America’s obsession for raw kale is at an all time high -Raw kale juice, smoothies, kale chips , kale powders, salad bars, and gourmet raw take out options are everywhere .

Even though Kale is a nutritionally dense ,green leafy vegetable , it  happens to be part of the cruciferous family. Raw Kale should not be consumed  if  there is any suppressed thyroid gland  or even thyroid gland removal .

I have discovered that women over 40+ who are in their  hormonal declining years who may have any of the following symptoms : abdominal weight gain, thinning hair, dull skin,  memory challenges , a  diminished sex drive , anxiety , sleep disorders, cold hands & feet, bruising ,anemia  should avoid  kale and the rest of the cruciferous vegetables in their raw state.

Kale is part of the Brassia family of cruciferous vegetables . This family of foods includes popular vegetables that “fight cancer” but they can also  inactivate your thyroid function.

Cruciferous vegetables contain “goitergenic  enzymes: that inhibit iodine uptake on the thyroid gland. Many time an under active thyroid will grow larger ( goiter-like) to attract additional iodine sources in the body. The doctors love to remove goiters ,but this surgery may cause lifetime weight gain and mental and cardiovascular  problems for that individual .

Our aging thyroids need iodine to function. This important tiny butterfly gland is critical to hundreds of biochemical processes and healthy brain activity . Many women are telling me they just don’t fell right but their thyroid tests show up normal, leaving them in frustration of where to turn . Others are prescribed high does of Levothyroxine or Synthroid that offer in complete chemical pathways .  Some  doctor may recommend an anti-depressant or anxiety drug and start to layer the prescriptions furthering a reduction in thyroid activity .

Other “healthy” foods that will trigger similar responses when eaten raw include : Broccoli , Bok choy , Brussels sprout,cabbage , collards, kohlrabi , mustard greens, rutabaga and turnips . These veggies contain the highest amount of goiter expansion and thyroid suppression  activity .  So no broccoli slaw, Cole slaw, kale chips or salad bar selections for people with any type of hypo thyroid disorder, including goiters.  Eat these foods  cooked and rotate your intake .

The goiter active compounds are heat sensitive and many of them may be reduced up to 50%  when cooked over 118 degrees .The very popular kale chips ( they are yummy!) are only at cooked at 115 degrees, rendering them a raw food. Please eat them sparingly!

For those who know they have a hypo-thyroid challenge or who currently use any thyroid medications, please  limit these cooked foods to about 2-3 x’s per week. If you notice any of the unpleasant symptoms creeping back in , then cut them out all together.

The opposite is true for Hyper thyroid folks. I know one young lady who eats Brussels sprouts 3 x’s a week to keep her thyroid functioning at normal levels because she has the opposite problem. Over active and she can barely sit still .

Foods that will help to speed up thyroid function and to regulate our bodies temperature include  the following : Healthy Fats like  butter, ghee( Purity Farms ) , coconut oil ( Kelapo brand is the very best ) , avocados, dark chocolate 75% or more  , buttermilk ,  cheeses and raw unprocessed see salt ( Himalayan or Celtic )   not the commercial high heat table salt.

Supplements include using higher doses of Vitamin D 3 up to 10,000 iu unless other wise prescribed by your health professional , selenium, magnesium , copper , bladder-wrack  and potassium liquid iodide drops like Luggol’s .Healthy spices include cayenne pepper, turmeric, rosemary , parsley, cilantro and fennel.  Thyroid combination supplement products that work include Dr Venessa’s Thyroid Balance , Terry Naturally Iodine and NF factors Thyro-sense.

So this spring, watch the frequency of the cruciferous vegetables and switch to artichokes, green beans, asparagus , beet tops , Swiss chard, spinach , summer squashes and peas.Drink lots of water with your pinch of raw salt in it.

A healthy thyroid means a healthy brain and body ; it is one of the keys  to aging well.

In continued health ,

Sally Byrd



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