Goitrogens and Thyroid Health

Have you heard of Goitrogens? These are naturally occurring substances found in various foods that suppress the function of thyroid gland. Goitrogenic foods interfere with iodine absorption, which may sometimes result in enlargement of the thyroid also know as goiter. Hence the name ‘Goitrogen’.

I came to know of these “goitrogenic foods” when I became aware of my body reacting differently to certain foods I ate. There were certain veggies/grains/nuts that my body was intuitively telling me to avoid…and I was confused why some of the high nutrition-power packed veggies were not going well with my body. This is when I figured out that folks with low thyroid function (hypothyroid) need to pay attention to goitrogenic foods!

Below is the list of goitrogenic foods that I try to eat in moderation and some of them I stay away from. I don’t like to avoid high nutrition veggies just because they are goitrogenic, I do eat them steamed in moderation but avoid eating them in the raw state. When you research on goitrogens, most of the health experts say that cooking goitrogenic foods reduces their impact considerably and are not as potent to affect the thyroid gland.

Goitrogen Food

Also, whenever I eat the foods from this list, I make sure to supplement it with iodine rich foods like Kelp, Dulse, Nori. I just sprinkle some of these high mineral sea veggies on top of my steamed veggies/curries. It seems to work fine for me. The foods I totally avoid eating from this list is definitely soy, then comes, millet, barley, almonds, pine nuts, mustard greens, brussel sprouts. For some reason these don’t go well with my system and I feel much better staying away from them.

You may come up with a different list,  key is to listen to your body and see how well your agni (digestive fire) can handle these goitrogenic foods.

Now, with hyperthyroid (over-active thyroid), I have read quite a few articles that say goitrogenic foods in fact help hyperthyroid as they don’t need iodine for thyroid regulation. Some articles do recommend avoiding goitrogenic foods for hyperthyroid as well. Personally, I am not sure on this as I don’t have an over-active thyroid and can’t comment much on this.

From an Ayurvedic wisdom, low thyroid or hypothyroidism is a result of a kapha imbalance. Following a kapha balancing diet helps to stimulate and regulate the thyroid gland. In my next post, will share with you the foods I eat to help regulate my thyroid.

Resources: Goitrogen Naturalendocrinesolutions

Disclaimer:  This post is about sharing my experience on following the right diet to keep me healthy. This article is not meant to treat or diagnose any disease. If you have any health issues please consult your doctor. 


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