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Are Cruciferous Vegetables Bad For Thyroid

You Need A Lot Of Goitrogens To Hinder The Thyroid

The TRUTH About Cruciferous Vegetables & Your Thyroid

In order to understand how many goitrogens are needed to decrease thyroid function, it is important to consider quantity. One needs 194mol of goitrogens to decrease uptake of iodine. A 100 gram serving of a cruciferous vegetable like broccoli contains 10mol of goitrogens. This means that you would need to eat 4 or more pounds of broccoli per day every day to inhibit the thyroid.1

Minerals To Eat For Thyroid Health

If you are working with a sluggish thyroid resulting in restless sleep, dull & dry skin, thinning hair, fatigue, constipation, and/or weight gain, you are often handed a list of no-go foods.

This list includes everything from cruciferous vegetables to a variety of nuts and fruits, and all the processed crap that you shouldnt be having whether you have a tired thyroid or not.

But where does that leave you, other than confused and overwhelmed?!

So Im here to tell you what you CAN and should eat to support optimal health for the thyroid and entire endocrine system. This is a list of the minerals and foods that will nutritionally fuel you and allow your body to function how it is meant to with energy, vitality, and zest.

Thyroid supplements are useful as well, but you may as well start with your food.

1) Iodine: Did you know that 1/3 of our population is deficient in iodine? Or that iodine is a critical mineral to support healthy thyroid hormone production?

The thyroid gland is uniquely different from the adrenals and ovaries/testes because the thyroid makes hormones from iodine while the adrenals and gonads both produce fat soluble hormones made from cholesterol. So its easy to see that in order to have the thyroid producing thyroid hormones, we need iodine in the body! Of course whole food supplementation is always an option and so is just going ahead and eating the food itself .

  • Arame
  • Agar
  • Kelp

Food sources of selenium: Brazil nuts. Aim to include 2 3 per day

Are Cruciferous Vegetables Bad For Thyroid Patients Discover The Truth

Since childhood, we are taught one single thing when it comes to food! The mantra that every mother hum. Vegetables are the key to good health. They are super nutritious, filling and healing. But then the question comes Are Cruciferous Vegetables bad for Thyroid Patients?

And you are like what, Cruciferous vegetables can be harmful too?

So, what is the truth?

Are cruciferous vegetables unhealthy?

For most people, cruciferous vegetables are super healthy.

They are a rich source of nutrients containing fibre, vitamins, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Cruciferous vegetables also have a host of health benefits. Cruciferous vegetables also reduces the risk of several types of cancer.

So, why is this healthy food under the scanner for thyroid patients?

Are they bad for the thyroid gland?

There are so many questions, followed by vague answers on the internet. Thats why I thought of drafting this blog explaining everything you need to know about thyroid diet. When it comes from a doctor, people can trust the information!

Also Read: Do you know Thyroid diseases have tripled in recent years?

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Some Foods Containing Goitrins And/or Thiocyanates

  • African cassava
  • Soy products such as tofu, tempeh, edamame, and soy milk
  • Teas, especially green, white, and oolong varieties

Goitrins and thiocyanates are released from certain plant-based foods when they are sliced or chewed in their raw state. Flavonoids in foods can be also be converted into goitrogenic compounds by bacteria that exist in the gut.

What Is Thyroid & How Does It Affect Our Health

Are Cruciferous Vegetables Bad For Thyroid?

Thyroid hormones carry out a large number of functions in our body, like maintaining body temperature, regulating other body organs like the brain, heart and muscles as well as body metabolism which in turn regulates our body weight. The most common disorders related to the thyroid gland are hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.

