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Should You Avoid Broccoli and Kale if you have Thyroid Disease?

Cruciferous vegetables like: broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, collards, arugala, watercress, and cabbage contain a dramatic incredible array of phytonutrients with potent health benefits. There is also information circulating suggesting that if you have thyroid disorders, that you need to avoid eating these powerhouse foods because they are goitrogenic and can aggrevate your thyroid especially if you have Hashimoto’s disease. But is this truth?

After you read all the health benefits of these amazing superfoods, you will certainly not want to eliminate them from your diet, even if you have thyroid disease. In fact, you will likely want to run to the store and make sure that your dinner plate is full of them tonight.

But what if you have thyroid disease? Are these safe to eat? Well, as you read on you will also find out more about the truth regarding whether or not you really have to avoid these foods if you have thyroid disease or not. But first, here are some of the amazing benefits of cruciferous vegetables. They are not only packed with incredible nutrients but also ….

1. May help to lower the risk of developing cancer

2. Lab studies show that one of the phytochemicals found in cruciferous vegetables – sulforaphane – can stimulate enzymes in the body that detoxify carcinogens before they damage cells. Isothiocyanates (ITCs), which are perhaps the best studied, have been shown to provide protection against environmental carcinogen exposure by inducing detoxification pathways, thereby neutralizing potential carcinogens.

3. Another way cruciferous vegetables may help to protect against cancer is by reducing oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is the overload of harmful molecules called oxygen-free radicals, which are generated by the body. Reducing these free radicals may reduce the risk of cancer

4. Diets rich in fish and vegetables (including cruciferous and dark-yellow veggies) may also help to protect against cardiovascular disease

5. In another recent study, diets low in cruciferous and yellow vegetables, wine, and coffee but high in sugar-sweetened soft drinks, refined grains, and processed meat were identified as possibly increasing chronic inflammation and raising the risk of type 2 diabetes

6. Keep in mind too that about half of the fiber in cruciferous vegetables is super-healthy soluble fiber.

7. These vegetables also contain indole-3-carbinol (I3C). Indole-3-carbinol has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer by decreasing estrogen activity.

Need I say more?

Truth: Those poor cruciferous vegetables may have gotten a bad rap for nothing. Goitrogen is a word that was coined in the 1950’s to describe a substance that causes the formation of a goiter, also knows as an enlarged thyroid gland. It can mean a variety of different things ranging from suppressing the release of thyroid hormone to changing the way thyroid hormone gets produced in the body to suppressing the absorption of iodine.

In relation to cruciferous vegetables, they are have been identified as “goitrogenic” because they have the potential to block iodine absorption.

This was a concern in the 1950’s, as then, the primary reason for hypothyroidism was due to iodine deficiency, and any further changes in iodine levels were potentially problematic. However, since public efforts have been made to add iodine to the salt supplies of most industrialized countries, Hashimoto’s has become the primary reason for hypothyroidism, responsible for 90-97% of cases of hypothyroidism in the United States. Iodine deficiency is not wide spread in people with Hashimoto’s, and thus eating cruciferous vegetables (unless a person is otherwise sensitive to them) is perfectly healthy for people with Hashimoto’s and should not impact thyroid function. In the case that a person does have hypothyroidism due to iodine deficiency, he/she can still enjoy crucifers as long as they are cooked or fermented. Cooking/fermenting will break down the iodine blocking content. http://www.thyroidpharmacist.com/blog/top-7-hashimotos-food-myths

So tonight whether you have a thyroid disorder or not, why not relax and enjoy these healthy foods. I included a simple recipe for brussel sprouts that is really yummy.

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
3 tablespoons organic cold pressed olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt or seal salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

optional: lemon juice

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut off the ends of your Brussels sprouts and cut each one in half. Mix them in a bowl with the organic olive oil, salt and pepper. Place them on a sheet pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes until they are visibly crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.( Use a fork to poke one and see how tender it feels.) You may have to shake the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly. Some times I like to add some lemon juice as well but this gives it a more tangy taste and so I say that it is optional. Enjoy!

