Are the fruits you’re eating (or not eating) sabotaging your thyroid health?
This is important to understand, yet most “thyroid experts” aren’t even aware of it.
But, if we’ve learned anything, it’s that even the smallest details can make a big difference.
Take hormones for example…
We talk a lot about how hypothyroidism creates various hormonal imbalances in your body. And, how those hormonal imbalances perpetuate your hypothyroidism.
Yet, did you know that these thyroid-suppressive hormones also exist in the foods that you eat?…
…even in your fruits and vegetables.
That’s right, the food you consume can directly contribute to your hormone levels and affect your thyroid function.
That’s why you need to minimize or eliminate the six “high-serotonin” fruits that I’m going to share with you in just a second.
But, before I do, it’s important you understand why serotonin is dangerous, especially for thyroid sufferers.
(IMPORTANT NOTE: Fruits in general are important for regulating thyroid function. However, not all fruits are created equal. Avoiding or limiting all fruit in your diet will promote hypothyroidism.)
Serotonin: The Not So “Happy Hormone”
You might have heard about serotonin from watching commercials for antidepressant drugs or through deeply misinformed health advice.
It’s often referred to as “the happy hormone” but the truth is actually quite the opposite.
So why is serotonin advertised this way?
For decades now, companies have been making these claims to market “selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor” (SSRI) antidepressant drugs that have, at best, an unclear track record, and have also made those companies billions of dollars in profit.
Yet, the supposed connection between low serotonin levels and depression has never been made.
Mice genetically depleted of brain serotonin do not display a depression-like behavioral phenotype.
“We hypothesized that these mice would show a profound behavioral phenotype indicative of depression. However, TPH2−/− mice were not different from wild-type controls on any of these tests and in some cases were more resistant to the development of depression-like behaviors than wild-type controls.”
In fact, if serotonin was a “happy hormone”, people with hypothyroidism would be among the happiest in the world…
…because hypothyroidism is known to promote the overproduction of serotonin.
Thyroid hormone control of serotonin in developing rat brain.
“The influence of thyroid hormone on serotonin was studied in different regions of the rat brain. Surgical thyroidectomy of adult male rats led to significant increases in the level of serotonin in the hypothalamus but had no effect on this biogenic amine in the brain stem and basal ganglia. […] The data suggest that thyroid hormone may exert an important regulatory influence on serotonin metabolism in the developing brain.”
Instead, people who have hypothyroidism often experience terrible stress and anxiety.
(NOTE: Looking for some relief from anxiety? Get the answers you need in this post on “Hypothyroidism and Anxiety: How to Free Yourself from the Fear and Worry”.)
This is because serotonin, in reality, is an innate stress hormone that triggers the “fight or flight” response in the brain, which is a natural, involuntary response meant to save us from mortal danger.
In addition, serotonin is well known for suppressing thyroid function too.
Why Serotonin Is Bad for Hypothyroidism
As mentioned above, thyroid sufferers commonly overproduce serotonin.
And, serotonin triggers the production of estrogen, cortisol, prolactin, and inflammatory histamine…
…unsurprisingly, all of which suppress thyroid function.
This promotes something I call the Hypothyroidism-Serotonin Cycle, which can trap you in a state of hypothyroidism.
Fortunately, we can break this cycle and help restore normal thyroid function at the same time.
We can do this in part by decreasing serotonin levels.
Avoiding foods that naturally contain larger amounts of serotonin can certainly help.
This includes the following…
6 High-Serotonin Fruits to Avoid
While fruits are certainly an important source of thyroid-boosting nutrients in our diet, not all fruits are created equal.
In fact, there are several fruits that contain very high levels of serotonin.
You might be surprised by some of the fruits on this list, because they are considered to be extremely healthy, even referred to as “superfoods” by many diet websites.
And while it’s true that these fruits contain important nutrients, I can assure you that you can find those nutrients in other fruits that are thyroid-supportive instead of thyroid-suppressive.
I’ve said it before, “It’s the dose that makes the poison,” and these 6 fruits have the highest levels of serotonin.
Here’s the list of the fruits that contain the highest levels of serotonin:
- Plantain (30.3 ± 7.5 µg/g weight)
- Pineapple (17.0 ± 5.1 µg/g weight)
- Banana (15.0 ± 2.4 µg/g weight)
- Kiwi (5.8 ± 0.9 µg/g weight)
- Plums (4.7 ± 0.8 µg/g weight)
- Tomatoes (3.2 ± 0.6 µg/g weight)
— From Serotonin content of foods: effect on urinary excretion of 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2413754
So what can we do about serotonin’s negative influence on our thyroid health and general wellbeing?
We need to stop it at the source.
We must decrease—or eliminate entirely— these high-serotonin fruits from our diet, as well as balancing our intake of tryptophan, the chemical the body uses to make serotonin.
In addition, we need to add thyroid-supportive foods to our diet that can help control the amount of serotonin produced in the body.
Fruits are important to supporting thyroid health.
It’s just important to focus on the right fruits rather than the wrong ones.
So… Instead of eating foods that can hinder your thyroid health, focus on foods that can help, such as the foods we use in our 3 Food Triple Thyroid-Boosting Daily Protocol…
You can download this daily protocol here.
It includes one fruit that can help reduce serotonin and its effects on the body while boosting thyroid function.
You can use this protocol to enhance your diet and your thyroid health so that you can feel better, reduce anxiety caused by hypothyroidism, and get back to the life you want to live.