There are some foods that are touted to help the thyroid, but there is not good scientific data behind these claims. Here's what you may want to know about specific foods and your thyroid:
- Iodine and Kelp: Iodine deficiency can cause hypothyroidism, and in that case, iodine supplements can help. But iodine deficiency is rare in the United States, and in the absence of iodine deficiency, iodine supplements do not provide benefit to the thyroid
- Soy: There is some evidence that eating too much soy can impair the absorption of thyroid medication. Soy still can be used in moderation, however, for people with a thyroid condition.
- Coconut oil: There is some hype around coconut oil stimulating thyroid production; however there is no data to back this.
- Fiber: Eating too much dietary fiber can impair the absorption of thyroid medication.
- Other foods and supplements: Walnuts, cottonseed meal, iron supplements, calcium supplements, antacids, and some cholesterol-lowering meds such as cholestyrimine can all impair absorption of thyroid medications.
If one has a thyroid condition, doctors recommend taking your thyroid medication on an empty stomach. If you take any products that interfere with the absorption of your thyroid medication, do so a few hours before or after you take your medication.