There is no diet to treat hypothyroidism, but adequate levels of nutrients and certain foods can help improve overall health and well-being.

Hypothyroidism: 8 recommended foods in your dietHypothyroidism: 8 recommended foods in your diet

Last update: September 18, 2023

Diet can be of great concern to people who suffer from hypothyroidism and knowing which foods are most suitable can be a great help.

Dietary guidelines do not reverse the situation, but Eating healthy and enhancing some nutrients can be a great help to accompany the treatment.

Below, we talk about what some of the best foods are, what guidelines help you eat better, and we offer a weekly menu as an example and inspiration.

What is hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is a disease that occurs when the thyroid does not secrete enough thyroid hormone. This butterfly-shaped gland is located at the front of the neck and produces hormones that regulate how the body uses energy.

As a consequence of this dysfunction, a large part of the body’s actions begin to slow down. Some of the symptoms that may appear are the following:

  • Cold feeling.
  • Fatigue and muscle weakness.
  • Depression.
  • Constipation.
  • Weight gain.
  • Pain and stiffness in the joints.

It is a much more common health condition among womenalso from the age of 60.

The treatment of this disease is always medical and consists of providing the body with the necessary amount of hormone. This measure is usually sufficient, as long as it is taken in the quantities prescribed by the doctor. You should not abandon treatment without consulting a specialist, nor should you ingest more than prescribed..

Some nutrients are relevant in hypothyroidism

Although the treatment of this condition is based on medication, Food has a supporting role.

There is no diet plan for people with hypothyroidism, but there are some nutrients that play an important role in the normal functioning of the gland.

As can be read in a publication that appeared in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, it is necessary that some be present; while others should be reduced. Among the most relevant are the following:

1. Selenium

An adequate intake of this trace element increases the efficiency of thyroid hormone synthesis. But also, selenium has antioxidant activity which is necessary to protect the gland itself from the damage that free radicals can cause.

2. Iron

In order to exert its effect correctly, selenium needs to find enough iron. Studies in animals and humans have detected that a deficiency of the latter affects the metabolism of thyroid hormone.

3. Zinc

Zinc is another of the micronutrients necessary for the thyroid gland, according to data published in the International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research.

Their interaction is complex and affects both the operating mechanisms and the action. Although zinc deficiency is not common, If you suffer from hypothyroidism, it is important to ensure food sources in your diet..

4. Iodine

This nutrient, in the right amount, is an essential component for the thyroid, since it participates in the formation of hormones. Its deficiency is usually one of the main causes of hypothyroidism.

However, this fair portion must be provided with food. As Prete, Paragliola and Corsello (2015) point out, in the form of supplements can cause the opposite effect.

5. Goitrogens

Some nutrients can be harmful in case of hypothyroidism. As indicated by experts in research and diagnosis of this disease, they are known as goitrogens and they are the ones that must be especially monitored since they interact with iodine.

Hypothyroidism: the 8 most recommended foods

As we have seen, diet improves the health of people with thyroid gland problems. It is necessary that the foods present provide the necessary nutrients for its proper functioning.

1. Iodized salt

This is one of the best ways to meet the minimum iodine needs in the diet. It is easy to dose and the risk of ingesting too high quantities is avoided.

2. Brazil nuts

This dried fruit is one of those that provides the highest and most interesting levels of selenium and zinc. One or two units a day are enough.

The rest of the nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pine nuts, cashews or pistachios, among others) help meet iron demands. This, without taking into account that They are very nutritious foods and good sources of healthy fats and proteins.

They can be introduced easily, as a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. It is also possible to integrate them into salads, oatmeal porridge or mix them with yogurt.

3. Various fish and seafood

Many of these options are abundant in iodine, selenium, iron and zinc.. They are also a good source of protein and eating them can help reduce other less opportune choices, such as processed meat.

In addition, Oily fish (tuna, anchovies, bonito or salmon) provides omega-3 fatty acids, which have an anti-inflammatory effect. As can be read in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, This may be beneficial in people with Hashimoto’s disease (a type of autoimmune hypothyroidism).

4. Eggs

Eggs are accessible, versatile foods that tend to be widely accepted. They can be prepared in an omelet, scrambled or boiled; all of them preparations suitable for a healthy diet.

As in the case of fish, They are an excellent source of protein and also contain iodine and selenium.

5. Vegetables

Tomato, carrot, zucchini, eggplant, chard, lettuce or asparagus. Any vegetable is at the base of a healthy dietsomething very important in the diet for hypothyroidism.

