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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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What’s not to Love about Kale…

In the mornings I love to take my cup of tea or coffee kale cabbage saladkaleand me out to the garden and peruse. What’s amazing is that despite the super cold winter, there a few kale plants that have popped up from hardy seeds that I threw in last year. And if you know me you also know that I love my kale, so I am extremely delighted.

What’s not to love about kale?

1. kale is a superfood, need I say more? Yes I will- It’s a member of the Brassica family of vegetables, which include cabbage and brussels sprouts which have gained quite the reputation as potential cancer-fighting foods. Kale is packed with the organosulfur compounds that may lessen the occurrence of some cancers. Studies also suggest that the phytonutrients in kale and other Brassicas may actually help the liver neutralize potentially cancerous substances.

2. Kale is full of beta-carotene, an important nutrient for good vision also the prevention of cataracts.

3. Kale is also an excellent source of vitamin C, just one cup will give you 88% of your RDA od vitamin C which is great fro your immune system and helpful for protection against viruses like the common cold as well as the flu.

4.,Kale is rich in minerals, such as iron, manganese, calcium and potassium. Potassium is excellent to help reduce blood pressure. Calcium is needed for optimal bone integrity.

5. A cup of kale provides 10.4% of the daily value for fiber, which has been shown to reduce high cholesterol levels. Fiber can also help out by keeping blood sugar levels under control, so kale is an excellent vegetable for people with diabetes.

 
I may have shared this salad with you last year but that was oh so long ago and this is tradition so here is one of my favorite raw super healthy recipes….
 
Raw Kale Avocado Salad
 
1 bunch kale, take leaves off the stem and place in bowl and chop (about 8 to 10 cups)
1 avocado, diced
1 cup sunflower seeds, soaked for 6 to 8 hours
Dressing:
3 to 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 to 2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt and/or kelp
freshly ground black pepper
 
optional: mushrooms, red onion, shallots, grated carrots, beets, tomatoes, chopped parsley, dill, arugula would all be delicious. …you get the message, add what you love. Sometimes I even add my broken up flackers (http://www.drinthekitchen.com/) for more flavor, crunch and extra good omega-3 oils.
 
Chop the kale into small pieces and add it to a large bowl. In a smaller, separate bowl whisk together the dressing. Add the dressing to the salad and gently massage it into the kale with your hands. This will soften it almost immediately. Then add the diced avocado and whatever other vegetables you like. Drain and rinse the sunflower seeds and add them to the salad as well. Gently toss together and yum!
 
KALE CHIPS

1 clove garlic

  • 1 C Cashews, soaked at least 8 hours, rinsed and drained or you can use cahew butter as well
  • 1/4 C Nutritional Yeast*
  • 1/3 C water
  • 2 T Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp Chipotle (spice)
  • Pinch Sea Salt

With processor running, drop in garlic and mince. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth. Pour over kale chips in a bowl and massage until kale is coated. Bake on high in oven until crisp or dehydrate on screens at 115 for 4-6 hours or until crisp. *Nutritional yeast is not raw but used frequently in raw food recipes.

 

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Raw or cooked, that is the question?

Garlic: raw for the antimicrobial properties and the cardio-protective nutrient allicin. If you chose to cook your garlic, cook it on low temp. The wonderful aroma of garlic cooking is actually the allicin blowing in the wind.

Tomatoes: cooked. They have more of the anti-cancer phytonutrient lycopene when cooked, especially potent when cooked with a little olive oil.

Zucchini: cooked. Squash delivers more beta carotene, a building block for vitamin A when cooked.

Bell peppers: Raw. Cooking will damage the b vitamins, so enjoy your peppers raw.

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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