Images The National Institutes of Health (NIH) says that your thyroid needs iodine to function properly and produce enough thyroid hormone to meet your body’s needs. You run the risk of developing hypothyroidism or a goiter (a thyroid gland that expands to make up for a lack of thyroid hormone, according to Medline Plus) if you don’t get enough iodine. Table salt is iodized, so most Americans get enough iodine. However, if you’re on a low-sodium diet (as more and more Americans are for their heart health) or a vegan diet (more on that later), you may need more iodine from other sources.
According to Mira Ilic, RD, a registered dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic, who spoke to Health, numerous varieties of seaweed contain iodine, but the quantity can vary greatly. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) says that different kinds of seaweed have very different amounts of iodine. Seaweeds, for instance, have iodine concentrations that range from 16 mcg/g to 2,984 mcg/g, which is the recommended daily allowance for people who are not pregnant or lactating.
You shouldn’t start eating sushi every day of the week due to the high iodine content of seaweed. By causing or aggravated hypothyroidism, too little iodine can be just as harmful to your thyroid as too much. Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, Health’s contributing nutrition editor, advised consuming one fresh seaweed salad per week in addition to sushi and avoiding seaweed teas and supplements to reap the full benefits of seaweed.
The Advantages of Seaweed and Why You Should Consume More of It Yogurt You probably won’t need to worry about getting too much iodine from any other foods unless you eat a few kelp salads. According to the NIH, dairy products, in particular, have an average of 85 mcg of iodine per cup.