“The bottom line is everything is fine in moderation, and food will not affect thyroid function for the most part.” Dr. Bakar busts common myths about thyroid function and diet.1: You can’t eat cruciferous vegetables if you have a thyroid disorder.Iodine plays a role in hormone production in the thyroid gland.“Cruciferous vegetables are part of a healthy and balanced diet, and I encourage patients with thyroid disorders to continue eating them in moderation,” says Dr. Bakar.Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common cause of hypothyroidism.4: My weight gain is from hypothyroidism.“Significant weight gain beyond this has nothing to do with thyroid function,” says Dr. Bakar. .
The Dark Side Of Kale (And How To Eat Around It)
Raw, blended, sauteed or in chip or "crunch" form, it appears to be the manna of celebrities: Gwyneth and Jennifer devour it while Kevin Bacon recently declared [it's] "the age of kale.".Writing for The Times, Jennifer Berman reports on the dark side of kale, and how the health-infused, veggie Eden she'd carefully built over years began to crumble:.Kale, which I juiced every morning, tops the list, followed by broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and collard greens — the cruciferous vegetables I consumed in large quantities because they are thought to prevent cancer, which runs in my family.And flax — as in the seeds — high in omega 3’s, that I sprinkled on cereal and blended in strawberry almond milk smoothies.Also forbidden: almonds and strawberries, not to mention soy, peaches, peanuts, corn, radishes, rutabaga and spinach.One study in humans found that the consumption of 150 g/day (5 oz/day) of cooked Brussels sprouts for four weeks had no adverse effects on thyroid function.A regular person [with no thyroid issues] who eats several servings of cruciferous vegetables a week should not have problems.". .
News Update: Can Kale Cause Hypothyroidism?
Kale is considered a goitrogenic food, meaning that it contains substances (goitrogens) that may contribute to an enlarged thyroid.“For the general population, the many health benefits of eating kale and other cruciferous vegetables in usual amounts far outweigh any potential adverse risks to the thyroid,” Dr. Leung said.“In usual amounts, kale consumption is healthy and should not be avoided, in contrast to some media reports which caution against all ingestion of cruciferous vegetables to promote thyroid health,” she said.In people who already have a thyroid condition, “The risks of worsening a preexisting thyroid condition are likely minimal if goitrogenic foods are consumed in their usual amounts,” Dr.
Leung said.“Although it has not been specifically studied, juicing kale concentrates the vegetable and thus potentially poses a greater risk toward iodine deficiency and hypothyroidism if ingested in large amounts on a very frequent basis,” Dr. Leung said.Thus, media reports of kale causing hypothyroidism does not seem likely in most cases.Eating greens in their usual amounts will not be a significant contributor toward thyroid disorders.As always, it is important to talk to your doctor regarding your individual risk for a thyroid disorder and what types of food are right for you.Thyroid. .
Do You Need to Give Up Cruciferous Veggies When You Have
If you have hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), you may have been told to avoid cruciferous vegetables — such as kale, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.For most people, goitrogens shouldn’t be a concern and consuming cruciferous vegetables can lead to a number of health benefits, including a reduced risk of several types of cancer.“They’re 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.According to researchers at Oregon State University, normal consumption of foods containing goitrogens doesn’t seem to increase the risk of hypothyroidism in humans — unless someone is deficient in iodine.Researchers have found that collard greens, Brussels sprouts, and certain varieties of Russian kale contain enough goitrogens to potentially interfere with iodine uptake in healthy people when eaten in large quantities, according to a study published in March 2016 in the journal Nutrition Reviews.But other cruciferous vegetables — including broccoli, turnips, and most types of kale — didn’t contain enough goitrogens to pose a significant risk to people with normal thyroid function.Another good rule of thumb: People with hypothyroidism shouldn’t consume more than half a cup of cooked cruciferous vegetables each day, Rustveld says.
How kale affects your thyroid
Turning to your unofficial online doctor (you know, Google) will have you convinced that too much of the power green will inhibit iodine production and cause your thyroid to become enlarged.Goitrogens are compounds that can disrupt your thyroid's iodine uptake, making it difficult for the organ to create its hormones (mainly triiodothyronine and thyroxine, which help regulate your metabolism).And the list of veggies that contain them is a lengthy one: arugula, cauliflower, broccoli, bok choy, and Brussels sprouts, to start."Here's the thing, if you have an iodine or selenium deficiency that you are aware of and have been tested for, you are more vulnerable to being affected by these veggies.She explains that you can find out if you have a deficiency by taking a simple blood test at your doctor's office."I have a thyroid imbalance, so I make a lot of green juices with cucumber, celery, and fennel instead of kale," our expert reveals.But Javitch stresses that overall, women should not stop eating kale and other cruciferous vegetables because they're freaked out by goitrogens. .
Is Kale Bad for My Thyroid Health?
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 (underactive thyroid).But the quantity of thiocyanates in a few ounces of raw kale (what you'd probably eat) is minimal.Garber's advice: "Eat as many cruciferous vegetables as you want-go to your limit-and do this for a number of weeks; then ask your doctor to check and see if it's had an effect.". .
