Is green juice negatively affecting your thyroid? In short, the answer is: maybe. I’m not a fan of being vague, especially when it comes to your health and the health of one of the most important organs in your body: your thyroid. My ambiguity here depends on one thing – your consumption of green juice. If you are juicing daily with vegetables like kale, spinach and cabbage then I am going to be straight up and tell you to cut back as the daily consumption of these raw vegetables will definitely have a negative impact on the function of your thyroid.
On the other hand, if you have a green juice one to two times per week AND you don’t have a thyroid disease (like hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, hashimoto’s or grave’s disease) then you and your thyroid are likely doing just fine.
Goitrogenic Foods and Thyroiad Function
Let me explain. Kale, spinach and cabbage are all goitrogenic foods. This means that these foods contain goitrogens — naturally occurring substances that they have the ability to cause an enlargement of your thyroid gland, also known as a goiter. Additionally, these goitrogenic foods can slow down thyroid function (like the way it slows down in people with hypothyroidism) causing symptoms such as fatigue, irregular menses, weight gain and hair loss.
Goitrogenic foods inhibit your body’s ability to use the mineral iodine and iodine plays an extremely important role in the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. When these goitrogenic foods disrupt the absorption of iodine, your thyroid slows down its secretion of thyroid hormone and your thyroid stops working optimally.
If you don’t already know, the thyroid is a small, butterfly-shape glad that is located at the base of your neck and it plays an important role in regulating bodily functions such as your metabolism, internal temperature, breathing and your brain. When it comes to women, the thyroid also plays a big role in the regulation of your menstrual cycle and in your ability to conceive. The thyroid is so important that many medical professions liken it to the master controller of the body.
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Be Sure to Blanche or Steam Green Vegetables Before Juicing
So, now you can see how daily juicing with spinach, kale and or cabbage can really have a negative impact on your health. With that said, these vegetables are amazing for your health – the key is: you need to cook them. Once you cook these vegetables, their goitrogenic properties are significantly reduced. For my clients who love their daily green juice, I recommend they blanche or steam their kale, spinach and/or cabbage before juicing and this way the can have their juice and keep their thyroid functioning well. A good thing to keep in mind is that besides kale, spinach and cabbage there are other common goitrogenic foods such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, bok choy, radishes, turnips, peanuts and pine nuts.
If you don’t have a thyroid condition, enjoy your fresh pressed green juices in moderation – say one to two times per week – and the rest of the time eat cooked veggies. If you do have a thyroid condition, try your best to avoid fresh pressed green juices containing kale, spinach and/or cabbage, rather blanch or steam your veggies and juice them or eat them cooked.
Aimee E. Raupp is a women’s health and fertility expert, author, and founder of the Aimee Raupp Wellness & Fertility Center. Her focus is improving health and beauty, preventing disease, and increasing fertility among women whose health and wellness are challenged by the demands of Western culture. Aimee launched her new fertility-friendly beauty product line in Winter 2013. Find Aimee on Facebook and Twitter @aimeeraupp.
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The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog contributor’s. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Writers may have conflicts of interest, and their opinions are their own.