How to Reverse Hypothyroidism Symptoms Through Your Diet

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Nearly 5% of Americans over the age of 12 have hypothyroidism — an underactive thyroid condition resulting in weight gain, fatigue, and mood changes. 

Following a quality hypothyroidism diet plan can help you lose weight and, in some cases, may even play a part in reversing your hypothyroidism! However, it’s not just about eating a generically “healthy diet” — people with hypothyroidism have several unique dietary guidelines to consider.

I’ve helped hundreds of patients with thyroid problems improve symptoms and even reverse their thyroid problems altogether. Below are the steps I review with patients to help them develop a diet to support a healthier thyroid as part of a holistic natural treatment plan to reverse hypothyroidism.

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Vital Nutrients for Thyroid Health

Before we discuss exact dietary plans and foods, I want to share how important specific nutrients are when healing hypothyroidism.

If you have hypothyroidism, your metabolism doesn’t work effectively. Many people suffering from hypothyroidism are looking for a hypothyroidism diet that both heals their thyroid and helps them lose weight.

There are several vital nutrients that patients should make sure to get into their diets in order to heal their thyroid and cure hypothyroidism permanently.

Essential nutrients for proper thyroid function include: 

  • Vitamin D: Found in fish and beef liver. Vitamin D aids in the binding of thyroid hormones to receptors, ensuring that the thyroid hormones can effectively influence our genes and regulate important bodily processes. Our greatest source of Vitamin D comes from sunlight exposure, which is why it’s a good idea to spend at least 15-30 minutes in the sun each day. As a supplement, take high medical-grade, 3rd party-tested vitamin D with vitamin K2 for the best results.
  • Zinc: Found in meats, shellfish, and mollusks. Zinc helps convert T4 to T3, a critical process in preventing thyroid disorders. 
  • Iodine: Found in iodized table salt and seaweed like kelp and nori. Iodine deficiency is the most common cause of goiters (an enlarged thyroid causing a lump in the neck*). Getting just enough iodine is key, as too much causes hyperthyroidism. It might be a good idea to try iodine supplements, but be sure to talk to your provider before beginning a new supplement regimen. *A lump in the neck may also be a sign of thyroid cancer, so talk to a healthcare provider to be sure of what you’re experiencing. 
  • Selenium: Found in muscle meats, fish, and in supplement form. Research from the National Institutes of Health indicates that selenium improves thyroid function when added to conventional treatment.
  • Thiamine (Vitamin B1): Found naturally in meats and fish. It’s also commonly added to breads and cereals. Thiamine is important in improving hypothyroidism-related fatigue.
  • Vitamin B6: Found in fish, organ meats, starchy vegetables, and non-citrus fruit. Vitamin B6 enables the body to utilize iodine, which is essential for thyroid health. Note: When addressing hypothyroidism, be sure to avoid nightshade vegetables, which include some starchy veggies like tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplant.
  • Magnesium: Found in greens, beans, and oat bran. Like zinc, magnesium is also needed to convert T4 to T3, which is the more potent form needed by cells to function properly. The majority of Americans have been found to be deficient in this crucial mineral and therefore would likely benefit greatly from supplementing with it. 
  • Probiotics: Found in sauerkraut, kombucha, and supplement form. Probiotics are good bacteria that may reverse leaky gut by strengthening the lining of your intestines.
  • Curcumin: Found in spice and supplement form. Curcumin helps prevent autoimmune diseases, such as Hashimoto’s, and significantly reduces chronic inflammation.
  • Chasteberry: Found in capsule, liquid extract, and tea form. Chasteberry (also known as Vitex) is an herb used to balance hormones.

Important Note: There are many foods containing these nutrients that I do not recommend our patients with hypothyroidism consume, such as eggs and whole grains. Scroll down to see our list of foods to avoid and why some foods — even those generally considered healthy — may trigger thyroid dysfunction.

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AIP Diet for Hypothyroidism

The Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) Diet is the diet we recommend to our patients who want to reverse hypothyroidism issues. It’s the best diet for reducing your hypothyroidism symptoms in the short-term. 