  • Hypothyroidism: is a condition in which the thyroid gland is unable to produce a sufficient amount of thyroid hormones. One of the reasons for hypothyroidism is iodine deficiency. Iodine is required for synthesis of thyroid hormones, thus its deficiency can cause hypothyroidism. Lack of thyroid hormones leads to weight gain, feeling lethargic, constipation, hair loss, impaired memory and sensitivity to cold.
  • Hyperthyroidism: is a condition in which there is increased production and release of thyroid hormones. Excess of thyroid hormones leads to weight loss, restlessness, irritability, hair fall, muscle weakness and intolerance to heat.

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Support Liver Function And Thyroid Hormone Conversion

Studies also show that these glucosinolates support your liver function by activating phase 2 detoxification. A well functioning liver is critical in helping the conversion of T4 to T3 and that is particularly important for thyroid patients. That conversion in part happens in the liver via a process called deiodination.

Why Leafy Greens Are Great For Your Thyroid

While its possible that large amounts of raw cruciferous foods can somewhat inhibit the thyroid glands ability to take up iodine to produce the T4 hormone, theres a bigger picture. If you have a condition such as Hashimotos, the primary focus should be restoring your digestive tract and detoxifying the body as they are usually the original triggers for thyroid conditions. Avoiding cruciferous vegetables completely does not help improve those health issues.

Leafy greens are richer in vitamins and minerals than any other of their distant veggie cousins. As most Americans are undernourished, cutting out these foods then makes us rely further on supplements which is not the way we should be living and healing.

Since 90% of thyroid problems occur for autoimmune reasons, I believe its more important to restore the health of your immune system through your gut, than obsess about cutting out all crucifers.

I have found that for most women who experience hormone imbalance symptoms, the benefits of cruciferous vegetables outweigh the very small risks. The color and sharp, often bitter flavor of cruciferous veggies confer an impressive range of health benefits that largely come from their levels of glucosinolates, which are powerful plant chemical compounds which come in around 120 different varieties.

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What Is A Cruciferous Vegetable And What Are Goitrogens

Cruciferous vegetables include the following: Arugula, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, broccoli romanesco, cabbage, cauliflower, Chinese broccoli, Chinese cabbage, daikon, garden cress, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, komatsuna, land cress, radishes, turnips, wasabi, and watercress. This class of vegetables is also considered goitrogens. This term, goitrogen, refers to any substance that can interfere with thyroid function. The consumption of goitrogenic compounds blocks the uptake of iodine. In turn, this then suppresses thyroid hormone release. Iodine is a necessary mineral for the thyroid to function. When this hormone pathway disruption occurs, the thyroid gland will enlarge as it tries to compensate for the lack of function. Finally, a goiter can form which is an enlarged thyroid gland. There are other goitrogenic foods, but they are not all equal and some may disrupt thyroid function.

How Do Cruciferous Vegetables Affect Thyroid

Cruciferous Vegetables for Thyroid Health | Dr. Pat Nardini | Naturopath & Thyroid Specialist

Cruciferous, also known as Brassica vegetables, come from the plant family known as Cruciferae or Brassicaceae. Most commonly consumed cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, turnips, bok choy, Chinese cabbage, radish, watercress, rutabagas, spinach and lettuce. These nutrient packed vegetables are loaded with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, vitamin K and they are also good sources of antioxidants and fiber. These vegetables are beneficial for weight loss, fighting cancers and reducing inflammation. But, when we talk about thyroid, it has a negative role to play with respect to hypothyroidism.

Goitrogens are naturally occurring chemicals found in cruciferous vegetables when consumed in raw form. They are healthy and vitamin rich. But, if you have a thyroid condition, you should be aware of it. Goitrogens in cruciferous vegetables interfere with thyroid function by reducing the bodys ability to use iodine. As discussed earlier, our body needs iodine for production of thyroid hormones, hence, iodine deficiency can lead to hypothyroidism. Consumption of cruciferous vegetables increases the symptoms of hypothyroidism and people suffering from this condition should avoid consuming cruciferous vegetables.

