Medically reviewed by
Dr. Katie Rothwell, ND, a licensed Naturopathic Doctor with clinical focus in thyroid conditions and Hashimoto's disease through The College of Naturopaths of Ontario, Canada.
Finding healthy recipes that are quick-to-prep and tasty is a great way to stay on top of your thyroid health. Here are some lunch ideas that are equal parts anti-inflammatory and delicious!
Your thyroid is a small gland at the base of your throat that is responsible for controlling a variety of bodily functions through hormone signalling.
It is mainly involved in managing our bodies’ metabolism and as such, its action and health are implicated in the functioning of all body systems. Eating healthful foods that boost thyroid function is thus incredibly important to overall health.
Following an anti-inflammatory diet is one way to support your thyroid health – by eating foods that are high in antioxidants and low in glycemic load, you can reduce background levels of pain and inflammation within your body.
This article will discuss the following topics:
- Key diet tips to focus on when selecting recipes
- Healthy staple ingredients to keep handy
- 5 tasty lunch recipes
Key Diet Tips to Focus On When Selecting Recipes
- Colorful veggies and fruits → Focusing on fruits and vegetables that are colorful like berries, leafy greens and peppers ensures that you have rich sources of various vitamins and antioxidants in your diet. These elements are key for protecting against cell damage from oxidative stress, which is among the leading causes of tumor formation. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables also increases your fiber intake, which can improve digestion and nutrient absorption.
- Eat ‘healthy’ fats→ If you have a thyroid condition, you may find it difficult to maintain a stable body weight as excessive or deficient thyroid hormone levels lead to abnormal metabolic activity. One way to avoid this fluctuating weight is to avoid high-calorie foods that are chock-full of saturated fatty acids, which contribute to increased levels of ‘bad’ or LDL cholesterol as well as weight gain.
- Focus on a low glycemic load → This also means cutting out highly processed foods, which generally have a lot of added salt and sugar, which can be stressful on your heart. Research shows that a diet high in refined sugar can impair metabolic function and fat storage by causing irregularities in thyroid function, which is precisely the outcome you want to avoid if you already have a thyroid condition.
- Use researched recipes → Choosing a healthy diet when living a thyroid disease can be difficult as the right choices depend on your specific condition. Before making a ny changes, be sure to consult your primary care physician or endocrinologist to ensure that they are right for you. If you are looking to do some independent exploration, a great starting place is ThyCa’s low iodine recipe booklet.
Healthy Staple Ingredients To Keep Handy
- Quinoa → Instead of white rice which is undoubtedly tasty, consider substituting quinoa as your grain of choice. Not only is it high in fiber, but it is also a great source of protein and is high in monounsaturated fats, making it a great choice for an anti-inflammatory diet.
- Salmon→ Fatty fish are a great protein source that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which play an important role in upregulating proteins that fight inflammation. They are also really easy to cook and make a great choice for a single sit-down meal or a week’s worth of food prep.
- Tubers → Focusing on a low glycemic load diet does not mean that you have to cut carbs out of your life. Instead, you can choose ‘smart’ carbs that are slower to digest, which avoids the sudden spikes in your blood sugar that are associated with chronic inflammation. If you can stock your pantry with smart choices for sources of carbs, consider carrots, sweet potatoes and even legumes.
5 Tasty Lunch Recipes
One-Pan Roasted Chicken With Turmeric and Fennel
This excellent roasted chicken recipe from The Mediterranean Dish takes only 15 minutes to prepare and can all be done in one skillet! It can serve up to 6 people and makes an excellent main dish for a group lunch or dinner.
This chicken dish is thyroid friendly as it features turmeric and fennel, which are excellent antioxidants that reduce bodily inflammation.
In Iranian traditional medicine, fennel is also known as a hot temperament seed and studies show that it is implicated in increasing metabolism by influencing the body’s levels of various thyroid hormones.
This simple lunch recipe from olive magazine is incredibly easy to prepare, and only takes 45 minutes to prep and bake! It features excellent anti-inflammatory ingredients like ground turmeric and fresh ginger as well as a healthy serving of veggies.
This is a great food prep option for a week’s lunch – you can serve it with some cauliflower rice, quinoa or couscous and a side of sliced fruit for a balanced bento box-style meal.
Quinoa and Black Bean Chili
Olive magazine provides yet another excellent anti-inflammatory recipe with this quinoa and black bean chili, which is an excellent choice for vegans.
The star of this recipe is ground cumin, which is a potent anti-inflammatory agent that has been shown to modulate markers of oxidative stress related to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
Golden Vegetable Soup
You can switch up your lunches with CookingLight’s golden vegetable soup recipe. This hearty meal features sweet potato and carrots, which are excellent sources of Vitamin A.
On top of being a key compound that aids in various bodily processes like vision and reproduction, research shows that Vitamin A can positively influence thyroid hormone production as well as reduce the risk of thyroid tumor formation.
Overall, the soup is deliciously warm and creamy, which is achieved using nonfat plain yogurt, which is a great dairy option for keeping ‘bad’ or LDL cholesterol to a minimum.
Curry Quinoa Salad
If you are into salads, this recipe for a curry quinoa salad from whole food more life provides just the right balance of vegetables, healthy grains and fresh herbs.
Aside from the time it takes to cook the quinoa, the preparation for this dish is very quick and easy. This salad can be eaten as a stand alone, or as a side to a protein of your choice, like the one-pan turmeric chicken recipe mentioned above.
- Your thyroid is a small gland at the base of your throat that is responsible for controlling a variety of bodily functions through hormone signaling.
- Eating healthful foods that boost thyroid function is incredibly important to overall health.
- By eating foods that are high in antioxidants and low in glycemic load, you can reduce background levels of pain and inflammation within your body.
- Some hallmarks of an anti-inflammatory diet include colorful fruits and veggies, ‘healthy’ fats as well as low glycemic load foods.
- Some staple ingredients to keep handy in your kitchen include quinoa, salmon and tubers.
You can get thyroid condition information, healthy recipes as well as lifestyle advice on the ThyForLife website, and track how any changes affect any thyroid-related symptoms using the ThyForLife app.