Foods to Eat or Avoid if You Have Graves’ Disease

Although what you eat may impact your Graves' disease symptoms, it's more important to put thought into meal preparation and focus on eating items that won't worsen your condition. To feel your best while undergoing therapy for Graves' disease, you will likely need a mix of therapies, including dietary changes, drugs, and radioactive iodine.

hen the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone, hyperthyroidism is most often brought on by Graves' disease. Some foods may help alleviate Graves' disease symptoms. However, neither preventing or treating the condition can be accomplished via eating a particular diet. Also, remember that each person is unique, making it an exercise in trial and error to determine which meals may help or hinder your symptoms.

The meals you should eat most often are more general in their ability to alleviate Graves' disease symptoms.

Foods to eat

Some of Graves' illness symptoms may be alleviated by eating foods high in certain nutrients. Among them are −

Foods high in calcium

Calcium absorption may be impaired in people with hyperthyroidism. It causes osteoporosis and weak bones. While certain dairy products enriched with iodine may not be as good as others, eating a diet high in calcium may assist.

If you're concerned about getting enough iodine in your diet, see your physician or nutritionist for advice on the types of dairy products you should include in your diet and those you should avoid. Calcium may also be found in the following other dietary groups −

  • Broccoli

  • Skale

  • Okra

Dark, leafy greens

Bone turnover, the process of naturally breaking down and replacing bones, may be hastened by an overactive thyroid. Because of this, your body may need more calcium than usual. Brittle bones and osteoporosis might result from a lack of calcium in the diet over time.

To prevent these problems, it is recommended that you increase your intake of leafy green vegetables high in calcium. Replace your vitamins with salads. In his own words, Spratt is "a great proponent" of having all of one's nutritional needs met by the foods one eats.

Nevertheless, the ODS notes that iodine may also be found in dairy products like milk.

Pumpkin seeds

Everyone, particularly those with specific diseases like Grave's, needs to ensure they get enough magnesium in their diet. This essential mineral controls muscle and nerve activity, maintains healthy blood pressure, and bolsters the immune system, among other functions. In addition, your Graves' disease symptoms may become more severe if your magnesium intake is inadequate.

Pumpkin seeds, cashews, and peanuts are just a few of the numerous foods that contain magnesium. Adding a few nuts or seeds to your salad, soup, or main dish is a great way to boost the flavour and nutritional content of your meal.

You can always take a magnesium supplement, but WebMD says you'll be healthier if you eat a balanced diet instead of relying on a synthetic pill.

You'll get abundant beneficial elements, including vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are fantastic for your health because of their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.


Antioxidants abound in berries, especially blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries. These anti-inflammatory foods, whether fresh or frozen, support a healthy immune system. Graves' disease is an autoimmune illness in which the body's immune system mistakenly assaults healthy tissues. While eating berries won't stop you from getting Graves' disease, it will help keep your health in check. Choose organic berries wherever feasible to reduce exposure to potentially immune-compromising pesticides and fertilizers.

Milk and other dairy products

When left untreated, Graves' illness may cause bone loss (which can progress to osteoporosis); however, when the condition has been managed, increasing calcium intake in the diet can aid in restoring and strengthening bone density. Have a diet rich in dairy products like milk, cheese, and yoghurt to ensure adequate calcium intake. Choose items like Lactaid or use Lactaid tablets if you have lactose intolerance. Orange juice, soy or almond milk, whole grain cereals, and bread are just some foods fortified with calcium and vitamin D.


Salmon is a great source of dietary vitamin D, but doctors warn that you should avoid eating too much of it if you have an overactive thyroid. The daily value is included in a single 3-ounce portion, with 570 IU (international units).

Vitamin D is a hormone that plays an important role in maintaining a healthy immune system, healthy muscles, and strong bones. Because of the increased calcium loss associated with Graves' illness also aids in the body's absorption of the mineral. Vitamin D may be produced by exposing skin to UV light, but taking a supplement or obtaining it via food is a more dependable and safer way to ensure adequate levels all year round. First, try eating more salmon, preferably wild-caught salmon, which is higher in nutrients.

Avoidable Foods

Talk to your doctor or a nutritionist if you need assistance figuring out what foods to avoid. You may maintain a food diary if you want to know which foods bring on your symptoms and which don't. These are some food groups to cut out of your diet −


Caffeine-containing foods like coffee, soda, tea, and chocolate may exacerbate Graves' disease symptoms, including anxiety, nervousness, high heart rate, and weight loss. Discuss with your doctor if you should reduce the amount of caffeine in your diet rather than cutting it out entirely. You don't have to give up your morning, joe, if it doesn't make you feel terrible.

Allergens in food

You may want to avoid eating the offending dish if you have any food allergy, no matter how small. Certain dietary allergies might cause symptoms similar to Graves' disease; avoiding these allergens may help your doctor diagnose your condition correctly. Dairy products, wheat (gluten) products, soy, maize, and nuts are among the most often encountered food allergies.


According to a study published in Autoimmunity Reviews, Graves' illness often co-occurs with another autoimmune disorder, the most common of which is celiac disease. Because of the possible relation to gluten sensitivity, your doctor may advise you to cut down on pasta and other gluten-rich foods.

The protein fragments that makeup gluten are from several sources. Gluten may be found in wheat, barley, rye, brewer's yeast, and malt. Bread and other baked items (waffles, pies, pancakes), cereal, crackers, spaghetti, beer, and so on have all been reported to contain gluten by researchers. So, if you have Graves' illness, you may want to avoid them unless they are labeled gluten-free.

It's important to remember that only a subset of persons with an overactive thyroid will also have gluten sensitivity. Nonetheless, it is essential to undergo testing to determine whether or not you do. While it is unclear whether or not adhering to a gluten-free diet may aid in treating thyroid illness, those diagnosed with celiac disease should avoid gluten at all costs.


Of the many potential causes of hyperthyroidism, Graves' disease is a major one. While dietary changes cannot provide a permanent solution, they may help manage symptoms. Finding out what foods you may and cannot consume depends on whether or not you have any food sensitivities or allergies.

It's also important to get enough of certain nutrients, which may help keep illness symptoms at bay. A meal diary and discussions with a doctor or nutritionist may help you determine what foods to include and which to exclude from your diet.

Updated on: 03-Apr-2023


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