Is Kale Bad for Hypothyroidism? (Expert Answer)

Short Answer: Kale is bad for hypothyroidism. Because it has goitrogens and glucosinolates, and they can reduce the production and absorption of thyroid hormones.

Hypothyroidism is a condition that affects your thyroid gland, which is located in the front of your neck.

In hypothyroidism, your body does not produce enough thyroid hormones, which regulate your metabolism and many other functions.

This can lead to various health problems, such as fatigue, weight gain, depression, high cholesterol, and heart disease.

One of the key factors in managing hypothyroidism is diet.

What you consume can affect your thyroid function, which can impact your hypothyroidism symptoms and overall health.

To effectively manage hypothyroidism, you should consume iodine-rich foods like seaweed, dairy, and eggs, and avoid goitrogenic foods like cruciferous vegetables, soy, and millet.

Goitrogens are substances that can interfere with thyroid hormone production.

Now, kale is a dark green, leafy vegetable that belongs to the cabbage family.

People usually eat it raw in salads, cooked in soups or stir-fries, or blended in smoothies.

Kale is bad for hypothyroidism because it contains goitrogens, especially when it is raw or uncooked.

Goitrogens can inhibit the uptake of iodine by the thyroid gland, which is essential for making thyroid hormones.

This can worsen hypothyroidism and cause or enlarge a goiter, which is a swelling of the thyroid gland.

One cup of raw kale can give you 33 calories, 6 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of protein, 1 gram of fat, 2 grams of fiber, 134% of your daily needs for vitamin C, 684% of your daily needs for vitamin K, and 10% of your daily needs for calcium.

Goitrogens can negatively affect hypothyroidism by reducing the synthesis and secretion of thyroid hormones.

Vitamin K can also interact with some medications used to treat hypothyroidism, such as warfarin, and increase the risk of bleeding.

Furthermore, kale is a cruciferous vegetable and cruciferous vegetables are bad for hypothyroidism.

Because, they contain glucosinolates, which are the precursors of goitrogens.

Glucosinolates can also impair the absorption of thyroid hormone replacement therapy.

That’s why I suggest you limit your kale intake if you have hypothyroidism.

Stick to one serving of cooked kale per week to minimize the effects of goitrogens and glucosinolates.

Cooking can reduce the amount of these substances in kale and other cruciferous vegetables.

Also, you shouldn’t eat kale if you have an iodine deficiency or a goiter to prevent further damage to your thyroid gland.

Because, kale can lower the availability of iodine and worsen the enlargement of the thyroid gland.

You can buy fresh kale in your local market or can order it from online.

Always choose organic kale that is firm, deeply colored, and free of yellow or brown spots.

Because, organic kale has fewer pesticides and more nutrients than conventional kale.

You can store kale in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Finally, remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management and essential medical care is key to managing hypothyroidism effectively.

I always recommend my hypothyroidism patients to follow a hypothyroidism-friendly diet to improve their thyroid function, and enjoy a longer and healthier life.

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About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutritionist in West Bengal, India, with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Biochemistry.

He has done his diploma in nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc (US), and completed various certification courses from several universities. He also has considerable research experience in PCOS.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

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