Are cruciferous vegetables harmful to your health? Is it true these typically healthy vegetables slow the thyroid to dangerous levels? Well, I’ve been doing my research lately because that is exactly what I have been told recently. It was like a body blow when I was informed I would need to eliminate cruciferous vegetables from my diet because they were slowing my thyroid.
What are cruciferuos vegetables, you ask? One of the most popular health food sites around today, The World’s Healthiest Foods, gives you the nuts and bolts of these vegetables in the article, Eating Healthy with Cruciferous Vegetables. WH Foods also provides a handy list of the most common vegetables in this category:
- Bok choy
- Brussels sprouts
- Chinese cabbage
- Collard greens
- Daikon radish
- Land cress
- Mustard greens
- Shepherd’s purse
Receiving this information was not very pleasing for me since cruciferous vegetables are a major part of my daily diet. When I say major, I mean maybe overkill – breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in between. My entire life I always thought my natural eating habits were very healthy. I naturally enjoy healthy food. It has a taste I desire and crave. Hence, hearing I may need to avoid these vegetables, on the surface level, it sent me into almost a state of shock and definitely into a state of confusion. Cruciferous vegetables are packed full of nutrients. The National Cancer Institute indicates there may be a correlation between eating cruciferous vegetables and cancer prevention:
- Cruciferous vegetables contain vitamins, minerals, other nutrients, and chemicals known as glucosinolates.
- Glucosinolates break down into several biologically active compounds that are being studied for possible anticancer effects.
- Some of these compounds have shown anticancer effects in cells and animals, but the results of studies with humans have been less clear.
Not only that, but these vegetables are ripe with nutrients.
Which begs the question, why would I stop eating something seemingly so healthy for me? I have always been aware eating cruciferous vegetables causes gas and bloating, but the basic remedy to minimize these side-effects are to cook these vegetables versus eating them raw. However, it seems the negative effects of eating these vegetables raw is a slowed thyroid according to Body Ecology, “Eating raw cruciferous vegetables actually suppresses your thyroid’s hormone production, creating fatigue, coldness in your body and a slowing of your metabolism.” Taking inventory of my cruciferous vegetable eating habits, I very rarely eat them raw aside from cole slaw and arugula. So what gives if cooking these vegetables are supposed to eliminate the thyroid-suppressing qualities?
According to Dr. Drake Higdon’s study on cruciferous vegetables, “the scientific consensus is that cruciferous vegetables could only be detrimental to thyroid function in cases of iodine deficiency or insufficient iodine intake.”
Hence, now my research leads me to a possible iodine deficiency. Learning more about my blood panel results, I may have found the culprit. I am notoriously known in my inner circle for avoiding salt at all cost. Maybe I have gone overboard. With a history in the African-American community of high blood pressure and other issues arising from high salt intake, I may have reached the opposite spectrum. I used to be able to gain my iodine from other sources. However, within the last few years I have not been eating as much seafood or consuming as many cranberries and navy beans as I did previously. All of which according to the Global Healing Center are excellent sources of natural iodine for the body.
One important note I should mention is the fact I am not a fan of western medicine as a first recourse. I seek natural remedies for long term, health effects before I resort to medicine.
Do you have thyroid issues? What natural remedies have you sought to reverse your issue? Were you over 40 when these issues began to arise?
As I continue my research, I am very interested in hearing the resolves from others in similar situations.
The World’s Healthiest Foods
The National Cancer Institute
Readers Digest: Best Health
Global Health Center
Dr. Fuhrman – Smart Nutrition. Superior Health.