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Myth No : You Should Take Iodine Supplements If You Have An Underactive Thyroid

You do not need to supplement iodine if you live in the United States or other first world countries where iodine is added to many foods, including table salt. While iodine deficiency is one cause of hypothyroidism, if you are not iodine-deficient, there is no need to take iodine supplements, commonly seen as kelp supplements.

Iodine supplements are a fallacy, says Dr. Bakar. In fact, they can start negatively affecting thyroid function if you take them without the guidance of a physician.

Are Cruciferous Vegetables Bad For Thyroid

Vegetables have always been considered healthy and they can be consumed by everyone. As vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals , antioxidants, fiber and the best part is they are low in calories as well, we assume that we can eat liberal amounts of this food group.

But , have we ever thought that any of these vegetables can interfere or play around with our hormones as well? Yes, they do! Lets talk about Cruciferous vegetables and how it impacts thyroid function.

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What Are Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables are vegetables in the family Brassica, and they are some of the most nutritionally dense foods we eat. Among others, this family includes:

  • Broccoli
  • Mustard
  • Wasabi

Cruciferous vegetables are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients that support cardiovascular health and overall cell growth. In addition to the health-promoting vitamins and minerals, these vegetables also contain goitrogens.

What Does Cruciferous Mean

Do Cruciferous Vegetables Cause Hashimotos?

Cruciferous vegetables are indeed members of the brassica family. But where does the name come from? It originates from the Latin word Cruciferae, which means cross bearing. These veggies are called such names as they contain four metals that look like a cross.

The cruciferous vegetables contain an enriched amount of vitamins, especially Vitamin D and K, and higher content of minerals like sodium, folate, etc. They even prevent cancer. Besides the several benefits of cruciferous vegetables, like offering an increased range of fibre and fewer calories, they come with the curse of triggering your thyroid.

If you are an average eater of cruciferous veggies, they will shower you with only the benefits. However, with the regular addition of such veggies to your diet, they offer a terrible impact on your dysfunctional or underactive thyroid.

You might love to take some green juice every morning, but if you see some enlarged thyroid action, you might want to drop it. It is even more harmful to eat these vegetables raw.

Why so?

They contain goitrogenic compounds like glucosinolates, which hamper the absorption of iodine by the thyroid gland. It ultimately leads to interference in thyroid hormone production. As a result, with lower iodine, the thyroid hormone level falls, leading to goitre or thyroid dysfunction.

Before getting into the core there are a few foods you should avoid and you need to have a clear conception about that.

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Processed Foods In Packages And The Frozen Aisle

“Processed foods tend to have a lot of sodium, and people with hypothyroidism should avoid sodium,” Frechman says. Having an underactive thyroid increases a person’s risk for high blood pressure, and too much sodium further increases this risk.

Read the “Nutrition Facts” label on the packaging of processed foods to find options lowest in sodium. People with an increased risk for high blood pressure should restrict their sodium intake to 1,500 milligrams a day, according to the American Heart Association.

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Help Combat Estrogen Dominance

Most pre-menopausal women I work with have some level of estrogen dominance, which is barely surprising, given the estrogenic cocktail of skincare products, cleaners, packaging and food we are exposed to in our modern world. Leafy greens can reduce the load. Goitrogenic vegetables are rich in a substance called DIM which is key in liver detoxification as well as the elimination of mutated estrogen metabolites. This, in turn, helps women maintain a healthy balance of estrogen, progesterone and thyroid hormone, which is critical if you want to naturally balance hormones.

As a result, you can better filter estrogen metabolites from your body, suggests this research from The Institute for Hormone Research.

In this study, after indole-3-carbinols from crucifers were given to people in supplement form, urine samples were taken. The results showed that increased concentrations of estrogen metabolites were filtered from the body, including greater removal of estradiol, estrone, estriol and 16-alpha-hydroxytestrone. As these estrogen byproducts can be harmful if they keep circulating at high levels, women who eat their leafy greens may reduce estrogen dominance. Stabilizing estrogen can also help stabilize many other hormones. I offer other tips on how to do this here in this article.