Similar to the Paleo and Whole30 diets, AIP encourages you to eat nutrient-dense, non-inflammatory foods that are good for your gut.

The AIP diet is a very restrictive, short-term diet plan. The point is to identify any potential food allergens and eliminate them from your diet. The most common triggering foods I see with my hypothyroidism patients include:

  • Processed foods
  • Additives
  • Sugar
  • Alcohol
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Oils
  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Nightshade veggies
  • Eggs
  • Dairy

If your hypothyroidism symptoms decrease during the AIP diet, slowly introduce one food back into your diet at a time. If a reintroduced food triggers new or worsening symptoms, take note and cut that food allergen out of your diet more permanently.

Caution: Because it’s so restrictive, AIP isn’t suitable for pregnant or nursing women. I also don’t recommend trying the AIP diet on your own if you have struggled with an eating disorder in the past — in that case, talk to your provider before trying AIP.

Foods to Heal Hypothyroidism

The best AIP diet-friendly foods to eat include:


Proteins, such as beef, pork, poultry, eggs, and seafood (especially fatty fish, rich in omega-3 fatty acids) will promote strong muscles, bones, and a healthy endocrine and immune system.

Consume large amounts of proteins. It’s very important to know the quality and source of the protein you consume. Ensure that meats, eggs, and fish you eat are organic, pasture-raised, grass-fed and finished, or wild-caught.

Healthy Fats

Eat plenty of healthy fats, including coconut oil, avocados, olive oil, and ghee.

Non-Dairy Fermented Foods

Non-dairy fermented foods, like apple cider vinegar and kombucha, provide good bacteria to strengthen your gut health.

Non-Nightshade Vegetables

Non-nightshade vegetables will steer clear of potential food allergies while providing you with all the benefits of veggie consumption.

Cooked Cruciferous Vegetables

Cooked cruciferous vegetables offer plenty of health benefits. Make sure these veggies are either cooked or steamed (not consumed raw) to avoid any potential issues with iodine absorption.


Herbs and foods like garlic, turmeric, and ginger make cooking more interesting, flavorful, and healthier. 

Note: Avoid paprika and red pepper, as those are classified as nightshades.


Gelatin and bone broth provide collagen (great for skin and joints) without any risk of food allergies. Some of my patients take a daily collagen supplement if they have a difficult time eating enough collagen-rich foods.

Green Tea

Green tea is a healthier method of consuming caffeine than coffee or chocolate, as it’s filled with antioxidants like EGCG.

Arrowroot Starch

Arrowroot starch promotes healthy digestion and immune function. It is a food thickener that is important to gluten-free cooking.

Natural Sweeteners

You can also consume small amounts of honey, maple syrup, and fruits, even though these have natural sugars. Monk fruit is a great sweetening alternative that comes with no added sugar.


Drink plenty of filtered or mineral water. For all the reasons you surely know, hydration is essential for overall health on every level. 

If you can, work with a health coach who can help identify which foods you may need to eliminate. They can also help you develop a balanced eating plan that doesn’t unnecessarily cut out nutrient-rich ingredients.

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7-Day Hypothyroidism Diet Plan For Weight Loss

I created a sample 7-day hypothyroidism diet plan to start you on healing your thyroid function, supporting your weight loss, and improving your quality of life. This is heavily based on the initial meal plan I provide to patients I see in person.






Bacon w/ avocado and orange slices

Cucumber kale salad w/ salmon: blanch the kale and dress the salad in apple cider vinegar, top w/ garlic-salted proteins

Bunless grass-fed burgers w/ brussel sprouts and coconut ranch dipping sauce: 1 cup full-fat coconut milk, 1 ½ tbs raw apple cider vinegar, 3 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp seaweed salt, 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley, ½ tbs fresh chopped dill


Collagen smoothie: blend almond milk, collagen powder, and frozen fruit 

Organic turkey burger on a gluten-free bun w/ seasoned kale and cauliflower sauteed in coconut oil

Grilled shrimp skewers spiced w/ turmeric, garlic, and seaweed salt, served w/ a side of grilled broccoli spears


Veggie scramble:  sauteed zucchini, spinach, carrots, and mushrooms in coconut oil, spiced w/ garlic and seaweed salt

