Vegetables to Support Hypothyroid Health
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the front of your neck under your skin. It’s a part of your endocrine system and controls many of your body’s important functions by secreting certain hormones. The thyroid’s main job is to control the speed of your metabolism, or how your body transforms the food you consume into energy.
Key nutrients for proper production of T4 (thyroxine) include: iodine, iron, magnesium, selenium, zinc, vitamins C, D, E, B2, B3, B6, and tyrosine. In order to help increase conversion of T4 to T3 (triiodothyronine) consider: selenium and zinc. In order to improve the body's sensitivity to thyroid hormones consider Vitamin A and zinc.
Low Thyroid (Hypothyroidism)
With hypothyroidism, it is often recommended to avoid cruciferous vegetables such as spinach, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, turnips, and Brussels sprouts.
These vegetables are unlikely to harm your thyroid function eaten in reasonable quantities (especially when cooked) if you have adequate iodine intake.
If you are taking prescription medication for thyroid (such as levothyroxine) you may not need to avoid cruciferous vegetables (although you need to talk with your healthcare provider before making any changes).
Good sources of iodine include:
- Roasted seaweed
- Fish and seafood—especially shrimp, cod, and tuna
- Iodized salt (also known as table salt)
- Beef liver
If you are not able to obtain enough iodine from your diet, make sure you discuss with your healthcare provider if an iodine supplement is necessary. Caution: you do not want to over-supplement with iodine either, too much iodine can be harmful to the thyroid.
We've curated a collection of vegetables to support thyroid health.