Published August 9 2011
I often get asked by people who have hyperthyroidism and Graves’ Disease “what is the proper diet to follow?” A lot of this comes down to common sense, as one obviously wants to avoid eating those foods which can lead to nutritional deficiencies, compromise the adrenal glands and/or immune system, etc. So while I’m going to list a specific hyperthyroid diet shortly, it really comes down to eating healthy foods and eliminating the junk food.
What is considered to be a healthy food?
One of the problems is that different people will have various opinions with regards to what a healthy food is. Some will suggest a high protein diet, while others will tell you that you can eat anything, as long as it’s gluten free. There are various opinions out there, but it really does come down to common sense. You ideally want to eat whole foods, and minimize your consumption of processed and refined foods. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables (consuming twice as many vegetables as fruits), nuts and seeds, chicken and turkey (assuming you’re not a vegetarian), certain types of fish (i.e. wild salmon), and other whole foods.
You also want to try eating as many organic foods as possible. This is especially true with regards to most fruits and vegetables, as well as any meat you consume. Non-organic fruits and vegetables have pesticides and herbicides sprayed on them, and can’t be washed off just by rinsing with water. There are fruit and vegetable rinses out there which work better than water, but your best bet is to buy organic if at all possible. With regards to meat, most livestock are given hormones to increase their size, some are given antibiotics and who knows what else. And while you can purchase natural foods, they aren’t regulated like organic foods, which is why you really should only eat organic meat whenever possible. While it might be tough to do if you go out to eat, at the very least purchase organic meats for when you cook at home, which hopefully you do more often than eating out.
An Actual Hyperthyroid Diet To Follow:
What I’d like to do now is actually list a hyperthyroid diet that I followed when I was diagnosed with Graves’ Disease. I recommend that other people with hyperthyroidism and Graves’ Disease follow a similar diet during the first 30 to 90 days of a natural treatment protocol. Although I realize that this is a strict diet, it really is important to cut out the refined foods and sugars. This doesn’t mean that you will never be able to eat any junk food again, but in the beginning stages of a natural treatment protocol it really is important to clean up your diet and to eat healthy, as this will allow you to digest your food better, help you have regular bowel movements, and overall will help you get better faster.
With that being said, here is the diet I personally followed:
Breakfast (about 6:00 am): A smoothie consisting of two cups of purified water, one cup of mixed organic berries, two scoops of SP Complete from Standard Process, one teaspoon of flax oil
8:00 a.m. Handful of raw sunflower or pumpkin seeds
10:00 a.m. Serving of organic apples
12:00 a.m. Mixed organic greens with organic chicken or turkey
2:00 p.m. Serving of organic vegetables or a Standard Process Protein Bar
4:00 p.m. SP Complete smoothie
6:00 p.m. Organic baked chicken or turkey with organic vegetables
7:30 p.m. Handful of raw almonds or walnuts
Making Small Changes Before Starting Your Hyperthyroid Diet:
I realize that for someone who is accustomed to eating refined foods and sugars on a daily basis, making these changes won’t be easy. I didn’t exactly grow up eating healthy, as I ate plenty of fast food and canned foods for my meals, had sugary cereal each day for breakfast (and sometimes as a snack), drank punch and soda regularly, and had my fair share of candy and other junk food. I ate like this for over 20 years, and it did take a good amount of time before I was able to change my diet and eat healthy on a regular basis. So I don’t expect everyone to make these changes immediately, and realize that it might take a few weeks, or even a few months for someone to make these changes. By the way, you’ll notice that the diet I followed was healthy, but it wasn’t perfect. The main flaw was having a Standard Process protein bar three or four times each week, which are healthier than most protein bars sold in retail stores, but probably should have been avoided. Plus I probably should have had one or two additional servings of vegetables each day.
Can You Incorporate Other Foods Into Your Hyperthyroid Diet?
Upon looking at this diet, some will wonder whether they can eat other foods, such as eggs, brown rice, whole wheat bread and pasta, soy, and other foods which are supposedly healthy for you. I definitely would try to avoid any gluten-based foods and soy initially when following a natural treatment protocol. As for the eggs and brown rice, this is definitely something that most people can eventually incorporate into their diet, but I didn’t eat these foods initially when I followed a natural treatment protocol. However, if someone is finding it extremely difficult to follow the diet I recommended, I would rather them eat some organic eggs and/or brown rice on an occasional basis if it means they will follow the rest of the diet recommendations. In other words, while I would prefer for someone not to eat eggs and/or brown rice during the first 30 days of the diet, I’d rather them eat these foods than not follow the diet at all.
In summary, following the recommended hyperthyroid diet can really do wonders when it comes to restoring your health. Although eating healthy is extremely important, there of course are additional factors I discuss in other articles which are also important for anyone with hyperthyroidism or Graves’ Disease looking to restore their health by following a natural treatment protocol.