What foods protect the thyroid gland?

The thyroid gland is the conductor of our well-being, responsible, among other things, for ours weight, our mood, our transit and ours vitality. Activity thyroid depends in part on certain nutrients, here’s what you need to give it to keep it running smoothly.

What nutrients are needed to regulate the thyroid gland?


This trace element is an indispensable substrate for the secretion of thyroid hormones. However, the deficit is very present (almost 8.5% of men and 20% of women) and is often localized where soils are poor. “When we iodine deficiency, the thyroid gland grows to function more, says endocrinologist Boris Hanzel. This explains the existence oats endemic.

What does he need? 150 mcg / day. With an upper limit of 600 mcg.

Where to find it? In seafood: seaweed (5,000 to 250,000 mcg / 100 g), angelica (500 mcg), shrimp (260 mcg), fish, cod liver… Also in egg yolk (192 mcg) and dairy products (70 mcg / 100 mcg brie). / 100 ml of milk, etc.). “Fruits and vegetables also contain it,” says Dr. Hansel. Enriched salt has been allowed since 1952. “It contains 15 to 20 mg of iodine per kilogram,” says Isabel Gambier, a nutritionist. 5 g provide from 50 to 75 μg of iodine. Please note that “natural” salts (sea, fleur de sel, etc.) do not contain! »

What do you need to eat to regulate iodine levels? “You should change your diet, including 2-3 times a week of fish and seafood,” advises Isabel Gambier. The same for eggs and 2-3 dairy products a day. »Iodized salt is interesting, it does not exceed 5 g (WHO recommendation) per day. “A good reflex is to add seaweed (combo, fucus, agar …) in flakes or powder in sauces, omelets …”


This amino acid is the second essential element for the production of thyroid hormones.

What does he need? 14 mg per day per kilogram of body weight, ie from 1 to 2 g depending on body size.

Where to find it? In products of animal origin (meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, etc.), as well as seeds, oilseeds and legumes. “The best sources are meat or fish (710 mg / 100 g), lentils (840 mg), dairy products (170 mg / 100 ml milk) and potatoes (80 mg / 100 g),” says Isabel Gambier. .

What do you need to eat to regulate tyrosine levels? You can easily satisfy your needs with one serving (130 g) of meat or fish and 2-3 servings of dairy products a day and 2-3 legumes a week.


This trace element is involved in the synthesis thyroid hormones and stimulates T3 activity.

What does he need? 10 mg per day for an adult woman, 12 mg for a man.

Where to find it? In large quantities: fish and seafood (22.5 mg / 100 g oysters, 11.9 mg / 100 g crab, etc.), meat (8 mg / 100 g steak) and offal, eggs, legumes (4 mg / 100 g of lentils …), oilseeds (5.6 mg / 100 g of pine nuts …).

What do you need to eat to regulate zinc levels? With a varied diet there is no zinc deficiency. “Beware of deficiencies in the context of a vegan diet, warns a nutritionist. Vegetable products, such as whole grains, can also be rich in phytic acids, which can reduce their absorption! »


The thyroid gland is the organ of the body that contains the most. Thus, this trace element is required for the conversion of T4 hormone to T3.

What does he need? 55-70 mcg per day.

Where to find it? In fish and seafood, then in meat, offal and eggs, and finally in cereals and seeds, especially Brazil nuts (103 mcg / 100 g).

What do you need to eat to regulate selenium levels? A varied and balanced diet in principle covers the needs.


Iron deficiency can reduce the effectiveness of enzymes involved in the production and conversion of thyroid hormones.

What does he need? 10-15 mg per day.

Where to find it? In animal products (meat, offal, fish, etc.) and some plants (dried vegetables). However, iron of animal origin is better absorbed than from plant sources (20-25% vs. 1-8%).

What do you need to eat to regulate iron levels? “You can enhance your absorption by consuming foods rich in vitamin C during one meal, recommends Isabel Gambier. And avoid tea, which interferes with its assimilation. »

Good to know: Be careful with endocrine disorders !! “Many substances (pesticides, phthalates, isoflavones, etc.) can impair thyroid function,” says Dr. Pierre Nis, an endocrinologist. They can limit or mimic the action of natural hormones or prevent them from binding to their receptors. »They are found everywhere (food, packaging, cosmetics, furniture, etc.), but the impact can be reduced by contributing organicavoiding plastic and non-stick coatings, airing, preferring small oily fish to large species and limiting one soy feed per day.

