Vegetables are good for you. You know that. Except, not always.
You’ve probably seen all kinds of ads and articles about juicing and green juices and how healthy they are.
Women are told green juices are good for them, and they start to juice handfuls of kale, spinach, bok choy and other green veggies every morning.
And a few months (or years) later, they are wondering why they have thyroid issues (low thyroid) and a host of other problems.
So here is what you need to know before you make yourself a green juice or a smoothie every single morning.
Cabbage, broccoli, kale, are cruciferous vegetables, which contain substances called goitrogens. Foods that contain goitrogens are also called goitrogenic foods.
And for a good reason: they got their name from goiter, which is basically an enlarged thyroid. This is because they can cause your thyroid gland to malfunction.
And the last thing you want to do is mess up with your thyroid gland.
Because this gland regulates your body temperature and your mood.
It also produces hormones that regulate how fast your body uses energy, as well as the use of calcium in your body (this is absolutely essential, as our body uses calcium everywhere).
It controls how your body responds to other hormones and how it makes some proteins.
Does it mean these veggies are not good for your thyroid?
No. They are actually AMAZING for your thyroid.
But it simply means that they need to be COOKED and not eaten raw.
This is because goitrogens are neutralized (partially) by cooking.
Cabbage, broccoli, kale, bok choy, spinach, are veggies that need to be cooked.
Adding a handful of spinach in your salad once in a while won’t do you any harm, of course, but juicing these veggies several times a week over a period of several months or more can cause thyroid issues.
Many health professionals will tell you that in fact, raw cruciferous vegetables are perfectly safe, and that we would need to really eat a ton of them for negative effects to be detectable.
However, my own experience with patients has told me that we need to be careful.
Some people will be just fine, but other people are very sensitive and reactive to substances in food, and my best advice is really to cook these vegetables if you want to be on the safe side and also enjoy the wonderful benefits of cruciferous vegetables for your thyroid.
Here are the top 10 foods that are high in goitrogens (not in a particular order – cook them all!):
- Soy (especially unfermented)
- Brussel sprouts
- Bok Choy
- Mustard greens
And here are 13 other foods that also contain goitrogens, in smaller amounts:
Spinach, Turnips, Radishes, Sweet Potatoes, Wheat and other gluten-containing grains, Peanuts, Pine Nuts, Peaches, Pears, Strawberries, Rutabagas, Bamboo shoots, Millet.
To sum things up, here is what to do with the foods in the top 10 list:
- cook these foods and you’re safe
- don’t eat large quantities of several foods off the list in one day because as always, they have a synergistic effect, which means the effect accumulates.
- if you already have thyroid issues, avoid these foods (talk to your doctor).
That’s it! So, if you have a friend who is juicing every morning, please do her a favor, share this article with her! She’ll thank you for that.