Monday, July 27, 2009

Brassicas and thyroids... Who knew? Not me!

I've mentioned before that I receive regular newsletters from a local organic farm called Nature's Pace Organics. The newsletters are mostly geared towards their CSA members, but anyone can sign up for them. Anyway, there was some interesting (to me) information in the latest newsletter that I thought I'd share. I had no idea that eating raw Brassica family veggies could be a problem for folks with thyroid issues! So here's the excerpt from the newsletter:

"On that cabbage note, I’d like to quickly touch on a concern some may have with the consumption of too many vegetables in the Brassica genus. Vegetables that belong to this genus include broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, rutabagas, turnips and napa cabbage. These are among my favorite veggies not only for their delicious taste (especially the kohlrabi!), but also for the anti-carcinogenic, glucosinolates found within. A word of caution though, these foods, when digested by intestinal bacteria, can release substances called goitrogens that may suppress the thyroid’s ability to function. The thyroid gland regulates body metabolism, body temperature, blood calcium levels, energy, excess fats, hormones, oxygen, weight loss, among others. The level of goitrogens is at its highest when these foods are eaten raw. These goitrogens also show evidence of providing additional protection against cancer, and I tend to feel that if something is raw with its life-giving enzymes the positive will outweigh the negative. However, after a prolonged absence from eating these foods, and quite suddenly eating plenty again, I feel there’s been quite a noticeable change in my body temperature, a change Jacob can feel on me by the mere touch. The variables internally within and externally of the body are numerous, and I would suspect food combination also plays a part in all this, but a noticed correlation that is being expressed here. My family experiences problems with low thyroid functions already (presumably many of yours also, since we all live near the ionizing radiation of the Flint auto industry) which make us especially vulnerable to compounds of this nature. In short, if you have a pre-existing thyroid condition, you may want to avoid eating your brassicas raw. Steaming/boiling these foods decreases the amount of goitrogens considerably. Like everything else with what we eat, listen to your body and what it’s telling you."

1 comment:

Justin and Mary said...

I had read about this a while ago. At least it's only when they're raw. But even though I know I have thyroid problems (pretty minor) I don't worry too much about it. Considering I just had my med dose lowered I figure I'm not eating too much of the "bad" stuff. I really don't eat many of those veggies raw at all. I also read about a few other foods, including walnuts having the same effect. And I eat those every day!