The Good and Bad on Cruciferous Vegetables

June 4, 2015 / Thyroid Health / Source: Health

Cruciferous VeggiesYou've been told your whole life to eat your veggies, but then someone tells you to avoid cruciferous vegetables (e.g., kale, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage) because they're not good for your thyroid.  So, what do you do...stop eating them? Stand the risk losing out on tons of healthy benefits?

The issue with cruciferous vegetables is that they're considered to be goitrogenic.  Goitrogenic foods slow down thyroid functioning due to an interference with iodine uptake, which, in turn, may cause the thyroid gland to become enlarged (e.g., goiter). So, how do we eat these nutritious veggies without experiencing these negative effects?  We cook them!  By cooking cruciferous veggies we partially destroy the harmful enzymes that play a negative role on our thyroids.  Plus, it's suggested that we limit our intake of cruciferous veggies to 5 ounces a day.  Oh, and if you are on a raw food diet, try fermenting them to get rid of the thyroid-suppressing effect.  If you want more information on fermenting, check out the following article by Body Ecology: Why You Need to Cook These Vegetables for Maximum Nutrition

So, lastly, there is no need to give up your broccoli and other cruciferous veggies.  Just make sure you limit your intake and cook or ferment them to reduce the thyroid-suppressing effects. Also, if you're not sure if a certain vegetable is considered cruciferous, make sure you check out this Cruciferous Vegetables List for a more comprehesive list. 

Note: If you have had your thyroid removed then cruciferous veggies are not a concern regarding the above mentioned effects.