Chicken salad made w/ Dijon mustard and avocado mayo, served w/ gluten-free crackers (I like Fortuna Casabi Crackers and Thrive Market Coconut Chips)

Sashimi sushi made w/ non-nightshade vegetables


Fruit salad: mix a bold of your favorite fruits, topped w/ fresh mint

Grilled chicken w/ kimchi

Prime rib w/ roasted asparagus


Sweet potato toast: slice sweet potatoes into ¼ inch thick pieces and roast at 425 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, top w/ mashed avocado, a dash of garlic powder, and seaweed salt to taste

Chicken sausage links w/ broccoli slaw dressed in apple cider vinegar and olive oil

Ground bison sauteed in coconut oil w/ diced butternut squash and kale


Pumpkin spice porridge: steam carrots and cauliflower, then blend w/ pumpkin spice, coconut milk, and maple syrup to taste, topped w/ raisins and shredded coconut

Pulled pork wrapped in collard greens w/ honey mustard dipping sauce: 1/3 cup Dijon mustard, 1/4 cup honey, 2 tbs avocado mayo, 1 tsp lemon juice

Grilled chicken skewers w/ yellow and green squash, spiced with garlic and seaweed salt, served w/ a side of fresh berries


Coconut avocado smoothie: blend an avocado, a ripe banana, 1 cup of coconut milk, and 1 tsp honey

Salmon salad made w/ Dijon mustard and avocado mayo, served w/ gluten-free crackers

Chicken-stuffed acorn squash: Roast the acorn squash halves (oiled w/ coconut oil and seasoned w/ iodized salt) cut side up for 30 min at 400 degrees F until tender, then place a scoop of your chicken-kale mixture in the middle of the squash and pop back into the oven for another 10 minutes 

Foods to Avoid With Hypothyroidism

The main foods to avoid if you have hypothyroidism are high-inflammatory and immune-triggering foods. That mainly includes processed foods, foods with gluten, and high-sugar foods.

Avoid these foods if you have hypothyroidism:

  • Dairy contains casein and lactose, both of which can often cause inflammation.
  • Eggs are a common allergen for many.
  • Many grains contain gluten and cause inflammation. Even gluten-free grains like oats can cause a cross-reaction that leads to inflammation in some autoimmune patients. Celiac disease is the most severe gluten intolerance and often occurs alongside autoimmune hypothyroidism.
  • Nuts and seeds are potential food allergens.
  • Dried fruits are high in sugar and calories.
  • Nightshade vegetables, such as tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes, and peppers, should all be avoided due to the alkaloid and lectin contents in the nightshade family.
  • Uncooked cruciferous vegetables, like cabbage, kale, cauliflower, turnips, bok choy, and Brussels sprouts might interfere with how your body produces thyroid hormones.
  • Vegetable oils like canola oil are high in omega-6s, which are pro-inflammatory and block the absorption of healthy omega-3s.
  • Beans/legumes can trigger a food allergy because of the potential allergen lectin.
  • Chocolate is often chock full of dairy products and sugar. Carob and 100% cacao are great alternatives.
  • Sugar consumption increases the risk of heart disease, fatty liver, acne, diabetes, depression, and cancer.
  • Alternative sweeteners, like sucralose and aspartame, should also be avoided.
  • Coffee can trigger a dysfunctional immune system in some people. Excessive consumption can stress your adrenal glands, which can lead to further thyroid dysfunction. Make sure your coffee is organic, 100% mold, mycotoxin and pesticide-free, like Purity Coffee. (Use code PRIMEHEALTH when you order for 20% off 1st order + free shipping.)
  • Alcohol is toxic to the brain and liver and affects your body’s physiology.
  • Processed foods are empty calories that typically contain preservative chemicals that your body doesn’t like.

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What to Avoid While on Thyroid Medication

If you have an underactive thyroid, you should take the thyroid replacement medicine prescribed to you by your healthcare physician. Always wait at least 30 minutes after taking your medication on an empty stomach to consume anything other than water.