The Connection Between Kale and Thyroid Problems in Women
The author wrote how, after receiving a diagnosis of hypothyroidism, she went home and, naturally, Googled the condition.However, according to the Oregon State University Micronutrient Information site: "Very high intakes of cruciferous vegetables…have been found to cause hypothyroidism (insufficient thyroid hormone) in animals.There has been one study to date on Brussels sprouts (another cruciferous vegetable) that found that consumption of 150 grams (5 ounces) a day for four weeks had no adverse effects on thyroid function.Other cruciferous veggies include bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, turnips, spinach, and mustard greens.The goitens formed can be at least partially destroyed by heat, so consider enjoying these foods cooked rather than raw. .
Are Goitrogens in Foods Harmful?
What Are Goitrogens?The link between goitrogens and thyroid function was first described in 1928, when scientists observed thyroid gland enlargement in rabbits eating fresh cabbage ( 1 ).Bottom Line: Goitrogens are substances found in certain foods.Goitrogens May Cause Thyroid Problems For people with thyroid problems, high intake of goitrogens can worsen thyroid function by: Blocking iodine: Goitrogens may prevent iodine from entering the thyroid gland, which is needed to produce thyroid hormones.Goitrogens may prevent iodine from entering the thyroid gland, which is needed to produce thyroid hormones.Reducing TSH: Goitrogens may interfere with thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), which helps the thyroid gland produce hormones.When the thyroid’s function is disrupted, it has trouble producing the hormones that regulate your metabolism.Bottom Line: Goitrogens can reduce the thyroid’s ability to produce the hormones your body needs to function normally.They are more likely to negatively impact people who already have poor thyroid function.Which Foods Contain the Most Goitrogens?A surprising variety of foods contain goitrogens, including vegetables, fruits, starchy plants and soy-based foods.Soy milk Bottom Line: Goitrogens are found in a wide variety of cruciferous vegetables, fruits, starchy plants and soy-based foods.How to Minimize the Effects of Goitrogens If you have an underactive thyroid, or are worried about goitrogens in your diet, there are a few simple ways to reduce the risk of negative effects: Vary your diet: Eating a variety of plant foods will help limit the amount of goitrogens you consume.Eating a variety of plant foods will help limit the amount of goitrogens you consume.Blanch greens: If you like fresh spinach or kale in smoothies, try blanching the veggies and then freezing them.If you like fresh spinach or kale in smoothies, try blanching the veggies and then freezing them.Increase Iodine and Selenium Intake Getting enough iodine and selenium can also help limit the effects of goitrogens.Great sources of selenium include Brazil nuts, fish, meat, sunflower seeds, tofu, baked beans, portobello mushrooms, whole grain pasta and cheese.Bottom Line: A varied diet, cooking foods, avoiding smoking and getting your fill of iodine and selenium are simple ways to limit the effects of goitrogens. .
Does Kale Destroy Your Thyroid
Here’s what Christa has to say about how cruciferous vegetables – like kale – can affect the thyroid:.As a nutritionist, I often get asked if cruciferous vegetables can cause or worsen thyroid issues.As is the answer to most controversial and confusing nutrition topics, it depends on a myriad of factors such as your current state of thyroid, digestive, and brain health, how much energy you are able to produce (mitochondrial production), the quality of the vegetable (soil it was grown in and whether pesticides were used), your cooking method, and how often you consume these foods.Hence these foods are referred to as goitrogenic foods.Those with pre-existing hypothyroidism may find that excessive consumption of raw cruciferous vegetables, could further suppress thyroid activity.How Cooking and Fermentation Help:.When you ferment something like cabbage, it actually increases the goitrogen content but truly reduces the nitriles by 50% or more, making the benefits of fermented vegetables far outweigh the goitrogenic risk to the thyroid that raw cabbage could potentially propose in large amounts.If you are worried about goitrogens or have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, then add steamed greens (instead of raw) like kale and Collards to your morning green smoothie or only add raw kale to your green juice once or twice a week versus daily.They also included other cruciferous vegetables in the article like cabbage, watercress, radishes, and turnips.The majority of organic farms (which test their soil) likely do not have dangerous levels of thallium.These health benefits will support cellular energy and mitochondrial health, which is highly supportive to the thyroid gland.I often operate by the mantra, “don’t guess at it, test it” so be sure to ask your doctor about testing your iodine levels and get adequate iodine from your diet.Getting Iodine From Your Diet.Thyroid Testing.This alone will have a more positive impact on your thyroid health than whether or not you eat cruciferous vegetables.“Cruciferous Vegetables and Cancer Prevention”.For more information on thyroid health from Christa, you may want to read her blog called The Thyroid Uncovered which gets deeper into the science and lab work of thyroid testing and balancing or watch her TV episode on How To Optimize Thyroid Function. .
Kale Might Not Be As Good for You As You Think
But if you have an underactive thyroid, it might be a good idea not to eat too much of it.Certain compounds in the vegetable can interfere with thyroid hormone synthesis and essentially block the iodine your thyroid needs to function.You probably would have to eat an excessive amount for this to happen, though.Kale also lists highly in the US for being contaminated with pesticides, so you should wash it thoroughly before eating it raw.If you regularly eat kale, it might also be a good idea to make sure you wash it thoroughly. .