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Goitrogenic Foods

Updated on October 3, 2014

What Are Goitrogenic Foods?

A goitrogen is a chemical that occurs naturally that can interfere with thyroid function, either by blocking thyroid peroxidase (TPO), an important enzyme that adds iodine during thyroid hormone production, or inducing antibodies to attack your thyroid. Goitrogens can cause enlargement of the thyroid gland, commonly called a "goiter". Goitrogenic foods are foods that contain these chemical compounds.

There is a debate on whether people with thyroid problems should avoid goitrogenic foods. Some say all goitrogenic foods should be avoided. Many more say that goitrogenic foods in moderation aren't harmful. Since many thyroid patients respond differently to stimuli, it's best to consult a doctor and determine the best course for you. The key is to be careful.

What foods are goitrogenic?

• Broccoli
• Cauliflower
• Kale
• Brussels Sprouts
• Mustard Greens
• Radishes
• Spinach
• Strawberries
• Peaches
• Soy-Based Foods
• Peanuts

...and many more.

Many cruciferous vegetables are goitrogenic. However, it has been claimed that cooking these vegetables reduces the amount of goitrogens present. Juicing these vegetables can produce very concentrated amounts of goitrogens and drinking the juice can slow down your thyroid. This can help hyperthyroid patients, however, such treatments should always be discussed with a physician beforehand.

Foods with soy should be eaten in moderation, especially because beyond just the goitrogens, it is also a phytoestrogen which can affect hormones.

© 2014 hashimotosthyroid


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