Are you dealing with endless fatigue, brittle hair and nails, and ongoing aches and pains? These symptoms could all be signs of an under-active thyroid — a health condition that occurs much more frequently than you think. While medication may be the route to go, a few food changes using a plan called the Hashimoto diet could make all the difference.
Even if you don’t have any signs of a problem and you just want to be more mindful of your thyroid health, this regimen could still be a huge help.
What is the Hashimoto diet?
The Hashimoto diet is named for Hashimoto’s disease, an under-active thyroid condition that is one of the most common thyroid problems in the U.S., especially among older women. When the gland isn’t functioning well, it’s not able to regulate hormones properly, which can lead to fatigue, constipation, hair loss, joint pain, muscle aches, memory lapses, and many other issues.
While a doctor may prescribe medication, research has found that altering your diet could make a big difference in terms of the severity of symptoms. You may even be able to avoid meds entirely!
What should you eat on it?
The diet largely focuses on following what’s called an autoimmune protocol (AIP) to lower inflammation, which is when the the body’s immune system attacks itself. It involves eating many anti-inflammatory vegetables, some fruits, high-quality seafood, meats like poultry or turkey, and fermented foods such as kimchi, all while avoiding grains, dairy, and processed sugars and meats.
Often any form of AIP works best through elimination. For example, you may take gluten products out of rotation for a few weeks to see how you feel once they’re gone. If you feel better and see your symptoms lessen, that may mean a gluten sensitivity could be triggering some of your inflammation.
However, unlike AIP, which can be restrictive even when it comes to certain fruits and vegetables (such as nightshades like tomatoes and potatoes), the Hashimoto diet offers more flexibility. Fruits and veggies like berries, pears, apples, peaches, zucchini, artichokes, broccoli, and spinach are on the menu. You’re able to have animal proteins like eggs, salmon, turkey, poultry, and shrimp, as well as gluten-free grains like rolled oats, quinoa, and brown rice. Seeds, nut butters, and healthy fats (hello, avocados!) are also fair game.
However, there are a few other foods you should try eliminating from your diet to see how they make you feel. This includes dairy products like milk and cheese, refined sugar, processed meats such as sausage and bacon, and fried dishes.
Overall, a thyroid-mindful regimen like the Hashimoto diet is all about finding what works best for you so you can kick those symptoms to the curb!