Total population: to protect your thyroid, it is desirable to have a varied and balanced diet with fruits and vegetables, meat and fish or seafood (2-3 times a week), 2-3 dairy products a day and legumes several times a week. Moderately salt with iodized salt and occasionally add seaweed.

A pregnant woman : The needs for iodine (200 mcg) and iron (16 mg) increase. It is important to give a place of honor to seafood (except for potentially contaminated large fish) to increase the needs of the thyroid gland. “Iodine supplements are often offered,” says Dr. Hansel.

Vegetarians and vegans: “A diet without meat can cause iron deficiency, and without fish – iodine,” warns Isabel Gambier. A vegan diet increases the risk of harmful deficiencies for the thyroid gland, such as iron, tyrosine, iodine, zinc. »

Postmenopausal women: “Because menopause increases the risk of cardiovascular and bone disease, it is more important to ensure a proper diet, as thyroid imbalance can increase these risks,” says Isabel Gambier.

What to eat to protect your thyroid and avoid weight gain in hypothyroidism?

The most common attack of the thyroid gland, it leads to slow metabolism with various consequences (constipation, fatigue, weight gain, etc.) and may increase cardiovascular risk, especially after menopause. Well balanced with medication, you may sometimes need some changes in your diet.

Increase the frequency of seafood consumption: “It is important to increase iodine intake, but without excess, as it can also aggravate hypothyroidism,” says Isabel Gambier. The right balance: two or three servings of sea fish, shellfish or crustaceans and the same number of eggs a week and 2-3 dairy products a day, including only 1 serving of cheese. “It’s also time to discover algae. And we choose iodized salt without overdoing it (max. 5 g / day).

Eat fruits and vegetables at every meal: raw or cooked vegetables should make up half of the plate: low-calorie, but bulky and rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals, they reduce the caloric content of food. Because fruit is sweeter, we limit ourselves to two servings a day.

Dose and select added fats: 1 tablespoon of oil for meals, preferring olive, rapeseed, walnut, camel and linseed oil, which, among other things, are good for the cardiovascular system.

Choose lean meat: “Rich in protein, tyrosine and iron, they should be preferred to fatty meats, saturated fats which can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease,” says Isabel Gambier.

Store starches: they stop, avoiding failures in the day that can cause biting. “It is important to choose those with a low or moderate glycemic index (whole grains and legumes),” advises Dr. Nis. They limit storage, provide long-term saturation, and improve transportation. »From 100 to 150 g of boiled weight for a meal and 50 g of bread in the morning.

What similar foods should be avoided in hypothyroidism?

After consulting a doctor, it may be advisable to increase iodine intake with starting foods or supplements to compensate for the deficiency that could potentially cause goiter. It is also desirable to reduce some “zabogenny” products: cabbage, turnips, radishes, millet, sweet potatoes, cassava. “Their consumption should not be completely ruled out, as they are an excellent food for health,” says Isabel Gambier. They can be integrated twice a week, preferring cooked forms that are less goiter.

What to eat to take care of your thyroid gland in hyperthyroidism?

This hyperfunction of the thyroid gland causes nervousness, weight loss and muscle and bone mass, accelerated transit … Before restoring balance through treatment, diet can reduce these effects.

Increase consumption of meat, fish, eggs: “Their proteins help curb muscle loss,” says Isabel Gambier. One serving (100-120 g) is provided for each meal.

Eat 3 to 4 dairy products a day (2 for men): they are also rich in proteins, in particular tryptophan with soothing properties, and, above all, calcium, necessary for bones. “At the same time, we ensure good vitamin D status,” continues the nutritionist.

Avoid whole grains: their insoluble fibers accelerate transit. “On the other hand, it is interesting to prefer soluble fiber, which is contained in cooked vegetables and some fruits rich in pectin, gums and mucus, which are contained, for example, in quince, apple, banana…”, – recommends a nutritionist.

Crunch oilseeds: sources of energy, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids that regulate stress and mood. Walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds … 30 g per day, with meals or as a snack, why not accompany a few squares of dark chocolate rich in magnesium.

Stay hydrated: in the case of diarrhea, it is necessary to compensate for water loss by greater consumption of water, infusions, broths … nervousness and sleep disorders, “- warns Dr. Nis.

To continue a thyroid-protecting diet, read My Hashimoto’s Programs in 15 Days, Dr. Pierre Noes, ed. Leduc.S, 18 euros.

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