5 Easy Steps to Balance Your Hormones

VEGETABLES AND YOUR THYROID

My first thought was to title this “goitrogenic properties and cruciferous vegetables”, but it would have scared you off. That’s because this is something that isn’t talked about very much or is a common topic. But it is a very important topic, so let’s get goin’.

Blocking Up Your Thyroid

A goitrogen is a substance that blocks your thyroid from receiving enough iodine, which can result in an enlargement of the thyroid and a possible goiter. Those of you familiar with the word goiter (or gout) know that it is associated with hyperthyroidism (fast thyroid) or hypothyroidism (slow thyroid). Iodine is very important for thyroid health to regulate its function, and to keep your hormones balanced. Because our body does not make iodine, we have to supplement it with proper nutrition. When iodine is low or non-existent, your thyroid has to work extremely hard and can manifest into a goiter.

I am not going to get into how the thyroid functions in depth, but I am going to make you aware of how you could possibly be slowing down your thyroid without realizing it. And that reason is:

Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables include kale, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, and spinach, to name a few. See the full list below. For those of you thinking, “my thyroid is fine, I don’t need this information”, keep in mind that your thyroid controls your metabolism. This could be a contributing factor to why you may be gaining weight, your hormones are imbalanced, or you have been fatigued. Your thyroid health is VERY important as a woman.

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How to Eat Them

This post isn’t to tell you that you need to avoid these vegetables altogether, it’s actually to inform you of how you can still eat them, and they won’t be of harm.

  1. Don’t eat any of these vegetables raw. This includes the hardcore juicers out there. Cooking goitrogenic foods limit their negative effects (though not completely), and lessens your chance of them being of harmed. Remember: This also includes the juice bar that you frequent regularly. Or the juices you find at the grocery store. Nine out of ten times they include kale, spinach, and other goitrogenic vegetables. And also, nine out of ten times, you shouldn’t be drinking them anyway. Store bought juices contain too much sugar and preservatives.
  2. Eat them only 2-3 times a week, and rotate them. This includes the cooking of the vegetables. You are doing more harm to yourself than good if you think you are being healthy by eating and drinking handfuls of kale every single day. No “detox” benefit of juicing will ever outweigh a shutdown thyroid.
  3. If you must put them in a smoothie, cook them first, and then blend. I am a huge smoothie advocate, particularly because your nutrients are absorbed and assimilated better that way. The times that I have gotten lazy and not cooked the spinach or kale, it always became a habit that was hard to break. I would soon start to feel “off” which made me regret those decisions. Make it a habit of cooking them first!
  4. Keep in mind that although I am only mentioning vegetables, goitrogens are also present in other foods. Peanuts, soy, and other wheat containing grains can also suppress your thyroid. (Refer to full list above).
  5. Goitrogenic foods are also rich in sulfur, which is very good for your health. For this reason, it’s important to not cut them out completely. The purpose of this post is to lead people away from juicing, blending, or eating these specific veggies every single day. As with all foods, you should rotate.

If you currently have a healthy thyroid, congratulations! This indicates your metabolism is running smoothly and you more than likely feel great on most days. If your levels haven’t checked out up to par during routine blood work, evaluate if this may be a contributing factor. I will do an article in depth of your thyroid health at a later time, but I first wanted to stop some of you who may be getting a little too much use out of that Nutribullet.

We all strive for great health. And it’s unfortunate that there is SO much conflicting information in the media. The best thing you could ever do for yourself is to educate, educate, educate. Those of you who are struggling, know that I’ve been in your shoes. My motivating factor as a health coach is to intercept with those who have given up on their health or weight issues and bring them to a place of confidence. Everyone deserves to feel their very best every single day, and asking for help is all it takes to get there. If you would like to ask for help, sign up for our Custom Meal Plans and we will get you the help you need.

 

References:

Higdon, J. (2015, August). Iodine | Linus Pauling Institute | Oregon State University. Retrieved from http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/iodine

Dolan, L. C., Matulka, R. A., & Burdock, G. A. (2010). Naturally occurring food toxins. Toxins2(9), 2289-2332.

Fenwick, G. R., Heaney, R. K., Mullin, W. J., & VanEtten, C. H. (1982). Glucosinolates and their breakdown products in food and food plants. Critical Reviews in Food Science & Nutrition18(2), 123-201.

Parcell, S. (2002). Sulfur in human nutrition and applications in medicine.Alternative Medicine Review7(1), 22-44.

 

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