People are hearing the term goitrogens and are worried about eating cruciferous vegetables. What a mistake. Cruciferous vegetables are so high in nutrients. Don’t skip out on these super foods because you are worried about your metabolism. Let me explain what goitrogens are, how they effect your metabolism and some steps needed to optimize your metabolism.
First of all, let me start with the cruciferous vegetables. They are a super food because of all the nutrients in them. One of the most important factors of increasing your metabolism is to make sure you get the nutrients your body needs. I try to start every meal with one of these 6 vegetables; broccoli, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, or cauliflower. Ever since I discovered blended cauliflower, it’s my new favourite; salt, pepper, butter, and a bit of garlic and carrot. Yummy!
So, what are people worried about? Goitrogens are anything that inhibit thyroid function. What happens is the pituitary gland will start pumping more thyroid stimulating hormone or TSH to indicate to the thyroid to pump more thyroid hormone. The thyroid gland will increase thyroid tissue to make up for the increased demand by the pituitary gland. In other words, the thyroid gets bigger causing goiter.
The goitrogen in cruciferous vegetables is called isothiocyanate. Isothiocyanates are an antioxidant that is an anti-carcinogen and detoxifies the body. It gets its negative connotation because it blocks the iodine uptake to make T4. It only does this with extreme amounts of cruciferous vegetables; I mean pounds of the stuff. On a side note, lots of body builders will eat pounds of cruciferous vegetables daily during cutting stages. Anyway, the isothiocyanates are only a problem if there is an iodine deficiency.
More importantly, there are other goitrogens that should be avoided. Keep in mind iodide is the stable form of iodine we take in and it gets converted with sulfate to iodine, which is the usable form of iodine. So, the goitrogens to avoid are fluoride, bromide (methyl bromide used as the pesticide on strawberries, potassium bromate in bread, and brominated vegetable oil found in citrus drinks to emulsify), and chloride. All 3 of these goitrogens compete with iodine for the same binding sites.
Fluoride needs special mention because it wins the battle every time. What I mean is it doesn’t matter how much iodine you take, if fluoride is available it will steal the binding site. Doctors used to use fluoride as a supplement to reduce metabolisms at 3 mg a day. The average American gets around 3 mg daily. This amount of fluoride is associated with more than 20% increase in goiter. Deficiencies in calcium and protein also exasperate the thyroid issues caused by fluoride. I personally use a reverse osmosis water filter and I make my own toothpaste.
The toothpaste is for more than eliminating fluoride. I make my own to protect my microbiome as well. In short, you have protective bacteria in your mouth and it’s very detrimental to your health to kill it with conventional store-bought toothpaste and mouth wash. Homemade toothpaste recipe: coconut oil, peppermint essential oil, and baking soda. That’s it. It may take a couple weeks for your mouth to adapt so you might have to brush more often at first. If you want a mouthwash, rinse with salt.
Other Problems With Fluoride
Fluoride is what doctors call an endocrine disruptor. Fluoride adversely affects your thyroid, parathyroid, pineal glands, adrenals, pancreas, and pituitary. It really can’t be taken lightly. Someone always brings up the study where the government took fluoride out of drinking water and cavities went up. Take care of your teeth! Fluoride doesn’t just touch your teeth, it affects your whole body. On a side note, 30% of cities in America do not have fluoride in their drinking water.
The worst thing fluoride does is it stunts brain development. I don't want to list all the effects it has on brain development because that is a lot of jargon. Just know that fluoride massively impairs brain development in many ways. Think about that when you are having a baby.
According to Dr. Mercola, "One of the most recent studies into the effects of water fluoridation on intellectual performance, published in December 2010, found that about 28 percent of children in the low-fluoride study area scored as 'bright, normal or higher intelligence' compared to only 8 percent in the high-fluoride area. Further, 15 percent of children in the high-fluoride city had signs of mental retardation, compared with only 6 percent in the low-fluoride city."
Perchlorate is both a naturally occurring and man-made chemical used in the production of rocket fuel, missiles, fireworks, flares and explosives. It is also sometimes present in bleach and in some fertilizers. It is found in water, milk, fruit, and vegetables.
Nitrates may interfere with the uptake of iodine in your thyroid. Avoid added nitrates you find in processed meats, such as lunch meat, sausage, bacon, hot dogs and some packaged seafood.
Mercury is found in fish, dental amalgams and consumer products such as antiques, electronics, batteries, light bulbs and pharmaceutical products.
Hypothyroidism is 9-1 more likely in women than in men. The reason for this is estrogen inhibits the uptake of iodine. Iodine deficiency causes many problems. The thyroid isn’t the only part of the body that needs this micro-nutrient, however, hypothyroidism tends to be the first sign of iodine deficiency. I am sorry ladies but if you are messing with your hormones by taking birth control you might be killing your metabolism.
Iodine And Selenium Deficiency
There is evidence that iodine may help detoxify your body of toxic mercury and selenium does the same. Iodine is also involved in apoptosis, or programmed cell death necessary for the development of new cells and removal of malignant or diseased cells. Human breast tissue and breast milk contain higher concentrations of iodine than your thyroid gland, as iodine is essential to the development of a newborn's brain. Iodine is found in high quantity in seaweed and scallops. People might use some iodized salt. Selenium is found in Brazil nuts; 2 a day is sufficient.
Get sufficient iodine and goitrogens in cruciferous vegetables are irrelevant. The number one task you are trying to accomplish with food is to get the nutrients your body needs. Cruciferous vegetables are loaded with nutrients. It would be foolish to avoid these amazing vegetables.
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