Let’s face it: fruits are not getting the attention they deserve right now because they are filled with a four-letter word (if you know, you know)… sugar.
But guess what?
Fruits contain powerful ingredients that can help support thyroid function, improve gut health, fight off inflammation, protect your cells, and so much more.
If you’re a fruit lover, or if you’re just thinking about trying fruit because it’s been years since you’ve had any on your keto or carnivore diet, this article is for you!
Before we start let me give a disclaimer:
You can’t go wrong with just about any fruit but I’m going to highlight some of my personal favorites, specifically for better thyroid health.
The entire purpose of this article is just to highlight the positive impact that consuming fruits has on your thyroid and to get you to eat more of them.
In a world where carbohydrates and sugars have been made to be the enemy, it feels necessary to shine the light back on fruits for just a few minutes.
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How Fruits Benefit Your Thyroid
Fruits help support your thyroid in the following ways:
- By providing your body with fiber. This means better gut health and more butyrate production. Better gut health also means better thyroid health because up to 20% of all T3 is created in your gut.
- Fruits contain special ingredients called polyphenols and flavonoids. These organic compounds provide beneficial effects on inflammation, metabolism, cellular health, cancer, obesity, and heart health. They also give fruits their characteristic colors (1). Polyphenols and flavonoids are frequently condensed and concentrated into supplements to harness the power of fruits to treat specific medical conditions. So, for instance, quercetin, which is found in grapes and onions (2), is often used as a supplement to naturally manage allergies. And this exists for just about every fruit you can think of.
- They also contain essential vitamins and minerals. The same vitamins and minerals that your thyroid needs for everyday function. Some of the best sources of zinc, selenium, and magnesium come from plant sources.
- And if this wasn’t enough, maybe the fact that a diet high in fruits can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and obesity, might be.
Okay, with this in mind, let’s talk about the BEST fruits to eat for your thyroid:
It’s hard to pick the best fruit out there but this one might be it.
Blueberries are an amazing source of phytonutrients and antioxidants.
And, unlike some other fruits, they are relatively low calorie, low carbohydrate, and low on the glycemic index.
Blueberries contain phytochemicals including:
- Anthocyanins (3)
- And ellagic acid
Clocking in at just 50-85 calories per cup, this fruit will provide you with a huge dose of polyphenols and antioxidants.
Studies have shown that the phytochemicals in blueberries can help:
- Lower the risk of urinary tract infection (4)
- Protect against cardiovascular disease
- Help reduce short-term memory loss
- Provide anti-inflammatory benefits
- Ease the symptoms of menopause
- Prevent cancer
- Improve eye health
- And reduce the risk of osteoporosis
From the perspective of your thyroid, daily intake of blueberries provides your thyroid gland with the necessary ingredients to prevent oxidative damage thereby reducing your risk of thyroid gland damage from conditions like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
So, in essence, eat more blueberries to protect your thyroid gland!
#2. Goji Berries
Goji berries make the list because they are considered both an adaptogen and a fruit.
If you’ve seen my other articles and videos then you know that certain foods have adaptogenic properties which help your body tolerate and manage stress.
Goji berries are one of these foods.
They have been used for thousands of years in Asian countries,
and in traditional Chinese medicine, to treat conditions like fatigue, kidney problems, eye problems, immune problems, liver issues, and fertility-related problems, and to improve circulation (5).
More recently, research has shown that they do indeed provide beneficial effects on inflammation, immune function, eyesight, and liver detoxification.
As a thyroid patient, goji berries are of particular interest because their immune-boosting properties can help promote better thyroid conversion and protect against the onset of autoimmune disease which is the most common cause of hypothyroidism.
Beyond this benefit, their adaptogenic properties can provide energy and cortisol balance.
It’s hard to find fresh goji berries so grab some dehydrated or sun-dried goji berries and either eat them alone or throw them in a healthy homemade trail mix.
They can even be added on top of dark chocolate for an anti-oxidant power snack.
Of special note! Goji berries are considered a nightshade so they may not be ideal for everyone.
They are technically considered a fruit but they are far more similar to a tomato than something like an apple.
#3. Avocado (Biological Fruit)
Believe it or not, avocados are technically a fruit! And a very healthy one at that.
Avocados are one of the most unique fruits out there because instead of being naturally high in sugar and carbohydrates, they are naturally high in fat.
What makes avocados so healthy?
A combination of their fiber content, fat content, and phytochemical content.
