Hey guys!  For a while know I have been thinking about writing a special weekend post dedicated to nourishing the body and mind.  And this is the first of those posts.  It will include a topic and various links related to it.  And this is the first of those posts. 
This basket of produce {below} is beautiful and the first words that come to mind are fresh, nourishing and healthy-- among others.  Nourishing vegetables can heal the body and there have been many articles that break that topic down to Barney level {because I do not do complicated}.  I love talking and reading about food because I like to learn from others and engage in meaningful discussion about our food sources, how to use food to heal the body, bring people together, etc. 
Yet this beautiful basket, while very healthy for many, is not very good for me-- a hypothryoid.  This is very frustrating because these foods have been linked to healing the body and in maintaining a healthy weight, which is VERY important (and hard to do) for hypothyroids.  It is always interesting to see people's expression when I tell them that I cannot eat certain veggies because they are not "good" for me. The look? Confused.  So today I want to talk about the impact of some veggies due to a substance called goitrogens.


If you have heard the term "goitrogen" before it is probably related to thyroid function or thyroid disease.  And when used in this context it is referred to naturally occuring substances that interfere with thyroid function most specifically enlargement of the thryoid gland.  There are many substances that can contribute to a enlarged thyroid gland or "goiter" and some of it is naturally occuring in foods, mostly cruciferous and soyfoods. 
I have to clarify that these foods DO NOT cause a goiter when consumed and they do not interfere with the thyroid function of a healthy person Goitrogenic food are not "bad foods" they are healthy foods containing nutrients which under certain circumnstances can also interefere with thryoid function.  What causes problems for certain individuals is not the food itself but the mismatched nature of certain substances within the food to their unique health situation. (       


The good news for hypothyroids is that there is a little light at the end of the tunnel: many health professionals believe that cooking may inactivate goitrogens.  So if you are just dying to have some of these foods make sure you cook them.  Also, some health professionals believe that if you have had your thyroid removed surgically, you should not worry too much about goitrogens {still, I do}.  


Believe me when I tell you that after I learned about goitrogens I felt as if there was no way of eating healthy.  It was frustrating because I like all these foods but I should not eat them.  But with a little bit of patience and planning I started making changes to improve my nutrition.  How?

1.  I had to have to find other options for veggies intake.  That is the major bottom like.  I literally had a printed list of the "no" foods with me when I went shopping to help me.  And then I discovered that there were still plenty of veggies and foods that I could eat. 
2.  Go green.  It has been found that green vegetables are essential to the immune system, which can be stressed during intense athletic activities.

3.  Quality protein.  I once tried to go vegetarian, but it lasted about two months.  Towards the end I was ready to eat me a big ol' steak.  And I did!  But this showed me that I am a carnivore.  One interesting thing I have noticed about looking GF blogs is that the majority of the recipes I have come across are for baked goods.  I however, tend to go towards two things mostly: salads and meat.  So I think in that area, I will be good.  Because I am not allergic to eggs, another good source of protein, I like to use them for breakfast mostly.  Hypothyroids, one source of protein that is the cause of much controversy is soy, and whether it interferes with the body's ability to absorb the medication. The verdict still out on this but it is food for thought.  I personally avoid it.  The world of proteins is immense, so pick the one that best fits your lifestyle.

4.   The delightful beet.  I'm on a beet kick right now, and I am eating them anyway I can.  Beets are jam-packed with nutrients.  And they help to cleanse the blood and create more red blood cells.  One of the best effects for me is that it helps with age-related eye issues.  This is huge for me because when I had Graves disease it affected my eyesight-- which was awesome up until that point. 

5.  Turmeric. The spice with the exotic name is really good for joint pains.  And it is one of those spices that is good to alleviate thyroid inflammation.  After a long hard workout I like to end the night with a cup of warm almond milk with cinnamon and turmeric.  Really hits the spot and it does a body good.   

6.  Let's talk gluten-free.  I am not crazy about gluten-free YET it is basically the only way I see results in combating the hypothryoidism associated weight gain that some hypothyroids (not all) experience.  So I am basically back to semi-gluten free.  I found that if you keep saying " I am on a GF diet" it feels very resctrictive.  However if you stick to fresh veggies, fruits and meats you will be on a GF diet by default. 

And there you have it, an oversimplified look at goitrogens and eating healthy as a hypothyroid.  Do you have hypothryoidism?  any other tips?


  1. Great info! Yes, I have hypothyroidism. I had promising results with going gluten free and my thyroid levels. I'm cautiously optimistic about my next bloodwork and possibly reducing my prescription or ideally, no prescription at all.

  2. I have hypothyroidism as well. I had my thyroid removed several years ago due to a goiter that kept growing to the point it was getting hard to swallow. I never new there were veggies I shouldn't eat!

    1. Penny, glad I could give you a tidbit of information.

  • I have hypothyroid, and I've been trying out gluten free for about a week. I would really like to lose the 30lbs I gained before I started taking medication, so we'll see how that goes.

    1. Rebecca, much luck in this journey. I think you will find the GF really helps a lot with energy levels and in losing weight. I started this week again, more focused on GF than before because I think I hit a plateau.