Star Trek Actress Zoe Saldana Changes Diet for Avatar 2, Struggle with Autoimmune Disease Continues

Photo credit: Splash News
Zoe Saldana

Photo credit: Splash News

In July, actress Zoe Saldana revealed in an interview with The Edit magazine that she has an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which her mother and sister also have. As a result of that diagnosis, Saldana, who stars in both the Star Trek and Avatar franchise movies, is making changes in her life to stay healthy.

Of the disease, which can cause extreme fatigue, she says that your body doesn’t have the energy it needs to filter toxins, which makes it think that it has an infection. As a result, the body is in a constant state of inflammation.


Eating clean and having a well thought out diet plan are essential to making sure the body doesn’t create antibodies that attack the glands. Diet and workouts are important to keeping Saldana in top shape, and her energy levels up, as she is starting preparations for Avatar 2.

The disease makes it hard for Saldana and husband Marco Perego because both are foodies and love to eat; but the food they eat these days is mostly gluten-free and dairy-free.

Zoe Saldana

Photo Credit: Splash News

The switch to the diet is difficult for the actress and mom to twins, who says in her twenties, she had a great time doing and eating as she pleased and really never considered that she could get hit with the same disease as her mom and sister. And when it happened, it basically blindsided her.


Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, is a condition that causes the immune system to malfunction and send antibodies to attack the thyroid gland, which can cause inflammation and often leads to hypothyroidism.

The thyroid is part of the endocrine system and secretes a hormone that helps control the metabolism; it has a key role in digestion, mood, and energy levels. The American Thyroid Association estimates that about 20 million people in the United States have a thyroid disorder in some form. Women have a greater chance of developing a thyroid disorder than men.

Zoe Saldana’s Daily Workout Plan

Saldana keeps her body in great shape by doing Pilates three times a week with a trainer who constantly pushes her through new workouts. The actress has said that if she didn’t have her trainer, she would probably just go for a 15-minute walk. Well, forget that because her trainer also has her doing fat-burning, timed-resistance circuits.

A photo posted by Zoe Saldana (@zoesaldana) on

A typical weight circuit for her includes 40 seconds of high-intensity exercise followed by 20 seconds of rest in between, and she does four to five sets. Saldana’s circuit exercises include jump squats, walking lunges, push-ups, seated twists, and jump rope intervals that allow her to burn the most fat while creating lean muscle mass.

This type of training method is used by people who need to get results in a short amount of time. Her trainer, Steve Moyer, spoke to Shape about Saldana’s exercise and diet routine and said that working out every day for an hour isn’t necessarily required. He says that 30 minutes of exercise three days a week, when done right and paired with healthy eating, can get someone in shape.

Allison, L., “Actress Zoe Saldana Touts ‘Clean Eating’ for Thyroid Condition,” newsmax health web site, August 12, 2016;, last accessed September 2, 2016.
“Zoe Saldana Avatar Workout, Diet & Exercise Routine,” Celebrity Health and Fitness web site;, last accessed September 2, 2016.