Certain Foods that Will Hurt Your Thyroid Gland

Published: 13th July 2010
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The thyroid gland is an important gland that is located in the neck area and it makes certain hormones that are important to your body and the way that it functions. Some people deal with hypothyroidism, which occurs when the thyroid is underactive. Others have hyperthyroidism, a disease that occurs when you have an overactive thyroid. While you may know about these diseases, you may not know that there are actually foods out there that can be harmful to your thyroid gland. This means it's time to take a look at what you are eating to ensure you are doing any damage to this important gland.

Goitrogens - What You Need to Know

More than likely, you've never heard of goitrogens. This is a substance that is contained in certain foods and it can cause a problem with the way that your thyroid works. It does this by removing the ability for iodine to be used by the thyroid. For this gland to make thyroid hormones, it needs to have iodine. In small amounts, you won't see much of a problem. However, if you take in too much of this substance in your diet, it could end up causing you to have problems with the thydroid gland.

Limit These Foods

There are certain foods that contain the goitrogens, and although you don't need to eliminate them from your diet, you should limit the amount that you eat. Some of these foods include cauliflower, turnips, pears, kale, cabbage, strawberries, spinach, peaches, and brussel sprouts. These foods are all great for you; however, you should limit your weekly intake to about four cups to avoid interfering with the function of your thyroid gland. A few other foods you should be careful about eating include millet, pine nuts, soybeans products, rapeseed, and peanuts.

On the other hand, there are also some foods out there that are known to stimulate the thyroid. This includes coconut, products that contain caffeine, saturated fats, and coconut. This doesn't mean that you need to eliminate these foods from your diet, but eating too much of these foods can also be a problem, since they can over stimulate your thyroid.

The Sulfur Connection

There seems to be a sulfur connection when it comes to certain foods being harmful to your thyroid gland. Many of the foods that are considered to be goitrogenic have a lot of sulfur in them, including cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and kale. There has to be a balance of iron, copper, and sulfur in the body for everything to act the way that it should. When you get too much sulfur, some researchers believe that it can lead to problems with anemia, causing an imbalance within the body.

The Bottom Line

In the end, you don't really need to start eliminating foods from your diet. Although there are certain foods that can cause your thyroid gland problems if you eat too much, there are no studies that show you need to totally eliminate them from your diet. The best course of action is to limit foods that contain these goitrogens to ensure you aren't causing a problem with the thyroid.
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