Go Ahead: Eat Your Brassica's

Why cruciferous veggies should be included in a hypothyroid diet.

Brassica’s [informerly known as cruciferous vegetables: as in the likes of cabbage, broccoli, Brussel sprouts and more] are often admonished in the hypothyroid community.

First, comes the hypothyroid diagnosis.

Second, comes the list of veggies (mostly of the cruciferous type) to avoid.

Why?

Because Brassica’s are known to be high in naturally-occurring goitrogens and are often encouraged to be avoided.

In this post, I’m going to tell you why it’s important for you [even if you’re hypothyroid] to include Brassica’s in your food choices and why you might even want to eat lot’s of ‘em.

brussel sprouts pic
brussel sprouts pic

First, What the hay are Goitrogens?

Goitrogens are known to be substances that suppress the function of the thyroid gland by getting in the way of iodine uptake. Eventually, this suppression can be so great that it can cause swelling around the thyroid (also known as a goiter).

Your thyroid gland needs iodine to be able to make it’s thyroid hormones {T3,T4 and calcitonin}. Decreased iodine absorption equals less thyroid hormone.

Now, goitrogenic substances are most often found in drugs and chemicals, but they can also be found in food.

Here’s a partial list of some foods that contain goitrogenic compounds:

Soybeans, pine nuts, peanuts, flax seed, millet, strawberries, pears, peaches, spinach, sweet potatoes, bok choy, broccoli , Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, radishes, turnips.

It’s a long list of foods {mostly of the Brassica type} and it doesn’t even cover the gamut. Nixing out all these foods seems like a shame. After all, most of ‘em are vegetables that we’re talking about.

Unfortunately, most practitioners forget to tell mention that lightly steaming or cooking brassica’s is enough to neutralize goitrogenic compounds. Cooking is all you need to do so that you can have your brassica’s and eat ‘em too.

Second, what’s so great about Brassica’s

Ounce for ounce, brassica’s are some of the most loaded veggies out there. They’re loaded with conventional nutrients like vitamins A, C and K, as well as folic acid and fiber. Brassica’s even have a significant amount of protein as well as omega 3 fatty acids. For a full brassica nutrient profile: click here.

Brassica’s are helpful for hypothyroid women for 3 reasons:

1. Crazy high in Fiber: Brassica’s are known to be unusually high in fiber. All this fiber helps with digestion and elimination. This is critical for hypothyroid women as we generally tend towards slow digestion which can build a higher toxic load in our system. Keeping our systems flowin’ with high fiber foods works in our favor.

2. Detoxify the Liver: Brassica’s are known to be potent detoxifiers for the liver. See #1. Because our digestion and absorption is a little on the slow side, detoxifiers become significant. Anything that can lower the toxic load on our system is going to help in the long run. Keeping the liver free and clear, will help our liver be the smooth hormonal regulator that it wants to be.

3. Anti-inflammatory: There is loads of research out there on Brassica’s and their amazing anti-inflammatory capabilities. Researchers are not sure why {maybe because Brassica’s are high in vitamin K or because they tend to be blood sugar stabilizers}, but paper after paper confirms that these veggies reduce inflammation and thereby help nearly every dis-ease in the human body- including a low-functioning thyroid.

Third, My Favorite Brassica Recipe

I love brassica’s in all shapes and sizes, but I will admit- Brussel sprouts have a fond place in my heart. I’ll cook ‘em up any which way and my kiddos are right there chomping at the bit. Sometimes I sauté them in butter, often I’ll cook ‘em in bacon grease, and every now and then I’ll roast ‘em in the oven.

Make Sure to Pass the Brassica's

Hey....can you pass the brassica's, please? If you love your brassica's as much as I do, share this post with your friends with your fav social share link below OR send 'em a "Savory" treat via e-mail. Thanks for spreading the word and sharing the love.

Here's to healthy hormones and brassica's for all!

~ Kristin