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Is Eating Raw Kale Bad For Your Thyroid

Minimizing The Effects Of Goitrogenic Foods

How Kale & Other Vegetables Can Cause Thyroid Problems

Goitrogenic foods are rich in vitamins and minerals, and most experts do not recommend that anyoneincluding patients with thyroid diseaseavoid eating them. However, there are a few sensible guidelines to consider if you have an underactive thyroid or are worried about goitrogens in your diet.

Here’s what you can do to minimize the risk of negative effects:

  • Cook goitrogenic vegetables: Steaming, cooking, or fermenting can reduce the levels of goitrogens. If you like fresh spinach or kale in smoothies, try blanching the veggies and then storing them in the freezer for later use.
  • Increase your iodine and selenium intake: Getting enough iodine and selenium can help reduce the effects of goitrogens iodine deficiency is a well-known risk factor for thyroid dysfunction, though it is rare for people living in the United States to be deficient. Good dietary sources of iodine include seaweedsuch as kelp, kombu, or noriand iodized salt. Great sources of selenium include Brazil nuts, fish, meat, sunflower seeds, tofu, baked beans, Portobello mushrooms, whole grain pasta, and cheese.
  • Switch it up: Eating a variety of foodsnon-goitrogenic as well as goitrogenicwill help limit the amount of goitrogens you consume and ensure that you get a healthy assortment of vitamins and minerals.

If you are hypothyroid and still have a partially functional thyroidsuch as with Hashimoto’s thyroiditisbe especially careful not to overconsume large quantities of raw goitrogenic foods.

Being High In Powerful Antioxidants Like Sulforaphane And Vitamin C Fiber Carotenoids Vitamin E And K And Folate There Is Quite A Case For Consumption Of These Foods As A Big Contribution To Enjoying Greater Health

They have long since been touted as supportive medicinal foods that help prevent cancer, support the liver, and contribute to improved immune and neurological health.

However, cruciferous vegetables offer a unique dichotomy because they also contain compounds called glucosinolates which are connected to exacerbating iodine-deficiency related hypothyroidism that can lead to thyroid swelling called a goiter. Hence these foods are referred to as goitrogenic foods.

They can do this by blocking the bodys ability to uptake iodine, which every cell of the body needs, but especially the thyroid, which contains the highest concentration of iodine in the human body. Those with pre-existing hypothyroidism may find that excessive consumption of raw cruciferous vegetables, could further suppress thyroid activity.

However, you may have heard the saying the dose makes the poison and it takes a lot of brassica to be clinically significant.

Complex Green Is A Great Alternative

So if we look at our Complex Green Superfood powder you will find a great solution to your kale drinking problem. Taking Complex Green means that you will be able to get your raw organic cruciferous vegetablesbroccoli sprouts, kale sprouts, cabbage and spinach, with iodine from the sea vegetablesSpirulina, Chlorella and Dunaliella Salina Algae. These are freeze-dried and broken down to activate the enzymes required to release the cancer protecting compounds at the same time as you are taking your thyroid protecting iodine. This means you are getting a controlled dose of these important phytonutrients.

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Is Raw Kale Bad For Your Thyroid Health

by mindfullynourished | Oct 13, 2016 | Health, Natural Remedies |

Kale is the vegetable of the moment, the superstar of smoothies, salads and vegetable juices. This trendy vegetable has a well-deserved reputation as a powerhouse of nutrition. Kale is indeed incredibly nutrient-dense and very high in vitamin K. In addition, it contains powerful antioxidants like quercetin and kaempferol. This is one vegetable that you definitely want to be including in your diet. But should you be eating it raw?

Kale belongs to the cancer-fighting cruciferous group of vegetables which also includes:

  • Arugula
  • Turnip
  • Watercress

These vegetables are high in sulfur-containing compounds called glucosinolates, which have been studied for their anti-cancer properties.

However, glucosinolates also form goitrogen compounds. Goitrogens, if present in excess, affect the thyroids uptake of iodine and can block its function. This iodine deficiency could lead to low thyroid function, such as hypothyroidism, and swelling of the thyroid, called a goiter.

