Foods that Cause Hypothyroidism

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jun 23, 2018
Quick Bites

  • Foods with thiocyanates can make it difficult for the thyroid to absorb iodine
  • Broccoli, brussels sprouts and cabbage contain thiocyanates
  • Soy is linked with thyroid conditions, including hypothyroidism
  • Gluten is one goitrogen and can trigger autoimmune responses

Hypothyroidism is characterised by body not producing enough thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormone is critical to how your body uses energy. When thyroid hormones go out of balance and are untreated, there could be many complications such as high cholesterol, heart attack and stroke.

Hypothyroidism Causes

Iodine deficiency is one of the most common causes of hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism may also be hereditary, caused by a condition known as Hashimoto’s Disease. Sometimes, the foods that we consume disturb the balance of thyroid hormones and lead to hypothyroidism.

The following foods are associated with underactive thyroid.

Foods with Thiocyanates: Thiocyanates, sulfur-containing compounds, exist in many vegetables. These compounds make it difficult for the thyroid gland to absorb iodine and their effect can only be minimized when diet is supplemented with iodine. Some of the noteworthy vegetables with thiocyanates are flax, sweet potato, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, canola, cauliflower, mustard greens, radishes and kale. Cooking, soaking and fermentation of these vegetables reduce thiocyanate levels in these foods.

Soy Flavonoids: Soy flavonoids, also referred to as soy isoflavones, limit the enzymes required to insert iodine into thyroid hormone. Studies have associated infants fed soy formula with higher risk for hypothyroidism and for later development of autoimmune thyroid diseases. Soy foods such as soybean oil, soy milk, tofu and other processed soy foods can decrease thyroid function.

Gluten: Gluten is again a potential goitrogen which can trigger autoimmune responses. Gluten is found in wheat, rye and barley, along with most processed foods.

Bottom Line

The large amounts of the aforementioned foods could interfere with thyroid function. These veggies offer a myriad of other health benefits that outweigh the risks for most people. If you are at risk of thyroid condition or you know you have thyroid imbalance, you should be careful about these foods.

If you suspect you have an underactive thyroid, see your health care practitioner to check the status of your thyroid. Only a screening based on your symptoms can give you a clear opinion. It’s a good idea to get your thyroid tested as part of your regular checkups.

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