Cruciferous Can Help Thyroid Function Not Kill It

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/31/2023

Are you someone who thinks cruciferous vegetables are not good for the thyroid? Here’s why you should think twice about that perception.

RELATED: What is Behind a Sluggish Thyroid Gland

In this article: 

  1. What Are Cruciferous Vegetables?
  2. Is It Okay to Consume Cruciferous Veggies?
  3. What Are Benefits of Eating Cruciferous Vegetables?
  4. How Do Cruciferous Vegetables Help the Thyroid Gland?
  5. How Should You Consume Cruciferous Vegetables?

Why Cruciferous Vegetables Are Good for the Thyroid


What Are Cruciferous Vegetables?

Cruciferous vegetables are a group of veggies that belong to the Cruciferae family. They are mostly cool weather vegetables and have flowers with four petals resembling a cross. Mostly, you can eat the flowers or leaves of these vegetables, but there are some whose roots and seeds are also edible. This cruciferous vegetables list will give you some examples: 

  • Radishes
  • Watercress
  • Collards
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Arugula
  • Bok choy
  • Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli

Is It Okay to Consume Cruciferous Veggies?

Woman eating healthy salad after working out at home | Cruciferous Can Help Thyroid Function Not Kill It

Some of you may be wondering if it’s okay to eat cruciferous vegetables because they might cause problems with the thyroid gland. Let me explain. Some cruciferous foods contain a chemical called thiocyanate. This chemical has the capacity to compete for iodine. The problem with this is that the thyroid also needs iodine for its function. When the thyroid gland lacks iodine supply, hypothyroidism can develop. You can avoid this condition by maintaining healthy iodine levels. You are also at a lower risk of developing hypothyroidism if you are following a healthy and proper keto diet, taking trace minerals, or seeking medical help.  

RELATED: Should I Consume Cruciferous Vegetables With A Hypothyroid Condition


What Are Benefits of Eating Cruciferous Vegetables?

To get the maximum health benefits of cruciferous vegetables, I recommend you consume 7-10 cups of them a day. This should include leafy green salads. If you follow this advice, you can take advantage of the vegetables’ huge benefits such as antitumor, anticancer, and anti-angiogenesis. 

Angiogenesis Definition: A condition wherein a tumor grows blood vessels that supply its nutrients, promoting its growth. 

Raw cruciferous vegetables do wonders in preventing angiogenesis as they have the capacity to shut off the growth of these blood vessels, starving the tumor of nutrients. Aside from these benefits, your body can also get nutrients from the vegetables such as the following:

  • Folate  
  • High vitamin C
  • High vitamin K1
  • Potassium
  • Selenium
  • Calcium
  • Tons of phytonutrients
  • Lots of chlorophyll

How Do Cruciferous Vegetables Help the Thyroid Gland?

Woman thyroid gland control | Cruciferous Can Help Thyroid Function Not Kill It

Cruciferous vegetables also aid in creating phase I and II detoxification. This process helps boost the breakdown of poisons and chemicals in the body through certain enzymes in the liver. During this process, your body takes fat-soluble poisons and turns them into harmless water-soluble particles to get rid of them, increasing liver and kidney function. This good liver and kidney function allows the conversion of T3 to T4 (aka thyroid hormones).

Fiber in these vegetables can feed microbes as well and provide food to increase bile recycling, which is also necessary for the thyroid hormone conversion. High levels of estrogen inhibit the thyroid function, and cruciferous vegetables can help neutralize this hormone as long as you have enough iodine in your system.


How Should You Consume Cruciferous Vegetables?

When you cook or ferment cruciferous vegetables, you decrease the levels of thiocyanate in them. 

Eating cruciferous vegetables in the right amounts is a great practice given you have a sufficient supply of iodine, to help your thyroid. I recommend seeking medical help, especially to those who are susceptible to having a thyroid problem, if you want to make sure you are eating the right things.  

Which cruciferous vegetables do you include in your diet? Let us know in the comments section.

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Disclaimer: Our educational content is not meant or intended for medical advice or treatment. 

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