health · lyme disease

Greens and Thyroid Issues

thinkstock_rf_photo_of_fresh_spinach

Got thyroid issues? I struggle with hypothyroidism as one of the many side of effects of Lyme disease. So not only do I lose large amounts of hair, it causes dry skin, fatigue, constipation, cold body temperature and a host of other symptoms. I love to eat greens whether cooked or in juice or smoothie form. But there is a down side to consuming too many raw greens especially with an underactive thyroid.

Raw greens from the brassica family (cabbage, spinach, kale, collards, etc) contain glucosinolates, which can inhibit iodine uptake and act as a goitrogen (substances that supress thyroid function). For those of us with thyroid issues, drinking and eating too much of these vegetables in their raw state can further agitate the condition. Instead, rotate your greens to prevent buildup of oxalic acid, which can affect the thyroid. Also as a side note, healthy fats from avocados and other foods actually help stimulate thyroid function so don’t skip the fats!

If you have thyroid issues, I suggest using romaine lettuce as your leafy greens instead of kale or spinach most of the time. Some raw kale or spinach from time to time is fine, but if you get on the smoothie bandwagon and start making a green drink everyday, it’s worth mixing up your greens.

In general, remember that variety is the spice of life. Not only does it help keep your taste buds happy, choosing different fruits and vegetables ensures a variety of nutrients and a well-rounded diet.

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