I’m SO glad that there is ongoing research on so many things in life, and for sure for thyroid issues.
You might have read in my past post Thyroid Health Vegetables: The Problem With Cruciferous Vegetables , or find in my Get Your Life Back! Thyroid and Health Reset Manual, that raw cruciferous vegetables will harm thyroid function.
Is this still true? Can we safely eat raw cruciferous vegetables?
WHAT ARE CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES?
So, what are cruciferous [krew-SIH-fer-uhs] vegetables? They are in the family Brassica of wonderful veggies named for their cross-shaped (crucifer) flower petals. They are some of the most nutritionally dense foods we eat.
Cruciferous vegetables are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients that protect against cancer and cardiovascular disease. In addition to the health-promoting vitamins and minerals, these vegetables also contain goitrogens.
It was once the health directive for us with dysfunctional thyroids that, “Raw cruciferous vegetables contain thyroid inhibitors known as goitrogens. Goitrogens cause difficulty for the thyroid in making its hormone which can support the creation of a goiter. The isothiocyanates mentioned earlier appear to reduce thyroid function by blocking thyroid peroxidase and also by disrupting messages that are sent across the membranes of thyroid cells.”
This family includes:
- Collard greens
- Brussels sprouts
Past research indicated further that cruciferous vegetables will actually cause hypothyroidism or could suppress thyroid function.
Current research says:
- If you have a functioning thyroid, there is no reason to believe that cruciferous vegetables will cause hypothyroidism.
- Consumption of these foods could suppress thyroid function in individuals who are already deficient in minerals such as iodine and selenium. Instead of avoiding these incredibly nutritious and cancer-protective foods, remedy the deficiencies or, if you take supplemental thyroid hormone, adjust your medication so that you may reap their nutritive benefits.
SO, WHAT TO DO?
- Eat cruciferous vegetables raw or otherwise and enjoy, but pay attention to “symptoms” that might indicate that they are affecting you.
- Follow my previous steps in the past post, namely:
- Cook – steam – your vegetables. Cooking cruciferous vegetables lessens their goitrogenic properties – however, it also destroys some of their beneficial phytonutrients.
- Avoid juicing. Juicing cruciferous vegetables allows for their chemical components to be absorbed in your body in much greater concentrations, which can be a great way to get vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. If you have a low functioning thyroid however, you may want to avoid drinking concentrated amounts of goitrogenic foods.
- Eat foods rich in iodine. Sea vegetables are a great source of dietary iodine. Too much iodine can be harmful, so it’s important to eat a diet rich in a variety of other thyroid balancing minerals, like selenium and zinc, and take a high quality multivitamin.
In the end,
- Some researchers say eat all you want in any form.
- Others say we still aren’t sure how harmful the goitrogens in cruciferous vegetables may be, but the health benefits of a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables far outweigh any danger.
Enjoy this lovely family of vegetables so that you can enjoy your human family feeling better and better every day. I know I enjoy eating more salads with raw cruciferous vegetables.
FIND THE FULL HYPOTHYROID AND HASHIMOTO’S DIET in my manual,