Be aware that these medications, such as Synthroid (levothyroxine), often come with serious and unpleasant side effects. Be careful not to consume too much fiber, as that may impact the body’s ability to absorb the medicine properly.

If you are on thyroid medication (like levothyroxine), avoid taking these foods/drugs within several hours of your thyroid medication:

  • Walnuts
  • Soybean flour
  • Cottonseed meal
  • Excess fiber (can impede digestion of essential nutrients)
  • Excess iodine (can trigger Graves’ disease [hyperthyroidism] in some people)
  • Calcium supplements
  • Iron supplements
  • Certain ulcer medications, like sucralfate
  • Certain cholesterol drugs, like cholestyramine or colestipol
  • Antacids which contain calcium, magnesium, or aluminum

Some experts even suggest waiting to drink your morning coffee at least 30 minutes after taking your thyroid medication.

Long-Term Dietary Recommendations for Hypothyroidism

The AIP diet is a short-term elimination diet, eliminating potential food allergens to find out if that is the root problem. However, there are some long-term dietary guidelines you shouldn’t give up when it comes time to stop the AIP diet:

  • Focus on a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and proteins. These health-promoting foods will keep you fuller longer.
  • Avoid gluten-containing grains and foods. Consuming gluten can lead to the formation of a leaky gut. The immune system may identify gluten as an intruder, and antibodies generated in response to gluten may mistakenly attack the thyroid due to their similar structures. This molecular mimicry may confuse the immune system, resulting in the production of antibodies against the thyroid.
  • Avoid goitrogens (foods that contain goitrin, a natural chemical that disrupts normal thyroid function — such as uncooked cruciferous vegetables).
  • If you discover that you have a food sensitivity, don’t consume that food. Gluten is the most common food sensitivity, with dairy close behind.
  • Steer clear of soy, including soy milk, especially non-organic soy.
  • If you don’t want to cut out alcohol altogether, drink in moderation and avoid sugary drinks.
  • Don’t buy heavily processed foods. These consist of empty calories and preservative chemicals your body doesn’t recognize. Fill your diet with as many whole and minimally processed foods as you can reasonably manage.


What is hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is an underactive thyroid condition most often caused by Hashimoto’s disease (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis). This disease causes the thyroid gland to be unable to produce enough thyroid hormone for optimal health.

In most cases, patients with hypothyroidism either have a clinical diagnosis of primary hypothyroidism (low levels of free T4 (FT4) and increased thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)) or subclinical, or “mild thyroid failure” (normal FT4 and increased TSH).

This thyroid disease may also be caused by poor hormone production in the pituitary gland or hypothalamus in secondary hypothyroidism.

Read Next: What Are Considered Normal Thyroid Hormone Levels? 

What are the causes of hypothyroidism?

90% of hypothyroidism cases stem from Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune disorder.

The most common triggers of Hashimoto’s disease are:

What you eat can affect your hormones, exposure to toxins, and the function of your detoxification and immune systems. But most importantly, diet determines your nutrient intake, food sensitivity response, and gut health.

To learn about these triggers and to optimize your gut with the help of PrimeHealth experts, check out our online Prime Gut Health course

Other causes of hypothyroidism may include:

  • Thyroiditis (inflamed thyroid)
  • Congenital hypothyroidism (present at birth)
  • Damage to the thyroid (possibly by surgery or radiation)
  • Certain medications (amiodarone, lithium, and cancer medications such as tyrosine kinase inhibitors)

What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism?

The thyroid is responsible for many bodily functions besides metabolism, such as growth, temperature regulation, and cell repair.

Common symptoms of hypothyroidism include: 

  • Constipation
  • Cold sensitivity
  • Mood changes
  • Weight gain (often one of the first signs)
  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Slow heart rate
  • Enlarged thyroid (called a goiter)
  • Depression

Hypothyroidism Treatment in Denver, CO

When you work with a healthcare professional at PrimeHealth, we will choose an appropriate treatment plan based on your thyroid function, symptoms, and overall well-being

Looking for a holistic approach to reversing hypothyroidism? If you live in Denver, Colorado, come visit us at PrimeHealth clinic. We’ve already helped hundreds of patients reverse hypothyroidism!  Set up a consultation today.


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