Zoe Saldana revealed she’s been dealing with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune disorder which causes the immune system to attack the thyroid.
“Your body doesn’t have the energy it needs to filter toxins, causing it to believe that it has an infection, so it’s always inflamed,” the 38-year-old actress shared with The Edit. “You create antibodies that attack your glands, so you have to eat clean.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States. It mostly affects middle-aged women, but it can also affect men and women of all ages, as well as children.
When living with the autoimmune disease, doctors agree that clean eating is the way to go. Raphael Kellman, MD of New York’s Kellman Center, says that Saldana’s gluten and dairy-free diet is an effective way to handle Hashimoto’s.
“[Hashimoto’s thyroiditis] can be healed by addressing the root causes,” Kellman explained to Page Six. “Cutting out gluten if you have a gluten intolerance, and avoiding refined and processed foods can help. Find poultry, dairy and meat without antibiotics. Eating organic can make a huge difference because organic foods won’t have pesticides or chemicals that nonorganic foods have, which can trigger reactions.”
But it’s not just about her disorder. Saldana is also keeping her bones healthy.
“I had a great time in my twenties. Then your doctor says you’re losing calcium in your bones,” she said. “What the f—k is that?! I would hear those conversations with my mom and grandma, thinking I’d never get there … But all of a sudden it hits you. I s–t you not, it’s from night to day.”