Can I eat kale with a thy­roid prob­lem?

South Waikato News - - Your Health -

Email your ques­tions for Dr Libby to ask.dr­libby@fair­fax­me­dia.co.nz. Please note, only a se­lec­tion of ques­tions can be an­swered.

It’s also im­por­tant to con­sider what is at the heart of your un­der­ac­tive thy­roid, as the road in will be the road out.

Know­ing the cause is so es­sen­tial for de­ter­min­ing the best path for­ward for you, and in clin­i­cal prac­tice, this is some­thing that I al­ways get to the bot­tom of be­fore ad­vis­ing some­one nu­tri­tion­ally.

For ex­am­ple, hy­pothy­roidism can be caused by nu­tri­tional de­fi­cien­cies (pri­mar­ily io­dine, but also se­le­nium and iron), so if this was the case for you, fix­ing the nu­tri­tional de­fi­cien­cies would be key in ad­dress­ing your low thy­roid func­tion, and en­sur­ing you are not con­sum­ing ex­ces­sive amounts of raw bras­sica fam­ily veg­eta­bles (that is, con­sum­ing large amounts of ac­tive goitro­gens) would be­come more im­por­tant.

How­ever, hy­pothy­roidism can also be caused by an au­toim­mune con­di­tion called Hashimoto’s thy­roidi­tis. In this case, io­dine de­fi­ciency is not the mech­a­nism caus­ing the thy­roid to be un­der­ac­tive, how­ever con­cur­rent io­dine de­fi­ciency could ex­ac­er­bate this.

So to sum­marise, I wouldn’t rec­om­mend a raw broc­coli- and kale-only diet (and not just be­cause of the goitro­gen con­tent – we need to con­sume a wide va­ri­ety of foods daily to meet our nu­tri­ent needs), but en­joy­ing these veg­eta­bles reg­u­larly is very un­likely to cause you any is­sues (in fact, it’s much more likely they will do you good), es­pe­cially if you mostly eat these veg­eta­bles cooked. The health ben­e­fits of con­sum­ing bras­sica fam­ily veg­eta­bles are not to be un­der­es­ti­mated, so I never want any­one to avoid these veg­eta­bles un­nec­es­sar­ily.

123RF

Kale is part of the bras­sica fam­ily of veg­eta­bles.

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