Can I Ever Eat Kale Again

Is this kale bad ? : Vegetables

YES! Yes, yes yes. Please do eat kale. Its tasty and packed with nutrients!

You probably just dont want to eat it raw in smoothies, every day, for a long period of time.

Mix up your greens! Try different greens from different families . And if youre eating cruciferous veggies, try cooking them first, at least some of the time. If you are a green smoothie drinker, here are some guidelines for rotating your greens.

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If You’re On Certain Medicines It Might Be Risky To Eat Kale Every Day

If there’s one thing that kale takes the gold medal for, it’s the amount of vitamin K that it contains. According to Healthline, one cup of raw kale contains a whopping 684 percent of your daily vitamin K requirement. So if you eat kale every day, you’re more than set in that department.

But not everyone should be rejoicing about that fact, according to registered dietitian Andrea Berez, who cautions that if you eat kale every day it can cause an adverse interaction with certain medications. “Vitamin K has a unique action that assists in blood clotting and can interfere with the effects of some blood thinners,” she revealed to The List. “Those on blood thinners should consume a consistent amount of vitamin K or no vitamin K at all to avoid food-drug interaction.” As always, talk to your doctor if you’re concerned.

Eat Seaweed With Your Greens

The pre-soaking and the fermenting is still thyroid compromising. So let’s go a little further.

The goitrogen inhibits the iodine uptake in the thyroid hormone, so taking iodine , can help with this effect. Only once again the idea is to not overdo these vegetables. Iodine supplementation has its limits, as it does not work if the concentration of goitrogens is excessive. The Westin Price Foundation* says “an increased dietary intake of iodine compensates for the consumption of moderate amounts of crucifers but cannot reverse the effects of large amounts of crucifers”.

It is likely that your kale juice does not have iodine or seaweed in it. *link >

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Downsides Of Eating Raw Kale

While it is undoubtedly true that kale is a healthy vegetable with fiber, vitamins and capable of fighting heart disease, it also has its downside. When raw kale is consistently and excessively consumed, it can lead to the suppression of the production of thyroid hormone. This hormone plays a pivotal role in regulating metabolism in your body.

Metabolism involves the chemical reactions that occur in each cell of living organisms that are responsible for providing energy for key processes that promote the synthesis of new organic material. The process is very important in promoting and maintaining quality of life.

Thus, according to Linus Pauling Institute from Oregon State University, raw kale contains a compound called progoitrin that can interfere with the synthesis of thyroid hormone together with thiocyanate ions that can lower the iodine required by your thyroid.

You can experience some hormonal irregularities after eating a large amount of raw kale. These irregularities can lead to fluctuations in weight, blood sugar, and overall metabolic health. The other issue is that if you consume raw kale in excess, you can experience swelling of the thyroid, a condition also known as goiter.

Mayo Clinic Q And A: Hypothyroidism Spinach And Kale

Can I Eat Raw Kale if I Have a Thyroid Disorder?

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I have hypothyroidism and take medication for it. When researching online, I read that I should avoid kale and spinach. Is this true? I enjoy a kale or spinach smoothie almost daily and dont want to give that up. Are there other foods I should avoid because of hypothyroidism?

ANSWER: Although you may find many claims about foods you should and shouldnt eat to ensure thyroid health, in general there are no specific foods you must avoid if you have hypothyroidism including kale and spinach. Eating a healthy, balanced diet and carefully taking your medication as prescribed by your health care provider will go a long way toward effectively managing hypothyroidism.

Your thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland at the base of the front of your neck. Hypothyroidism, sometimes called underactive thyroid, is a condition in which your thyroid gland doesnt produce enough of certain important hormones.

The hormones that the thyroid gland makes triiodothyronine, or T3, and thyroxine, or T4 have a large impact on your health, affecting all aspects of your metabolism. They maintain the rate at which your body uses fats and carbohydrates, help control your body temperature, influence your heart rate, and help regulate the production of proteins.

To help ensure that your body absorbs the medication properly, follow your health care providers directions on how to take it typically on an empty stomach.

