Can you eat soya with an underactive thyroid?

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “can you eat soya with an underactive thyroid?”. We will also discuss what is hypothyroidism, and what foods we can consume. 

Can you eat soya with an underactive thyroid?

Yes, you can consume soybeans, as there is no evidence to indicate that people with hypothyroidism should completely avoid consuming soybeans. 

The soybean (Glycine max) is a species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean, which has numerous uses. Traditional unfermented food uses of soybeans include soy milk, from which tofu and tofu skin are made. Fermented soy foods include soy sauce, fermented bean paste, nattō, and tempeh. 

The consumption of foods containing soy or soy-based foods has been a very controversial topic, there have been different studies that say that in adults you can consume soy, however, you have to be careful when consuming medication and after 4 hours eat soy. 

The latter is because it has been studied that soy can interfere in the absorption of the medication (synthetic thyroid hormone).

When we have a condition that is related to the thyroid we ask ourselves several questions about our diet, what kind of food we can eat, what food groups and foods do not aggravate the disease, and what we are going to see later

What is hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)?

Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones to meet the body’s needs.

The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck. It produces hormones that control different body functions such as breathing, heart rate, weight, digestion, and mood. The hormones produced by the thyroid affect almost every organ in the body and control many of your body’s most important functions.

Without enough thyroid hormones, many of the body’s functions slow down.

What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism?

Symptoms of hypothyroidism can vary from person to person and may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Puffy face
  • Problems tolerating cold
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin
  • Dry and thin hair
  • Decreased sweating
  • Heavy or irregular menstrual periods
  • Fertility problems in women
  • Depression
  • Low heart rate
  • Goiter is an enlarged thyroid that can make your neck look swollen. Sometimes it can cause breathing or swallowing problems.

What is the effect of soy on hypothyroidism? 

Soy is part of a category of foods known as goitrogens, i.e., foods and supplements that prevent the proper production of thyroid hormones and cause the thyroid gland to enlarge. Goitrogens inhibit the production of thyroid hormones by interfering with the entry of iodine into the thyroid gland.

Soy may also affect the thyroid by some other mechanisms, such as inhibiting the action of thyroid hormones throughout the body and reducing the absorption of thyroid medications in the intestines.

What is the diet with underactive thyroid like?

In your hypothyroidism diet, you should increase the consumption of hyperthyroid foods because they are rich in iodine and activate the production of thyroid hormones. The diet can be based on the following food groups:

  • Vegetables like garlic, tomatoes, spinach, beans, and peas
  • Cereals and legumes: corn, sunflower, lentils, peas, beans, oats
  • Fruits and nuts: mango, apple, dates, dates, coconut, strawberries, apricot, Brazil nuts, pineapple, hazelnut, pistachios, cashew nuts
  • Herbs and spices: hyssop, fennel, ground ivy, cinnamon, ginseng, basil

What foods to avoid for an underactive thyroid?

  • Cruciferae such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, turnip, and especially radish. Due to their caffeic and chlorogenic acid content, they reduce thyroid activity.
  • Cereals such as millet, wheat, and seeds such as flax seeds and pine nuts, also reduce thyroxine production.
  • Caffeic acid: celery, orange, lemon, carrot, avocado, plum, eggplant, peach.
  • Ellagic acid: pomegranate and grape.
  • Lithium: onion, asparagus, chicory, melon, parsley, potato.

The bottom line 

As reported in the article, the consumption of soy when you have hypothyroidism is still a controversial topic, since it can be consumed, however, you must keep some precautions, such as eating soy after 4 hours have passed after taking the medication. 

Likewise, we saw what is the diet with different food groups that can be consumed when you have this condition, which include some vegetables such as spinach, fruits such as mango, cereals like corn, and spices such as cinnamon. 

We also saw which are the foods or groups of foods that we should avoid in order not to have an impact, for example, orange and lemon because they contain caffeic acid.

Although we have reviewed the diet, it is of utmost importance to go to a specialist nutritionist who will give you a personalized diet according to your condition such as hypothyroidism.

Other FAQs about Soybeans that you may be interested in.

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In this brief guide, we have addressed the query “can you eat soya with an underactive thyroid?”. We have also discussed what is hypothyroidism, and what foods you can consume.