“I have thyroid issues, what should I avoid when juicing?”

I’ve been asked this question a few times lately, so thought I’d post a blog about it.

Thyroid problems can develop for a number of reasons and lead to symptoms such as weight gain, constipation, hair loss, dry flaky skin and nails, tiredness and fatigue and reduced cognitive function.

The most common type of thyroid problem is when the thyroid gland in under active. This condition is known as hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism can be caused by a number of different factors, including a deficiency of iodine or selenium in the body.

If your diet is deficient in iodine and/or selenium, or you have an under active thyroid, eating raw cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kale can further suppress your thyroid hormone function.

A substance found in cruciferous vegetables, known as a goitrogen, may suppress the function of the thyroid gland and can cause an enlargement of the thyroid. Cooking the vegetables helps to inactivate the goitrogens.

A type of goitrogen, known as soy isoflavones are also found in non-fermented soy foods such as soy milk, tofu and soy-based meat alternatives.

Should you avoid all cruciferous vegetables if you have an under active thyroid?

It should be noted that research has shown that eating cruciferous vegetables does NOT automatically cause the thyroid to enlarge and for most people cruciferous vegetables can safely be included on a daily basis without any risk to thyroid health.

If you know you have an under active thyroid you may want to limit the amount of raw cruciferous vegetables and eat them cooked instead.

Some substitutions you may wish to use in place of raw cruciferous vegetables include chard, beetroot greens, romaine lettuce and spinach.

If you have an under active thyroid it is important to make sure you have plenty of iodine in your intake.

Iodine is a key component of the hormones made in the thyroid gland. These hormones are absolutely critical to human health, helping to control energy production and utilisation in nearly every cell of the body.

The best dietary source of iodine is sea vegetables. If you are looking to increase your iodine intake then eating some sushi rolls or adding spirulina to your smoothies is a great place to start.


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