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What Happens If You Eat Kale Daily

For example, it can interact with thyroid function if it’s eaten in very high amounts. It contains something called progoitrin, which can interfere with thyroid hormone synthesis and essentially block the iodine your thyroid needs to function. This can result in fluctuating blood sugar levels and weight.

30 related questions found

As These Vegetables Are So Good For Us How Then Do We Get Around This

Firstly, without the Hypothyroidism being an issue, it is perfectly safe to eat these vegetables as part of a balanced diet, in moderationsay 3-4 serves a week. It is the juicing of them that takes the control out of the volume that you are taking in.But we still need to establish if we have them raw or cooked?

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Two Healthy Smoothie Recipes Made With Kale

Cruciferous vegetables like kale are clearly good for you, and should be a regular part of your diet. If youre interested in adding beneficial cruciferous vegetables into your diet, here are two recipes for delicious smoothies made with kale

1. Alkaline Green Smoothie Delight

Handful of Kale Leaves

1/4 cup raspberries or other berries of choice

¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice

1-cup water

Ice cubes


Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. If it is still too thick, add more water. Drink immediately. Enjoy!

Want more healthy ideas for living alkaline? Call us today at 877-959-7977


Goldberg, C and Zimmerman, R. Thyroid Doc: Kale Risks Theoretical But In Reality, Very Low To Minuscule. wburs CommonHealth N.D. Web 1/20/13

Goldberg, C and Zimmerman, R. The Dark Side Of Kale . wburs CommonHealth N.D. Web 1/20/13

How Cruciferous Vegetables Affect Your Thyroid

Greens, Kale &  Thyroid Problems

Cruciferous vegetables belong to a group of related plants, and include the following produce:

  • Bok choy
  • Mustard greens
  • Turnips and turnip greens

These vegetables are chemically unique in many ways, including their high level of sulfur-containing compounds called glucosinolates which gives them their distinctive smell.

But glucosinolates and other chemicals in these veggies are considered goitrogens, which means they may interfere with the production of thyroid hormone mostly by disrupting your thyroids use of iodine. Your thyroid uses iodine for normal production of thyroid hormone, and if it cant access iodine properly or if there isnt enough iodine in your body, your thyroid hormone level will drop.

For most people, goitrogens shouldnt be a concern and consuming cruciferous vegetables can lead to a number of health benefits, including a reduced risk of several types of cancer.

Theyre not necessarily harmful if you have a normally functioning thyroid, says Luis O. Rustveld, PhD, RD, a dietitian and assistant professor at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

In fact, Rustveld says, many concerns that people have about cruciferous vegetables stem from animal studies showing that they can trigger hypothyroidism. One such study, in which researchers observed thyroid gland enlargement in rabbits eating cabbage, was published in 1928 and led to the discovery of dietary goitrogens.

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You’ll Get Tons Of Vitamins And Minerals If You Eat Kale Every Day

Vitamins and minerals are a substances that our bodies must get in order to develop healthily and function normally, according to the National Institutes of Health. So if you’re interested in making sure that you ingest those vital building blocks into your system via your daily diet, kale’s an excellent way to do it, as noted by registered dietitian Kylie Ivanir. “Kale, along with other dark leafy greens, is packed with vitamins and minerals,” she shared with The List. “Compared to other veggies, you get the most bang for your buck in terms of nutrient density.”

So what exactly does kale contain that your body requires? “It has vitamins K, C, and B, manganese, calcium, copper, potassium, and magnesium, and iron,” she continued. “So if you like to be efficient with your nutrition, kale is a winner!” No wonder they call kale a superfood! Doesn’t sound like a bad idea to eat kale every day, does it?

Why Does Kale Suppress Thyroid Function

Stick with me through 30 seconds of science talk, and then well get back to the practical information.

Kale is a cruciferous vegetable . Cruciferous veggies include cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choi, arugula , turnips and watercress . There are a lot of healthy veggies in the list!