1. Johnston N. Sulforaphane halts breast cancer cell growth. Drug Discov Today 2004;9(21): 908. Rose P, Huang Q, Ong CN, Whiteman M. Broccoli and watercress suppress matrix metalloproteinase-9 activity and invasiveness of human MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 2005;S0041-008X.
2. Seow A, Yuan JM, Sun CL, et al. Dietary isothiocyanates, glutathione S-transferase polymorphisms and colorectal cancer risk in the Singapore Chinese Health Study. Carcinogenesis 2002;23(12): 2055-261.
3. Wu HT, Lin SH, Chen YH. Inhibition of cell proliferation and in vitro markers of angiogenesis by indole-3-carbinol, a major indole metabolite present in cruciferous vegetables. J Agric Food Chem SK, Choi S, et al. Sulphoraphane-induced cell death in human prostate cancer cells is initiated by reactive oxygen species. J Biol Chem 2005; 280(20):19911-19924. Xiao D, Srivastava SK, Lew KL, et al. Allyl isothiocyanate a constituent of cruciferous vegetables inhibits proliferation of human prostate cancer cells by causing G2/M arrest and inducing apoptosis. Carcinogenesis 2003;24(5):891-897.
4. Conaway CC, Wang CX, Pittman B, et al. Phenethyl isothiocyanate and sulforaphane and their n-acetylcysteine conjugates inhibit malignant progression of lung adenomas induced by tobacco carcinogens in A/J mice. Cancer Res 2005 65(18): 8548-8557.

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Ginger brews; My favorite hot and healthy herb plus an amazing delicious recipe

Ginger is one of my favorite hot herbs. It is fabulously versatile, medicinal and a very popular culinary herb in cuisines across the world. Ginger is hot not only because it is spicy but because in the medicinal world, it is also known to lower inflammation which is a common cause of so many illnesses that we are seeing today.  Ginger is abundant in the phytonutrient gingerol, a natural ingredient that relieves bloating and gas. It also facilitates and promotes healthy digestion while improving bowel function. Ginger acts as an anti-inflammatory by reducing the synthesis of pro-inflammatory (inflammation causing) prostaglandins.

Tip:  ginger can be used on inflamed joints to relieve pain just by placing cold pressed ginger juice in a flannel cloth with some castor oil over the affected joint for 5-10 minutes
It is also rich in essential oils, vitamin B, potassium, manganese, copper and magnesium.
I have used it in my practice with pregnant woman to prevent nausea, in fact for centuries ginger has been used in India, China and other Asian countries as a remedy for nausea.

Ginger can be taken in a capsule, eaten fresh and raw, cooked or brewed as a tea.

TIP: You can cut ginger place two to tsp in boiling water and steep for ten minutes. After cooling, optionally you can add honey, pieces of lemon or orange. When I am sick i will brew with a few cloves of garlic (my other favorite herb)

I also just saw this recipe which I cannot wait to try

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peeled, finely chopped ginger
  • 2 cups purified water
  • raw honey (optional)
  • sparkling water
  • 1 lemon, juiced

Preparation:

Boil 2 cups of water, and add the ginger. Reduce the heat to medium low, and let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes.

Take it off the heat and strain.

When serving, use 1 part of ginger syrup and 3 parts of sparkling water. Serve it on the rocks. Sweeten to taste, using raw honey, or stevia, and add some lemon juice.

from http://www.bestherbalhealth.com

Enjoy !

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Sun Protection Smoothies

Since I now live in the sunshine state I have to say that it is has become a daily battle of ‘Alison versus the sun’. I love being outdoors and I especially love being in the beautiful ocean, but I have to say, skin cancer and photo-aging are a constant threat to my current new outdoor type of lifestyle. There are the obvious remedies which involve long sleeves, big hat and plenty of sunscreen (the truth about sunscreen; the good and the bad will likely be the topic of my next blog) but you know me, I am constantly doing my research on ways to protect my health, this time my skin, from the inside out. I strongly believe that we need to always focus on how we are nourishing ourselves from the inside out, and then simultaneously we need to protect ourselves from the outside in.

Here is what I have come up with so far.

It is hard to directly correlate and test the role of food in preventing various skin cancer but eating certain foods may definitely help.  Several studies have looked at antioxidants including vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, zinc, and vitamin A, as well as folic acid, fats and proteins, and a variety of whole foods and their role in the possible prevention of skin cancer. While results are not absolutely 100% clear, antioxidants may offer some protection from skin cancer.

substances that may help protect your skin from sun-related damage:

  • Apigenin, a flavonoid found in vegetables and fruits, including broccoli, celery, onions, tomatoes, apples, cherries and grapes, and in tea and wine
  • Curcumin, found in the spice turmeric
  • Resveratrol, found in grape skins, red wine, and peanuts
  • Quercetin, a flavonoid found in apples and onions

The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Many herbs and herbal combinations are used to prevent and treat cancer in general.

