The leaky gut diet, also known as the autoimmune diet or anti-inflammatory diet, plays an important role in managing Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism. Removing inflammatory foods allows an inflamed and damaged gut to repair, which in turn allows the immune system to recover and thyroid function to improve. However, despite the phenomenal success rate of the autoimmune Hashimoto’s diet, it can look very daunting, if not impossible, to the beginner.
In a nutshell, the autoimmune diet is free of grains, dairy, eggs, all sweeteners, nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant), and processed foods. What’s left is a diet that focuses on plenty of vegetables, cultured vegetables, such as sauerkraut, and healthy meats and fats. You should eat regularly enough to avoid drops in blood sugar and drink plenty of filtered or spring water.
Because the diet is rather stringent, grabbing a quick meal while you’re out or conjuring a meal from an empty fridge is tricky. The most important strategy for success on the autoimmune Hashimoto’s diet is planning and preparation. You have to be one step ahead of yourself when it comes to future meals. Also, as the diet can be so new to people, simply knowing what to eat is a brain tease in itself.
Following are some resources to help you embark with confidence on the autoimmune Hashimoto’s diet.
Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook
The author created this book as a result of her own journey on the autoimmune diet and the significant recovery it brought her. Seeing a need for support with menu planning and recipes, she created the Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook.
Allergy-free Menu Planners
This is another support service in the way of planning and recipes. The Allergy-free Menu Planner sends you monthly menu plans that include shopping lists and menus for every night of the week.
If you’re new to eating gluten-free, the lists of legal and illegal foods can be confusing. Gluten is lurking in many seemingly innocuous foods, such as condiments, sauces, and even airline peanuts. Celiac.com is a site that details what is and isn’t safe on a gluten-free diet and provides information on gluten-free sources. A number of studies have shown an association between gluten and Hashimoto’s, so a gluten-free diet is an important strategy when you have Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism.
Cultures for Health
Consuming cultured foods and drinks is an essential part of the leaky gut diet to help restore a healthy balance of gut flora. To the newcomer, fermenting, culturing, and kefiring can seem foreign and even risky. Cultures for Health provides plenty of easy how-to articles and videos, as well as starter cultures. You also may be able to find starter cultures locally through food co-ops or on Craigslist.org. Pickl-It supplies airtight culturing containers for a genuine ferment that is low in histamines, compounds that can trigger inflammation.
The ideal types of meat on the autoimmune Hashimoto’s diet are pastured meats raised on small farms. The animals are raised ethically and on diets nature intended, and are free from hormones, antibiotics, and GMO feeds. Because grass-fed meats have become so popular, you may be able to find them on small farms in your area or at health food stores. US Wellness Meats is an online source that can ship a wide variety of frozen pastured meats to your home.
Coconut oil is a staple on the leaky gut diet, taking the place of butter for many cooking needs (unless you are sensitive to coconut, which some people are). Thankfully coconut oil is becoming more commonplace on the shelves of health food stores and even Costco. Tropical Traditions was one of the first to offer coconut oil for sale online and continues to offer premium oils.
These are just a few resources to get you started. For more advice on the autoimmune diet, Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, and nutritional compounds to facilitate your wellness journey, contact my office.