The connection with the thyroid is that in addition to their healthy compounds, cruciferous vegetables also include isothyocyanates which can inhibit the uptake of iodine by your thyroid which decreases the amount of thyroid hormone produced and results in underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism.

Rather than remembering all of this, its probably easier to remember that cruciferous veggies like kale contain contain goitrogens.

And it looks like goitrogens can suppress thyroid function in susceptible individuals

Apparently, I was susceptible!

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Should I Eat Raw Or Cooked Kale

Raw kale is entirely safe to eat, but make sure its rinsed and dried thoroughly before eating! Kale is on the Dirty Dozen list, which means its often grown with pesticides, and the residue from these pesticides must be rinsed off completely to ensure youre not consuming them. Also, as with any fresh fruit or vegetable, theres always the possibility of human contamination during harvesting and transporting, so its best practice to rinse your produce before eating.

Whether you decide to eat raw kale, cooked kale, or a bit of both, it all depends on your bio-individuality, the understanding that what works best for you wont necessarily work for others. This applies to all areas of life, but its especially true when it comes to diet and which foods work for your body.

If you experience hypothyroidism, it may be enough for you to say, Im never eating raw kale and only eating cooked kale. If you dont experience hypothyroidism but have other health issues, such as leaky gut syndrome or general gut dysfunction, eating high amounts of this fibrous vegetable can be tough on your gut lining and digestion, especially when raw.

Many people tolerate this kind of vegetable better when its cooked, which still packs a nutritional punch! Here are some ways you can prepare cooked kale:

A Pound Of Kale A Day Unlikely To Cause A Problem

Raw Cruciferous Vegetables and Thyroid Health: My Personal Case History

So how much kale is too much? Probably more than you could stand to eat. Even if you consumed a pound of raw kale a day for years, you are very unlikely to develop thyroid problems. The key to avoiding thyroid problems is to get enough iodine in your diet. If you live in the US, you are almost certainly getting enough iodine in your diet.

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Can You Safely Eat Cruciferous Vegetables

If you have hypothyroidism, you may want to consider limiting your intake of cruciferous vegetables, says Rustveld.

If you have an underactive thyroid or iodine deficiency, you should avoid juicing cruciferous vegetables, he adds, since juicing makes it easy to ingest large quantities of produce.

You should also be sure to cook cruciferous vegetables if you have hypothyroidism. Cooking cruciferous vegetables lessens their goitrogenic properties, says Rustveld. It reduces the effect of goitrogens on the thyroid, so they dont cause any problem in normal quantities.

But you dont have to overcook your veggies until theyre mushy normal cooking or steaming should do the trick.

Another good rule of thumb: People with hypothyroidism shouldnt consume more than half a cup of cooked cruciferous vegetables each day, Rustveld says.

What Is The Healthiest Way To Cook Kale

We recommend Healthy Steaming kale for maximum nutrition and flavor. Fill the bottom of a steamer pot with 2 inches of water. While waiting for the water to come to a rapid boil chop greens. Steam for 5 minutes and toss with our Mediterranean Dressingand top with your favorite optional ingredients.

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Is Kale Bad For My Thyroid Health

Kale’s über-healthy reputation is in part thanks to the cancer-fighting compounds it boasts called glucosinolates. But there’s a compound within glucosinolates that interferes with your thyroid function-and some may worry that eating too much kale could hurt their thyroid and possibly even cause hypothyroidism .

But there’s more to the story. Dig a little deeper and you’ll learn a chain of reactions has to happen for those thyroid-interfering compounds-called thiocyanates-to be released. Cooking kale stops that chain of reactions from happening. However, chopping raw kale for a salad or chewing it does allow thiocyanates to form. But the quantity of thiocyanates in a few ounces of raw kale is minimal. The odds are low that even true kale lovers will harm themselves. “You’d have to eat a couple of large bunches of kale a day to get enough to have an impact-and you’d have to eat it raw,” explained Jeffrey Garber, M.D., past president of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Thiocyanates are found in all cruciferous vegetables, not just kale, and rutabaga is the vegetable with the most. Runners-up-alongside kale-are turnips, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, but the rest of the cruciferous family has very little.


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