  • Green tea (Camellia sinensis) contains polyphenols, chemicals that are potent antioxidants. Antioxidants get rid of particles in the body called free radicals, which damage DNA. Researchers think free radicals may play a role in cancer. The main polyphenol in green tea is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Scientific studies suggest that EGCG and other green tea polyphenols may prevent skin tumors from starting or growing. .
  • Other herbs with antioxidant and skin-protecting effects include bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba), milk thistle (Silybum marianum), ginger (Zingiber officinale), and hawthorn (Crataegus laevigata). Although there are no scientific studies on using these herbs to treat skin cancer, they have been used traditionally to protect the skin.

So this week and upcoming weekend if you plan on sunbathing or being outdoors, before you head outside and after you slather on your non nano zinc sunscreen, maybe indulge in a cup of green tea or blend it all together in a  smoothie along with apples, ginger, carrots and a few cherries. Cheers to summer and healthy skin!

Carrot apple ginger green tea skin protecting smoothie:

  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium apple, cored
  • 2 large handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger root
  • 4 ounces of filtered water
  • 4 ounces of brewed organic green tea

Start by adding the liquid to your blender, I use my vitamix, followed by the soft fruit. Add the greens to your blender last. Blend on high for 30 seconds or until the smoothie is creamy.

Creamy melon sunscreen smoothie recipe:

3 cups watermelon, 1/2 cup of seeded cherries, chopped
1 cup nonfat organic yoghurt containing probiotic bacteria
1/2 cup green tea brewed from loose leaves, chilled
1 tbsp fresh mint, minced optional
Lemon juice, and a dab of rind, freshly pressed

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until creamy

Enjoy!Mango-Carrot-Smoothie-Culinary-Hill-3

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Estrogen, the good the bad and what you really need to know

Is estrogen good, bad or both? Do I need it? Why is it so confusing???

Let me help…

Estrogen is a very powerful class of hormones produced by the ovaries and the adrenal glands. There are at least two dozen known estrogens, all with various functions; every organ, including the brain, heart, ovaries, and liver, has estrogen-sensitive receptor sites. The most commonly discussed estrogens are estrone, estradiol, and estriol. And we are also exposed to estrogens by supplementation and sadly also in the water we drink and the foods we eat.

The main function of estrogens is to make cells grow and proliferate. They stimulate endometrial cells in preparation for pregnancy, promote breast tissue growth, maintain function of the sexual organs, stimulate the menstrual cycle, and initiate the bodily changes that occur at puberty. If estrogen function and metabolism are out of balance, cells can multiply unnecessarily and this may lead to cancer in some cases amongst other things.

Daily we are ‘over exposed’ to estrogens in our environment. These estrogens are called “xenoestrogens”, foreign substances with estrogen like effects in the body. Xenoestrogens can mimic natural estrogen and block estrogen receptor sites on cells throughout the body. They then activate these receptors to stimulate a hormonal effect or they can also occupy the receptor and block natural hormones from doing what they are supposed to do for health, thus disrupting the normal endocrine activity. As you can imagine, these can have a serious effect on hormone balance, causing health problems including increased cancer rates and infertility

So where do these xenoestrogens come from? Most xenoestrogens are derived from petrochemicals and include pesticides, industrial chemicals, cleaners, plastics including all the water bottles wed rink from and the food containers we eat from. They are also in nail polish, and car exhaust.

Many of these hormone imposters accumulate over time because they are fat soluble; they are easily absorbed through the skin and can be stored in body fat, where they can continue to interfere with the body’s natural hormone balance. These man-made estrogens are everywhere !

So now what? Are we just doomed? No way!! We can make choices in our daily lives that reduce the xenoestrogens in our life.

Here is how. Start with the following and in my next blog I will share with you some fabulous food ideas that can also help to lower the risk of ‘bad estrogens” in your body….

  • Avoid plastics for water and food storage. Use glass or ceramics whenever possible, especially to heat food. When plastic is heated, it rapidly diffuses into food. Use wax paper or a glass plate instead of plastic wrap to cover bowls in the microwave.
  • Use detergents with fewer chemicals. Chemical residue can be absorbed through your skin.
  • Choose shampoos, body soaps, makeup, and lotions that are paraben free.
  • Use natural pest control, not pesticides or herbicides.
  • Buy hormone-free meats; look for organics whenever possible.
  • Buy organic produce to reduce your exposure to herbicides, pesticides, and other chemicals.

To your health!

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Did you know that many common foods cross-react with gluten? Check out this list….

I just saw a client that has migrated by necessity to a gluten free diet and has removed all gluten from her diet for over 3 months. We also did a cleansing of her entire GI tract and healed the damage done by years of exposure to this toxin.

