Is Raw Food Diet Bad For Thyroid?

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Raw cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower must be avoided by people suffering from hypothyroidismAs a proponent of raw food diet, I often come across people asking me, “is raw food diet bad for thyroid problems like goiter?” To resolve this query,  I believe millions of people might be wondering about, I am going to discuss the effects of raw foods on thyroid symptoms like goiter.


Before I dwell further into the pros and cons of raw food consumption, let me introduce you to a term called goitrogens. Goitrogens are substances that induce hypothyroidism by blocking iodine absorption and utilization of thyroid hormones; thus worsening the symptoms of goiter. Now raw vegetables from the cruciferous family i.e. cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, turnips, etc. and some other raw foods like peanuts, pine nuts, and soybeans are rich sources goirtogens. Hence, it is recommended that people suffering from thyroid problems avoid these foods in their raw form. However, since goitrogens are heat sensitive, all goitrogenic foods (except for soya beans) can be consumed in their cooked form. 


So does that mean raw food diet can harm thyroid glands and a person suffering from hypothyroidism must avoid following this diet? Well, not necessarily raw food diet does not translate to 100% raw food consumption – you are allowed to eat small amounts of cooked food. In other words raw food diet restricts but does not eliminate cooked foods from one’s diet plan; so all that one needs to do is ensure that the foods rich in goitrogens are not a part of the raw portion of the diet! A person suffering from hypothyroidism may choose to either eliminate the goitrogenic foods from his diet (cooked or raw) or limit their consumption to less than ¾ cup (in cooked form) per day. Moreover, with a wide variety of a non-goitrogenic raw food available planning a thyroid friendly raw food diet should not be difficult at all. For further information on raw food diet planning read this article on what raw food diet plan to follow. 


Thus, the bottom line is, if properly planned, raw food diet need not be bad for thyroid and can easily be followed by a person suffering from hypothyroidism or any other thyroid hormone problem. 


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