Don’t skip the fruit if you have thyroid disease! I find so many people who are hesitant to eat more fruit likely to due diet culture brainwashing us about watching our carbs. However, did you know that people who eat more fruit tend to weigh less than those who don’t!? Past research tells us this repeatedly.
In addition, think about all the antioxidants and fiber we get from fruit. Antioxidants may play a critical role in modulating and preventing thyroid disease. Fruits are rich in antioxidants and usually contain excellent vitamin C as well!
How to Eat More Fruit
1. Buy fruit pre-cut to make more appetizing
I have to sometimes force myself to eat fruit as well as it is not my usualy go-to. I like melons that are already cut up or fruits that I can easily pick at. I always like a good crunchy apple for on-the-go, though. I prefer to get my fruit from smoothies because I can blend in a few greens to help balance the taste and not make it so sweet. Does anyone have a good smoothie recipe they like?
2. BLend fruit in a smoothie
My go-to for home is about 1 cup berries + protein powder + coconut or macadamia nut milk + handful of spinach + stevia and blend! Somtimes I make a pineapple (and add half a frozen banana) and ginger smoothie with lemon juice and turmeric as well. It just depends what fruit I have in the freezer. If I go to a smoothie cafe, I tend to get a green smoothie with pineapple/mango/banana + greens + ginger + water + protein powder. It also depends what type of blend you have to determine what type of smoothie you can make. The high end blenders have the ability to process leafy greens into very tiny small particles for optimal texture and taste. We currently have a Ninja which I don’t really like because it makes my smoothie too frothy and the texture isn’t quite right.
3. Add fruit into a recipe
This is one of my favorite ways to get fruit: add fruit on top of a salad or rice/quinoa bowl. Or, I like to make low sugar, healthier muffins with fruit in them like berries or unsweet applesauce for example. And, I really load up the muffins with fruit. Of course, I like a good pumpkin muffin, but pumpkin is a root vegetable, which, by the way, is supportive for thyroid due to the vitamin A! Another idea is to make a fruit salsa with mango and put it on top of fish or chicken. Yum.
I get some of my best ideas from other dietitians and nutritionists, so I thought it would be great to share some of what is in a thyroid dietitian’s fridge! However, my refrigerator is not perfect or ideal. My husband and daughter have many things that they like that take up space in my fridge. I also have various food sensitivities that are unique to me and may change my choices.
Typical Foods in My Fridge
- Carrots, celery, mini peppers for snacks and salads (or, other veggies I can get for snack and salads that look fresh or occaisonal farmer’s market haul)
- Mixed greens or romaine lettuce for salads
- Pre-made salad kits sometimes in a pinch for variety
- Pears, apples, or other fruit in season (organic)
- Unsweet coconut milk for smoothies
- Cheese of some type for my daughter or I eat a small amount with a meal
- Kerrygold butter (mostly grass fed and we can get in bulk at Costco)
- Natural peanut butter (I can’t eat almonds, but we keep on hand for my family)
- Avocado mayo like this
- Sometimes natural deli meat or natural sausage of some type (usually from Costco)
- Ground flaxseed (I find adding a tablespoon to my smoothies helps my skin! I think it may have to do with helping to balance my hormones)
- Some kind of pesto (we get the pesto from Costco) or tomato sauce to use with meats or lentil pasta (I get this from Trader Joe’s or the regular grocery store) for a quick meal
- Cilantro: we keep extra greens and usually have extra cilantro for my 2 bunnies! They get fresh greens every morning (collard greens, red leaf lettuce, whatever lettuce we have, herbs, and they love cilantro)!
General Thyroid Shopping and Food Storage Tips
Try to use glass containers to store leftovers, and never keep leftovers longer than 4 days. Try not to use aluminum as we are not sure if this leaches into the food (in my food picture, my husband bought a quiche in an aluminum tray which doesn’t concern him hah). Also, try to ditch plastic in other areas in the fridge. This picture doesn’t show it, but I plan to use reusable produce bags when I go to the grocery store. Just remember to wash the produce bags periodically. You can snag some on Amazon (only $8 right now on Amazon) or even at your grocery store!
Naked Nutrition so kindly sent me two containers of protein powder (in exchange) for me to review. I happily accept reviews on these types of products that I am frequently recommending, and I always give my honest opinion.
One thing that I love about Naked protein powders is that they use minimal ingredients in their protein powders. Actually, they use only one ingredient!! This makes their products perfect for my food sensitivity sufferers. It also makes it easier to customize the taste of your protein smoothie. There are no flavorings in the plain whey protein like vanilla or chocolate (unless you purchase their vanilla or chocolate options) so you can use one protein powder and customize it yourself to create any flavor you like. No stevia or splenda is added either. This means that you can control how sweet your smoothie tastes.