Initially she felt dramatically better but now she says that some of symptoms have come back. Hence this blog. I wanted to share with you that some foods, even though they do not contain gluten, can look like gluten to your immune system and then cause a similar response. I thought that if she needed this info, maybe you do too.

Here is the list:

Coffee, corn, dairy ; including Alpha-Casein, Beta-Casein, Casomorphin, Butyrophilin and Whey Protein. Also; buckwheat, amaranth, chocolate (I know, this is painful one), corn, hemp, millet, eggs, oats, potatoes, rice, sesame, soy, tapioca , yeast and eggs.

Obviously this a long and daunting list and you may not be sensitive to all of these. Yet if you are gluten-intolerant and you are still having issues despite removing gluten from your diet, try eliminating the above foods for at least three weeks to one months and see if your symptoms improve. Then you may reintroduce the above foods one at a time to determine which ones you are having challenges with, if any.

Let me know how it goes.
To your heath!
Dr in The Kitchen

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Choosing Healthy with Every BIte

There are few things that we truly have control with when it comes to our health. We breathe the air in the city that we live in, we are exposed to radiation and toxins in our environment and of course our genetics, albeit modifyable to a certain degree, can predispose us ot certain ailments regardless. There is however one thing that we have total control of and we do it many times a day, every day for our entire lives. We in fact have total control over what we choose to put in our bodies. So as I have always said, please choose your foods very wisely, your health and that of your family very much depend on it!

Food nourishes us, gives us energy. It is meant to be eaten not only for enjoyment but for nutrition, to feed our cells with all of the nutrients required to live a healthy vitalized balanced life.

If we chose our foods correctly it can become a form of medicine, giving our bodies the nutrients that it needs to stay healthy, enabling every cell to optimize its function, regenerate and rejuvinate. Every time we eat we have this opportunity. Every time we eat we actually have the opportunity to either enhance our health or sabotage it. We can either chose foods that are nourishing healthy and vitalizing or we can choose foods that we know are energy zappers, foods that promote illness, weight gain, fatigue and general malaise. This may in fact be a new way for you to look at eating but I can guarantee that if you do this, if you look at food as your source of healing, a source of healing that you actually fully have control over then it will not only improve the choices in foods that you make but every time you eat you will actively be sending positive healing messages to every cell of your body, consciously and subconsciously.

For example, if you are eating fried foods, processed foods laden in sugar and drinking sodas or to many sugary beverages the message you are sending clearly says, I do not care about my health and what will follow is possible malaise, fatigue, bloating, weight gain or depression.

On the other hand, if we feed ourselves with healing food every bite can be a reminder that we are actively choosing health. When we select foods that are not healthy we sabotage this healing potential. We send the message to all of our cells that we do not care and that we are not wanting health. Every bite should be filled with the intention that ‘this bite is healing, helping my body stay balanced, helping my cells function optimally, making me feel amazing’. The body and mind receive this information, registering it and processing it along with the food to enhance your health. You will then feel good mentally and physically.

This week make the decision to choose healthy with every bite. If you feel that an entire week is too much, then start with Monday, just Monday and let me know how it goes!

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Yummy Creamy DIY Moisturizer and Edible Scrub

avocado

Are you tired of reading labels with ingredient names that you cannot pronounce, need a dictionary to understand or the internet to decipher the level of toxicity? If so and if you are concerned about applying non-toxic ingredients to your skin, the largest organ of your body then worry no more and instead have fun and make your own body lotion and scrub with ingredients found in your kitchen. It is fun and easy and then you will know exactly what the ingredients are- simple back to the basics. And they make great gifts too!

DIY Cream

1/2 cup of shea butter

2 tbsp. avocado oil

and/or

2 tsp of jajoba oil

5-10 drops of your favorite essential oil, I like to use rose or lavender

preparation; mix the shea butter and avocado oil/jajoba oil in sauce pan over very low heat.Stir until melted. Pour into glass container and add essential oils. You can refrigerate until creamy and use liberally..enjoy! Works best after a warm bath or shower.

DIY Scrub

1/2 cup of sugar or xylitol

1/2 cup sea salt

1/4 cup coconut oil

5-10 drops of your favorite essential oil, I like to use rose or lavender

Preparation: combine all ingredients in a glass jar and store in a cool dry place. Rub onto skin while in the shower then rinse.

Have fun with these and play by adding your own scents and different ingredients to see what you like the best. then send me your favorite recipes so I can enjoy too!

 

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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