When his daughter, Zoe, developed a thyroid issue and hoped to avoid meds, “we experimented with diet,” Dr. Oz reveals in his book Food Can Fix It ($12.24, Amazon). Zoe loaded up on healing foods and “eliminated wheat, dairy, and red meat.” The approach paid off. “Her thyroid levels went back to normal, and more than five years later, she hasn’t had a problem since.” Our favorite part: Experts say any of us can use Dr. Oz’s new thyroid cure to perk up our “metabolism glands,” rev energy, raise overall health, and drop stubborn pounds!
The thyroid is an “itty bitty gland hidden beneath the Adam’s apple that affects your body in a big way,” Dr. Oz explained on his show. Thyroid hormones regulate mood, memory, heart rate, and more. “The thyroid is also the superhero of metabolism, determining how quickly you turn calories and stored fat into energy,” notes nutritionist and Fast Metabolism Diet author Haylie Pomroy, one of Dr. Oz’s go-to thyroid experts. Pomroy says taking care of the gland is important whether you have a thyroid condition or not. “Any woman who wants to feel her best and maintain a healthy weight should nurture her thyroid.”
Dr. Oz’s Thyroid Solution
Dr. Oz coached Zoe to trade foods that are often highly inflammatory (like white flour, milk, and grain-fed beef) for foods with strong anti-inflammatory properties (especially low-sugar fruit, veggies, nuts, beans, and seafood). Why is this key? Turns out, most of us are inflamed on the inside — a problem triggered by junk food, hidden food allergies, stress, and even toxins. “Hormones we release to fight inflammation end up blocking pathways that our thyroid hormones use — so when your body is fighting inflammation, your thyroid struggles,” explains Pomroy, noting that weight gain, low energy, brain fog, and hair loss are common consequences.
Good news: As the right diet makes inflammation subside, and thyroid function picks up quickly so we feel better overall and burn fat much faster. “You may also lose pounds of water weight the body retains while it’s inflamed!” adds Pomroy. Another important factor: Gluten and other compounds in wheat (even whole wheat) may set off a chain reaction in our bellies so intense that it “actually leads to an autoimmune response where the body attacks its own thyroid,” says Yale-trained women’s health expert Aviva Romm, MD.
Opting for healthy wheat-free foods — such as brown rice over white pasta, popcorn over pretzels — “can protect your thyroid and tremendously support weight loss.”
Food Can Fix It’s guidelines call for meals with about 450 calories a piece, each including high-quality protein, healthy fat, optional unprocessed gluten-free starch (oatmeal, potatoes, corn, beans), and unlimited non-starchy veggies. Add healthy snacks and one to two servings of low-sugar fruit daily. Limit added sugar to 12 grams daily. Have or suspect a thyroid problem? Healthy eating tends to make weight loss easier, but you may need prescription meds to protect your health. Talk to your doctor and follow his or her advice. And always get your doctor’s okay to try a new diet.
Breakfast: Cherry Almond Overnight Oats — Mix 1⁄2 cup frozen cherries, 1⁄2 cup almond milk, 1⁄4 cup rolled oats, 2 Tbsp. plant protein powder, and 1 Tbsp. toasted almonds. Cover and chill overnight; garnish with a cherry on top.
Lunch: Burger & Fries Salad — Roast 1⁄2 cup sweet potato wedges with 1⁄2 Tbsp. olive oil. Meanwhile, prepare 1 bean-based burger per package directions. Serve over a mixed salad with 1 1⁄2 Tbsp. olive oil vinaigrette.
Snacks: Make any healthy picks you like (avoiding wheat, dairy, and red meat), aiming to keep snacks under 400 calories a day. Great options include brown-rice sushi, an apple with nut butter or veggies with guacamole.
Dinner: Salmon and Creamy Zoodles — In blender, blitz 1 can coconut milk, 1⁄2 cup nutritional yeast, 1 tsp. minced garlic, 1 tsp. oregano, salt, and pepper. Warm over low heat. Toss with 6 cups zoodles. Yields 4 servings. Enjoy with 4 oz. pan-seared salmon each.
Bonus Recipe: Thyroid-Healing Chicken Chilli
Packed with anti-inflammatory nutrients, this dish will warm your soul and boost your thyroid!
- 2 lbs. boneless chicken
- 2 onions, diced
- 2 Tbsp. minced garlic
- 2 cups bell peppers, diced
- 2 Tbsp. chili powder
- 4-5 cups chicken broth
- 2 (14 oz.) cans diced tomatoes with green chiles
- 2 (15 oz.) cans white beans, rinsed well
- Mix all ingredients in a slow cooker, making sure liquid covers chicken by an inch. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.
- Remove chicken, shred with two forks, then stir back in chili. Garnish as desired.
Yields 8 Servings.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.
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