Goitrogenic foods include Brussel sprouts, kohlrabi, turnips, rutabaga, radishes, cabbage, kale, and cauliflower, just to name a few. These foods can disrupt thyroid hormone production if consumed in excess in their raw state.
Here’s a list of goitrogenic foods for your reference:
– Brussels sprouts
– Bok choy
– Soybeans and soy products
– Lima beans
– Sweet potato
If you have a thyroid issue, it’s important to know that goitrogens can and probably should still be a part of your diet, but it’s best to consume them in a fermented form rather than raw. You can buy these fermented foods at a local grocery store or farmer’s market.
This study suggests that the fermentation process of millet may reduce its goitrogenic properties. It found that the fermentation process removed considerable amounts of certain minerals (such as magnesium, zinc, and potassium) from the millet, as well as potentially transformed the goitrogenic compounds found in millet. This implies that the goitrogenic effects of millet on the thyroid may be diminished after fermentation. However, it’s important to note that this information is based on a study conducted on rats, and further research is needed to determine the effects on human thyroid health.
Apart from food, you may also be exposed to environmental goitrogens through certain pesticides, as well as smoke from burned coal, petroleum, and tobacco. So, if you needed another reason to quit smoking or avoid secondhand smoke, here it is. This is tough while traveling in Poland for the Summer. Most people smoke all over the place here.
According to a study published in the May 24, 2005 issue of Circulation, exposure to secondhand smoke increases the risk of heart disease by 30 percent. To minimize the effects of secondhand smoke, I practice daily breathing exercises called bellows breath in my Airbnb. Additionally, I take hot showers and walk in the sun (I try to hit 10K steps a day which I do most days) to sweat out toxins while staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water to flush them out. I also consume fiber-rich fresh fruits and vegetables as a part of my regular diet, load up on antioxidants with morning juices and smoothies, and snack on almonds for vitamin E. To further protect my body from toxins, I take herbs such as green tea, ginger, and turmeric, which I am luckily able to find at Auchan, a local grocery store in Lublin and Łódź, Poland.
Apparently, there was a study conducted on rabbits in 2015 that showed that a diet consisting solely of cruciferous veggies significantly impacted fertility. However, it’s important to note that humans are not rabbits. So, unless you’re consuming an extreme amount of raw cruciferous veggies (more than two pounds a day for several months), the risk of inducing hypothyroidism is quite low.
Let me share an interesting case study with you. In 2010, the New England Journal of Medicine published a letter about an elderly Chinese woman who ate two to three pounds of raw bok choy daily for several months to control her diabetes. This extreme consumption led to lethargy and eventually brought her to the emergency room. But, unless you’re eating four large heads of raw bok choy every day or solely relying on cruciferous vegetables, you should be fine.
In fact, research suggests that consuming goitrogenic foods in typical serving sizes (around ½–1 cup) has a generally insignificant effect on thyroid function. As long as you’re getting enough iodine and don’t already have hypothyroidism, there’s little risk of decreased thyroid function.
However, if you have untreated hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (an autoimmune disorder), it might be wise to limit your intake of goitrogenic foods to optimize your thyroid hormone levels.
On a positive note, goitrogenic foods may actually benefit individuals with hyperthyroidism by inhibiting excessive thyroid hormone production. They can potentially alleviate symptoms of hyperthyroidism by preventing the overproduction of these hormones.
The list above of goitrogenic foods includes many of the healthiest foods on the planet. Cruciferous vegetables, in particular, have been shown to provide numerous disease-fighting benefits, thanks to their powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects. Plus, goitrogenic foods contain thousands of other bioactive compounds that offer protection against chronic diseases, including those related to the thyroid.
It’s worth noting that iodine isn’t the only nutrient affecting thyroid health. Insufficient intake of iron, vitamin A, and selenium can also contribute to goitrogenic effects.
Interestingly, many foods containing goitrogens are also excellent sources of these essential nutrients. So, even if you have iodine deficiency or hypothyroidism, you may not want to completely avoid these foods.
Lastly, cooking foods high in goitrogens can greatly reduce any potential negative effects on your thyroid gland. Steaming and boiling, in particular, can decrease goitrogenic compounds in food by up to 80%.
So, don’t fret too much about goitrogens. This is the only instance where I say moderation is key. Incorporating these nutritious foods into your diet, whether cooked or fermented, can still be beneficial for your overall health.
5 years ago, we did a podcast episode on thyroid health. In this episode, you’ll learn:
🗣️ Why you don’t need meat for thyroid issues
🗣️ How to start the healing process when you have an underactive thyroid
🗣️ Where to get the nutrients needed for a healthy thyroid
ONE WOMAN SAID – Raw vegan fruit-based no salt low fat gave me my life back. Cut medication at 6 months into a raw vegan diet. A year and a half to get to no medication for my thyroid
ANOTHER WOMAN SAID – “In 2010, I went to the bookstore and found Eat To Live. It was exactly what I was looking for. Dr. Fuhrman validated everything I had tried to tell my doctors. It was confirmation that I was on the right track and gave me what I needed to put a lifestyle plan in place. By April of 2011, I lost 70 pounds, but more than that. I had a health screening, and for the first time ever in my life, all my scores were in the normal/healthy range. My blood sugar, my cholesterol, my blood pressure, my thyroid are all healthy. I now take no medications at all.”
📖 My book, You Can Afford to Be Healthy – http://ow.ly/BgTz30aZwbv
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// HOST Samantha Salmon
Certified Holistic Health Coach
// CO-HOST Dorrell Hylton Salmon
Mom, Wife, Hair Doctor, Beauty Parlor Counselor, Prayer Warrior
The information provided in this broadcast is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration, or the equivalent in your country. Any products/services mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.
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