What Foods Should You Avoid After Taking Thyroid Medication

Cruciferous Vegetables and Low Thyroid Function

After the medication is taken, avoid eating anything for at least one hour. An exception may be Tirosint if you simply must have your coffee soon after you wake up. There are some foods, medications, and common supplements that should be avoided for at least three hours after taking thyroid medication .

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The Long Awaited Non Cruciferous Vegetables List To Take Care Of Your Thyroids

Ive always been one of those proud green veggie freaks who used to think kale is the ultimate health food. I would even encourage everyone around me to have some green smoothies every morning. Well, that was until I knew that kale and broccoli worsen your underactive thyroid.

PSo, did it mean Id have to give up on my greens? Fortunately, no! Theres an extensive non cruciferous vegetable list that can save your thyroid and fulfil the want for greens at the same time.

If you eat a whole bunch of cruciferous vegetables, theres a high chance it will create complications for your thyroid as it prohibits iodine absorption. You might already know that if dont then dont worry!Weve got your back with a few replacement green veggies. Come on!

Cauliflower And Soy Aren’t The Enemy

Eating large amounts of soy could reduce thyroid hormone production because it has antithyroid effects. But it’s important to understand that people who don’t have an iodine deficiency won’t develop hypothyroidism from eating soy. This issue, however, is uncommon since iodine has been added to soy-based formulas since the 1960s.

You may also think you should steer clear of biotin, a substance found in some supplements as well as in some hair and nail products. Biotin actually does not alter thyroid hormone levels, but it can make measurements inaccurate. So, it’s a good policy to stop taking it at least one week before your thyroid blood test if you are taking more than 5,000 micrograms of biotin daily.

It’s commonly believed that cruciferous vegetables are bad for your thyroid as well. For most people being treated appropriately for hypothyroidism, however, there is no need to avoid eating these foods, which include cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bok choy and kale. In animals fed very high amounts of cruciferous vegetables, hypothyroidism can develop. But in studies involving people, a similar effect was detected only in those with an iodine deficiency.

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Too Much Of A Good Thing

The problem with cruciferous veggies is that they contain goitrogens, which are substances that affect the thyroid gland. Specifically, goitrogens mess with the thyroids ability to take in the essential mineral iodine. Your body needs it to produce thyroid hormone. If you dont get enough iodine, it can lead to a bulge in the throat known as goiter.

This is especially problematic for people who already have an underactive thyroid and dont want to slow it down further.

Cruciferous veggies arent the only foods to contain goitrogens. Other goitrogenic foods include:

  • Peaches
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Teas

Peanuts and soy products aside, I wouldnt go out of your way to avoid goitrogens. The health benefits of the food often far outweigh the negatives. This is because most people have an excess of iodine in their diets and not a deficit.

Fuzzy Science About Cruciferous Vegetables And Thyroid Health

Cruciferous Vegetables Cause Thyroid Problems?

The reason this whole debate came about in the first place was because of a few rodent studies showing hypothetical thyroid issues from eating very large amounts of cruciferous vegetables years ago.

However, its very important to point out one basic fact: no human study has demonstrated a deficiency in thyroid function from consuming cruciferous vegetables.

Theres only one study which seems to have been conducted looking into this issue. It found no effects on thyroid function after subjects were observed eating 150 grams of cooked Brussels sprouts daily for 4 weekswhich is far more than any normal human being would regularly eat!

Only one case report relating cruciferous vegetables to thyroid harm suggests it would be almost impossible to consume enough cruciferous to harm the thyroid.

In this case, an 88-year old woman developed hypothyroidism after eating 1-1.5 kg of raw bok choy every day for several months, which is obviously an excessive and unreasonable intake of raw cruciferous.

The simple truth? You would have to consume an insane amount of raw cruciferous vegetables for them to have a negative effect on your thyroid function.

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