Blog

August 27, 2013

Some groups estimate that 27 million Americans have thyroid disease and about 13 million of them are undiagnosed. And often thyroid disorders are misdiagnosed as other diseases such as fibromyalgia.

The medical community can’t agree with what the normal reference range of the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) should be. If they were to use a lower range of 3.0 and lower, approximately 20% of the populationwould have hypothyroid- 60 million Americans would be diagnosed with thyroid disease.
In my practice, I have found that most people feel their best with their TSH # is between .5 – 1.0.

Symptoms of Thyroid Disease:
• Weight gain
• Fatigue
• Loose stools (too much TSH)
• Constipation (too little TSH)
• Brain fog/difficulty concentrating
• Thinning hair and brittle nails
• Low body temperature
• Depression (20% of people with low thyroid have depression)
• Sleep disturbances
• Infertility
• Light sensitivity
• Joint aches

There is an old word, “cretin”- it’s a dated way of calling someone dumb or an idiot. Cretin is an old medical term for people who grew up with such a lack of iodine in the soil that they never developed proper brain function. The thyroid cannot function without proper iodine levels, and if the thyroid hormones aren’t right, the other hormones in the body are not going to function properly.

The thyroid is also the master control of the metabolism. It controls how fast or slow you burn calories. If you don’t manage your thyroid disease, you are more apt to have diabetes.
I believe that a healthy diet that includes juicing can be the difference between life with disease and ailments and life without them. 80% of the clients that come in to see me have thyroid issues. Along with my own personal experience with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s, I have made it a priority to deal with these issues through a healthy, alkaline diet with green juices.

These days, the juice craze has taken over and that’s a great thing. I always preach: “a green juice a day keeps the doctor away.” It’s the best way to get high volumes of nutrient-dense foods straight to your cells. Yet, my clients can rarely buy any green juice that is sold in stores since they almost always include ingredients detrimental to the thyroid.

Here’s the problem: almost all the green juices available have kale, spinach or cruciferous vegetables as the majority of the drink or at minimum the base of the drink. While some people can drink these veggies raw daily and have no problems, they cause a huge problem for those susceptible to thyroid conditions.
The current alternative option is a carrot-beet juice (with or without greens), which is way too much sugar to consume daily.

The following foods have the highest levels of goitrogens:

• Kale
• Spinach (raw spinach interferes with the body’s ability to absorb calcium, too)
• Bok Choy
• Broccoli
• Brussels Sprouts
• Cabbage
• Cauliflower
• Collards
• Mustard Greens
• Turnips
• Red Radishes
• Watercress
• Soy

These foods can actually act like anti-thyroid drugs, slowing it down and ultimately causing hypothyroidism, an underactive thyroid. Goitrogens inhibit iodine metabolism, which is crucial in the formation of the thyroid hormone.

A lot of clients ask me, “does this mean I can never eat these foods?”

 

While your thyroid is not functioning optimally, yes, you should avoid these foods all together. Yet, if you get your thyroid back to optimal working order, you can enjoy these foods in moderation. Cooking these foods may also destroy some of the goitrogenic activity, making them a better option than consuming them raw.

What’s Important for the Thyroid?

  • The body needs to be alkaline
    • Good fats. A low fat or non-fat diet will weaken the immune system and wreak hormonal havoc. The body needs good sources of fat in the diet to regulate the thyroid.
    • Protein. It is required for transporting the thyroid hormone throughout the body to all of the tissues.

 

I created this thyroid-supporting juice for my favorite natural foods market, Erewhon. For those of you who do not live in Los Angeles, here is the recipe:

 

My Thyroid Juice:

1/3 bunch dandelion greens

2/3 cup parsley

3 celery stalks

2 inches fresh ginger knob

1 apple

1 lemon

*3 parts this mixture to 1 part pressed coconut juice

Benefits:

  • Dandelion greens have more protein than spinach and are a complete amino acid!
  • Fresh pressed coconut has good fats and protein.
  • Parsley is loaded with Vitamin A, folate, and Vitamin C and will boost the immune system.
  • Ginger works to remove inflammation from the whole body.
  • Celery is a great source of magnesium, which helps balance hormones.
  • Lemons are a strong antioxidant and help alkaline the body.

The result?An alkaline drink that will allow people with thyroid issues to heal and thrive. 

Head to Erewhon to pick up a Thyroid Juice or try making it at home. Your thyroid health is so important- it affects all areas of your body from your GI tract to your heart to your weight. Get it in check today!

Blog submission by Elissa Goodman

Certified Integrative Nutritionist

elissa@elissagoodman.com

www.elissagoodman.com