One-half avocado provides you with:
- 4.6 grams of dietary fiber
- 0.2 grams of sugar
- 345 mg of potassium
- 19.5 mg of magnesium
- 60 mg of folate
- 0.2 mg of vitamin b6
- 1.3 mg of niacin
- 1.0 mg of pantothenic acid
- 0.1 mg of riboflavin
- 10 mg of choline
- 57 mg of phytosterols (the highest content of phytosterols out of ANY fruit, by the way!)
- And 6.7 grams of monounsaturated fatty acids
That was probably information overload but what you need to know here is that avocados provide a huge source of vitamins that are ideal for optimal thyroid function.
For perspective, let’s translate this into something more relatable:
An analysis of adult data from NHANES suggests that avocado consumers have higher HDL-cholesterol, lower risk of metabolic syndromes, and lower weights, BMIs, and waist circumferences (6) compared to people who don’t eat avocados.
For even more perspective, one avocado has nutrient and phytochemical profiles similar to 1.5 ounces of tree nuts.
In other words, you should be eating avocados.
Aim for around ½ to 1 avocado per day.
And, for those on a low-carb or keto diet, avocados are considered keto-approved.
Kiwis are probably one of the most underappreciated fruits out there so let’s give kiwis some love.
They make the list here because their vitamin content is almost unmatched (7).
- 2x the vitamin C content of oranges.
- More fiber, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K than oranges, apples, bananas, strawberries, and blueberries.
- The second highest amount of beta carotene and lutein and zeaxanthin (second to oranges).
- And a balanced blend of copper and potassium.
To make it even better, studies show that kiwi fruit can help:
- Treat constipation by activating as a natural laxative due to its protease actinidin which helps to digest proteins and speed up the intestinal tract.
- Improve mood.
- 2 kiwis before bed have been shown to improve sleep onset, duration, and sleep quality.
- And support overall immunity, better than vitamin C supplementation alone.
The Achilles heel of kiwis is the fact that 1-2% of the population may be allergic to them.
So if you are one of the unlucky few then you’ll have to settle for the other fruits listed here.
Kiwis make the thyroid-support fruit list because they target constipation and insomnia, both of which are huge problems among thyroid patients.
This one is a little bit of a stretch because if you are really wanted to nitpick, coconuts can technically fit the definition of a fruit, a nut, and a seed all at once.
But since they are a fruit, and they have great health benefits, we are definitely talking about them.
Similar to avocados, coconuts are considered a high-fat fruit.
And compared to avocados, their fat content is primarily saturated fat whereas avocados primarily contain unsaturated fats.
This will be important in a minute.
Yes, coconuts contain vitamins, minerals, and fiber, but that’s not where they shine.
They shine because they contain an ingredient called medium-chain triglycerides or MCT.
These medium-chain triglycerides are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and provide your body with an immediate source of energy.
Somewhat paradoxically, this can actually help you lose weight.
Several studies have shown MCT has an anti-obesity effect by influencing postprandial oxygen consumption, energy expenditure, and fat oxidation (8).
The result is a decrease in global adipose tissue, body fat, and whole-body subcutaneous fat.
This is obviously very important for thyroid patients because hypothyroidism, from any cause by the way, results in weight gain.
And there are many thyroid patients out there, perhaps even you, who struggle to lose weight despite eating healthy, exercising regularly, and taking their thyroid medication.
If you can eat a food to help you lose weight then, obviously, it would be of interest.
And for this reason, coconut makes the list.
If you want to use coconut for general thyroid health and to help with weight loss, then stick to the flesh of the coconut and not the water found inside.
Coconut water contains higher amounts of sugar whereas the flesh contains the fats that you want.
One potential issue with coconut is its high saturated fat content.
Consumption of high amounts of saturated fat may not be ideal for certain individuals, especially those with the apoe4 allele which is found in about a quarter of the population (9).
If you only have a small amount of coconut then this really isn’t a big deal, though.
There’s no question that the foods that you put into your mouth can have a positive or negative effect on your thyroid.
And if you are someone that loves the idea of naturally improving your thyroid with food then I’d recommend checking this article out next.
It highlights other thyroid-supporting superfoods that you can take which provide your body and thyroid gland with the nutrients it needs to function optimally.
Now I want to hear from you:
Are you someone that loves to eat fruits?
Did you know that certain fruits may be better than others for your thyroid?
Have you been told to avoid fruits because of their sugar content?
Are you planning on adding any of these fruits to your diet? Why or why not?
Leave your questions or comments below!