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Graves Disease Diet, Foods

An autoimmune disorder that causes the thyroid gland to excessively produce thyroid hormones, Graves disease is more common among women and is easily treatable once diagnosed. The thyroid gland, which is important for the regulation of mood, weight, mental and physical energy levels, becomes hyperactive in Graves disease. Graves disease is often treated by surgery or hormone therapy.

A person diagnosed with Graves disease needs to make voluntary changes to his/her diet menu. A Graves disease diet should exclude all foods that trigger the production of the thyroid hormone in excess amounts. It should include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and be devoid of sugars and refined foods.
A Graves disease diet menu should consist of foods that work toward boosting the immunity of the affected individual. Including fruits and vegetables in plenty and drinking eight to ten glasses of water every day is advisable for those with Graves disease. Avoiding gluten from the diet is also believed to help individuals who have Graves disease. A gluten free diet for Graves disease should include lean meat, fish, and chicken or turkey. Beans, corn, rice, milk, unprocessed cheeses, and fresh or frozen fruits or vegetables should make up the rest of the gluten free diet.
Breakfast should include rice products or cereal with fruits and milk or dairy products. Lunch can include rice and lean meat or fish. Supper may comprise rice, bean sprouts, legumes, lean meat, or fish and nuts. Fresh fruits should be consumed in two to three servings per day. Goitrogens are thyroid antagonists that are found in certain foods like Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, turnips, and the like. Goitrogenic foods for Graves disease create less toxicity when cooked. Goitrogenic foods are believed to be had in moderation for persons with Graves disease and should be consumed in accordance with the person’s condition.

Foods To Avoid With Graves Disease

Foods to avoid with Graves disease include those high in sugar and refined starches. Foods that have high iodine content like sea foods, iodized salt, and red meat should also be avoided. It would be beneficial to exclude those that can cause allergies like soy from the Graves disease diet menu.

Vitamins, Supplements For Graves Disease


Grave disease nutrition should be strictly monitored after Graves disease treatment has begun. With thyroid therapy, weight gain is quite possible, and hence, food should be controlled. The calories that you consume through your food should be reduced by cutting down on fatty foods. Excess sodium content in foods may result in swelling or edema. Hence, preserved and canned foods are best avoided. Persons with Graves disease should also be watchful of their blood cholesterol levels and include a proper diet and suitable exercise regime in their daily activities. Vitamins and minerals should also be supplemented in the diet like vitamins A and D and iron.


Graves disease is marked by inability of the body to absorb nutrients. Hence, deficiencies can be seen in individuals with Graves disease. Graves disease and vitamin B12 deficiency are commonly seen in the form of pernicious anaemia. Vitamin B12 is important for developing the immune system and for the proper functioning of thyroid gland. Vitamin D deficiency and Graves disease should also be considered, as the vitamin is required for proper absorption of calcium in the body. In persons with a hyperactive thyroid, vitamin D needs to be supplemented to avoid osteoporosis and promote good bone health. Iron deficiency and Graves disease is believed to be due to the malabsorption of iron from the food. Iron supplementation along with a gluten-free diet is seen to correct anaemia in persons with Graves disease. Iodine deficiency and Graves disease is also quite common as iodine is required for the proper functioning of the thyroid glands. A hyperactive thyroid can result in Graves disease, and iodine supplements are given to such individuals.


Vitamins for Graves disease patients include multivitamins and mineral supplements. Vitamin B should be taken so as to improve the body’s immune system. Vitamins C and E should also be taken for proper thyroid function. Mineral supplements like zinc and selenium are also required for their antioxidant properties and development of immune system.


Supplements for Graves disease sufferers are mandatory as their body becomes deficient of vital nutrients. Multivitamins for vitamins A, B, C, D, and E should be given to Graves disease sufferers. This promotes better immunity and heals the body faster. Mineral supplements like iron, copper, selenium and potassium should also be had in addition to iodine therapy to strengthen the body’s thyroid function.


Herbs for Graves disease are used to improve the body’s immunity and regulate its metabolic activities. Chinese herbs for Graves disease include prunella, peony raw, gentian, and gardenia. They are believed to improve functioning of the thyroid and help in reducing the excess production of iodine. Natural herbs for Graves disease include bugleweed that is commonly used in Western countries. Lemon balm is also believed to reduce excess thyroid production. Kelp is also believed to be effective for Graves disease.

Symptoms, Causes, Treatment For Graves Disease


  • Enlargement of the thyroid or goiter
  • Bulging or protruding eyes
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Problems in pregnancy
  • Temperature sensitivity
  • Heart palpitations
  • Extreme muscle and joint fatigue


  • Heredity factors
  • Smoking
  • Excess intake or exposure to iodine
  • It should be noted that those in the age group of 20 to 40 have higher chances of developing this disease, and women are more affected by it than men.


Graves disease treatment options include:

  • Thyroid therapy
  • Iodine therapy
  • Surgery, in extreme cases


  • For Graves disease prevention, any of the following measures can be adopted.
  • Eat a balanced diet with fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid smoking and the use of alcohol.
  • Try to lead a stress-free life and include a regular exercise regime.


Graves disease diagnosis is done through an eye analysis or while diagnosing goiter, coupled with hyperthyroidism. A physical examination looks at the common symptoms of protruded eyes and lumpy, reddish skin on the lower legs. Further, laboratory tests can reveal the intensity of the disease, based on the thyroid profile.

Submitted on January 16, 2014