Among their main strengths is the amount of fiber they contain. Beyond other benefits, can help improve constipationa common symptom in people with this condition.

They can be freely integrated into the diet, taking into account some restrictions that we discuss later.

6. Whole grains and legumes

This group of foods provides a good part of the daily energy, since carbohydrates stand out in its composition. Legumes also contain a good amount of protein and iron. (among other interesting compounds).

In reference to cereals, It is preferable to choose whole varieties over refined ones. The former maintain a good part of the nutrients that grains contain: vitamins E and group B, fiber and some minerals.

7. Fruits

All are allowed, especially if eaten fresh and whole.: alone, in the form of a fruit salad, on skewers or mixed with a yogurt or vegetable dessert.

They are ideal for any time of the day: for breakfast, as dessert or for morning and afternoon snacks.

8. Olive oil

This should be the priority oil, especially to replace butter and margarines. It can be used both for cooking and seasoning raw foods..

What foods are not recommended

When you suffer from hypothyroidism, there are some foods that should be restricted and others that are best taken with caution. Some are common to the general population and others are thought to affect thyroid function.

  • Low-nutritious and high-energy foods: juices, soft drinks, pastries, snacks, commercial sauces, processed meat and candy, among others.
  • Soybeans and vegetables from the family of Brassicas: contain goitrogens that can interfere with the activity of the thyroid gland. They are not prohibited, but they cannot be ingested in large quantities either.
  • Algae: They are usually consumed because they are a good source of iodine. However, it is difficult to calculate the recommended amount and there is a risk of taking it in excess.
  • Dairy and gluten: Some people with autoimmune hypothyroidism may benefit from removing these components from their diet. This is the case as long as they have intolerance. This is indicated by a group of experts through Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine.

Food and hypothyroidism: example of a weekly menu

Considering the eating guidelines in case of hypothyroidism, as well as the recommended foods, we offer below a one-week eating plan.

It should be noted that it is of an orientation guide and it is necessary to adapt it to the needs of each person and your personal situation.


  • Quinoa flakes with strawberries and almonds.
  • Rice and vegetable wok with chicken.
  • Salad with tuna and tortilla.


  • Toast with fresh cheese and tomato.
  • Zucchini and salmon cream with brown rice.
  • Hummus of chickpeas with vegetables and bread.


  • Scrambled eggs with green asparagus with whole wheat bread.
  • Baked vegetables with potatoes and grilled rabbit.
  • Gazpacho and pasta salad with shrimp and ham.


  • Buckwheat flakes with Brazil nuts and blueberries.
  • Lentil and buckwheat salad.
  • Chicken curry with vegetables.


  • Toasts with avocado, tomato and walnuts.
  • Pumpkin cream and baked sea bass with sweet potato.
  • Scrambled eggs with mushrooms and salad.


  • Porridge with apple and cinnamon.
  • Spinach with raisins and pine nuts and chickpeas.
  • Vegetable salad and fish burger.


  • Toasts with cheese and ham.
  • Seafood paella.
  • Salad and omelet.

Furthermore, it is necessary add a natural yogurt or a piece of fruit as dessert. They can also be eaten mid-morning or mid-afternoon, alternating with a handful of nuts, dehydrated fruits or oatmeal.

Other guidelines to accompany the diet in hypothyroidism

Beyond what is more and less convenient to eat, Other factors can improve thyroid hormone secretion and its regulationaccording to recent data that appeared in Food Science and Human Wellness.

Therefore, they are additional recommendations that must be taken into account and that must accompany pharmacological treatment and diet.

  • Do not take nutritional supplements without professional advice or prior consultation with the medical team.. These may contain too high an amount of some components or interfere with the absorption of the medication.
  • Maintain an active life and perform appropriate physical exercise for this condition. With this, several aspects can be improved: mood, physical condition, hormonal regulation or the risk of suffering other related health problems.
  • Rest enough hours.
  • Adopt a stress-free lifestyle.

What to remember about food and hypothyroidism?

Although there is no standard diet for hypothyroidism, Some foods are much more recommended than others.

In general, it is recommended to increase the consumption of nuts, eggs, fish, whole grains, vegetables and other options that provide adequate nutrients for the thyroid gland.

Anyway, The ideal thing is to obtain a meal plan from a nutritionist, since each case has its particularities. The professional can also guide you on how to prepare healthy dishes every day.