Ask Leyla: Should I avoid brassica vegetables due to my hypothyroidism?

| By Leyla Muedin MS, RD, CDN

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Full frame background of various types of fresh cabbages on counter of grocery bazaar

Q:  I read an Op Ed piece in the NY Times recently in which the writer stated that a doctor had told her that eating kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and broccoli was not a healthy choice for anyone with hypothyroidism. I have hypothroidism, but have never heard this. I tend to eat a fair amount of all vegetables, including those listed. Is it safe to continue?

A:  These vegetables are from the plant genus Brassica, which are known to be goitrogenic. A goitrogen is a thyroid antagonist found in food. Besides the vegetables you mention, also included in the Brassica family are turnips, rutabaga, watercress, kohlrabi and cauliflower.    

As someone with hypothyroidism, should you avoid these vegetables completely? No. Make sure to eat most of these vegetables cooked, rather than in their raw state and don’t eat them every day. Always eat a variety of produce.

You can read more about this in my article, Hypothyroidism

 To your health!

Leyla Muedin, MS, RD, CDN   


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