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Optimizing Health with a Hashimoto's Disease Diet: A Naturopathic and Functional Medicine Approach

Written by Portland Clinic of Natural Health on May 26, 2023

Hashimoto's disease, an autoimmune condition that targets your thyroid, can be managed effectively through a combination of medical treatments and lifestyle modifications. One of these critical modifications is diet. As practitioners of naturopathic and functional medicine, we understand that food plays a significant role in how your body operates and interacts with conditions such as Hashimoto's. In this blog post, we'll explore the optimal diet for managing Hashimoto's disease, focusing on reducing inflammation, supporting gut health, and promoting hormonal balance.

The Importance of a Gluten-Free Diet

Research suggests that people with Hashimoto's disease often benefit from a gluten-free diet. Gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, has been linked to increased inflammation and autoimmune responses in some people. Some studies suggest an improvement in Hashimoto's when adhering to a gluten-free diet. (1, 2)

Prioritize Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Hashimoto's disease triggers an autoimmune response that can lead to inflammation. By incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into your diet, you can help manage this. Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids like fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines), flaxseeds, and walnuts, and a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, are excellent choices. (3)

Support Gut Health

A healthy gut is paramount in managing autoimmune conditions. Many people with Hashimoto's disease have reported improved symptoms after switching to a gut-friendly diet. This involves eating fermented foods rich in probiotics like yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut, and fiber-rich foods that nourish your gut bacteria, such as whole grains, legumes, and a variety of fruits and vegetables. (4)

Balancing Blood Sugar

Maintaining stable blood sugar levels can significantly improve thyroid function. Opt for complex carbohydrates such as quinoa, brown rice, and oats, lean proteins like chicken, turkey, and tofu, and healthy fats from avocados, nuts, and seeds. These foods release energy slowly, helping to prevent the blood sugar spikes and crashes that can stress your thyroid. (5)

Avoid Goitrogenic Foods in Excess

Goitrogenic foods can interfere with your thyroid's ability to utilize iodine. They are not necessarily harmful and provide many health benefits, but it is best to consume them cooked and in moderation. These include certain vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, and kale, among others. (6)

Remember, each person's body responds differently to dietary changes, and what works for one may not work for another. Therefore, it's important to work closely with a holistic healthcare provider familiar with your personal health history and the nuances of Hashimoto's disease.

This blog post is just a starting point. We encourage you to embark on a journey of learning and personal experimentation to find the dietary strategies that work best for your unique body, always under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Please remember, if you're experiencing any symptoms or have any health concerns, consult with a naturopathic or functional medicine healthcare provider before making any significant changes to your diet.


  1. Krysiak R, Szkróbka W, Okopień B. The Effect of Gluten-Free Diet on Thyroid Autoimmunity in Drug-Naïve Women with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis: A Pilot Study. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2019 Jul;127(7):417-422. doi: 10.1055/a-0653-7108. Epub 2018 Jul 30. PMID: 30060266.
  2. Lerner A, Freire de Carvalho J, Kotrova A, Shoenfeld Y. Gluten-free diet can ameliorate the symptoms of non-celiac autoimmune diseases. Nutr Rev. 2022 Feb 10;80(3):525-543. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuab039. PMID: 34338776.
  3. Dolan K, Finley H, Gasta M, Houseman S. Managing Hashimoto's Thyroiditis Through Personalized Care: A Case Report. Altern Ther Health Med. 2018 May;24(3):56-61. PMID: 29428930.
  4. Virili C, Fallahi P, Antonelli A, Benvenga S, Centanni M. Gut microbiota and Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Rev Endocr Metab Disord. 2018 Dec;19(4):293-300. doi: 10.1007/s11154-018-9467-y. PMID: 30294759.
  5. Eom YS, Wilson JR, Bernet VJ. Links between Thyroid Disorders and Glucose Homeostasis. Diabetes Metab J. 2022 Mar;46(2):239-256. doi: 10.4093/dmj.2022.0013. Epub 2022 Mar 24. PMID: 35385635; PMCID: PMC8987680.
  6. Manappallil RG, Muralidharan R, Shalu S, Haneef F. Hashimoto's thyroiditis aggravated by goitrogenic diet presenting as rhabdomyolysis worsened by alcohol intake. BMJ Case Rep. 2021 Jul 9;14(7):e243385. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2021-243385. PMID: 34244189; PMCID: PMC8273470.

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