I like to add one packet of stevia to all of my smoothies when using the Naked protein powders. This is about my desired level of sweetness.
In all protein powders, we must be concerned with pureness and contaminants especially for those with a thyroid condition. Naked Nutrition uses third party testing to test for contaminants and ingredient verification.
Their whey protein is grass fed, and they report they use small dairy farms to source the protein. Did you know that whey protein in general is less allergenic than casein protein, and contains l-glutamine to support intestinal health? This is why whey protein ranks as one of my favorite options for a protein powder.
Collagen protein is one of my new favorites! Collagen protein is fantastic for skin health support and intestinal health support. Collagen may help increase our secretory IgA levels which helps to support the mucosal lining of the intestinal tract. Therefore, this makes our intestinal tract stronger and hopefully less susceptible to food sensitivities. This is why you hear so much about collagen for autoimmune thyroid conditions.
Naked has a nice collagen protein powder that is also sourced from grass fed cows, and has a nice clean taste.
Hot Tip: You can easily bake with collagen protein as it is tasteless! Collagen protein is also a good option for those who want a protein powder that has the most minimal taste.
In my cookbook, The Nourished Thyroid, I like to make a low sugar pumpkin bread with collagen protein added!
How Do They Taste?
One major win is that my husband happily uses the whey protein. He prefers to use an unflavored and unsweetened one, so this is perfect for him. Both powders are a win for me as I can easily add them to recipes due to their very mild taste and blendability. When I use them in a smoothie, I typically will add 1 packet of stevia to sweeten to get my desired taste, and then I love it!
I have a handful of supplements that are my “go-to’s” for thyroid support. Lately, I have personally done well with magnesium for thyroid nutrition.
What can magnesium help with?
Magnesium may support muscle relaxation (which may also support better sleep). Overall, I do find that magnesium has helped me to reduce anxiety and stress, personally. However, I recommend to speak with your doctor or your personal Registered Dietitian to determine if magnesium if right for you.
Another wonderful benefit of magnesium is its ability to promote better bowel movements. For those of us who are hypothyroid, and suffer from more consistent constipation, magnesium can be a game changer.
Magnesium may also helpful when supplementing with larger quantities of vitamin D. As we supplement with higher doses of vitamin D, our body will use up more magnesium in order to increase the vitamin D in the body. Many of us with autoimmune thyroid conditions tend to supplement with vitamin D, so you may want to ask your doctor about adding in some magnesium.
Last, but not least, I like to use magnesium when I am doing more strength exercise. I find that the added magnesium helps my muscles perform better overall.
What are my favorite types of magnesium?
I like to use magnesium in the powder form because it is a rather “bulky” supplement. This means if you were to use a pill form, you would have to swallow quite a few pills in order to acheive the recommended dosage. So, a few brands I like are:
(Affiliate links are used here because I am constantly recommending these products, so hey(!), I should get a small commission (wink, wink).)
Food Forms of Magnesium
Foods such as dark chocolate, nuts (including peanuts), and avocado are some wonderful sources of magnesium. However, I find I am not able to get enough magnesium that I need from food form alone. Whole grains are also higher in magnesium, but many of us are straying away from grains, so we may be consuming less magnesium if we are not staying mindful.
Being cold is a common symptom of hypothyroidism. It is a general sign that the metabolism is running suboptimally. Sometimes we get cold when we have a fever or at the start of a cold, but this is a different kind of cold feeling. It is the type of cold that you may suffer from more constantly.
Thankfully, I have not had to deal with this symptom much. My hands and feet can get cold from time to time, but it is a more rare symptom for me.
So, what can you do about this cold feeling?
- First, get a full thyroid panel of bloodwork. This includes at least TSH, T4, free, and T3, free. This gives more insight into the bigger picture to see if your levels are optimal.
- Increase exercise in the first half of the day. Adding exercise earlier in the day can raise the body temperature and keep you warm for at least 90 minutes (or more!) after you have finished your exercise. Can’t exercise in the morning? No worries. Any exercise, especially strength building exercise will still help promote a healthy metabolism.
- Set a reminder to stand up every hour and move for about 5 minutes. This gets the blood flowing and helps boost body temperature.
- Drink warm beverages and foods at meal time. For example, sip on some hot herbal tea. Or, try more soups.
A few of these things are more short-term fixes. Ultimately, thyroid levels should be reassessed to determine if you are out of optimal ranges. In addition, a Registered Dietitian can evaluate your history and diet to determine if other food imbalances are a root cause to your feeling cold symptoms.