The RAW Truth about Thyroid Health

Oftentimes I’ll get an email from someone concerned about thyroid disease.

They’ll say, “I’m trying everything I can to lose weight and heal my thyroid condition, but it’s not working. I eat a plant-based diet with lots of raw vegetables and smoothies. I keep feeling more and more exhausted. What am I doing wrong?”

The first thing I tell them is to get off the RAW foods!

Raw foods are wonderful, delicious and nutritious, but they are not necessarily good for all conditions. Especially, not for someone suffering from a “cold” thyroid condition.

Many plants contain anti-nutrients that can inhibit thyroid function.

The brassicaceae family of vegetables contains glucosinolates that can inhibit iodine uptake, resulting in hypothyroidism and promoting goiter formation.[1]

Members of the brassicaceae family include:

  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Radishes
  • Turnips
  • Kohlrabi
  • Rutabaga
  • Collard greens
  • Kale
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Bok choy
  • Mustard greens
  • Maca

Many people think they are doing the best thing for their health by putting raw kale into their smoothies. It’s actually not very smart: not only for thyroid health, but for kidney health, too.

Kale contains high amounts of oxalates that can promote kidney stones and other painful deposits in the body, especially in people suffering with underlying fungal infections and candida overgrowth.[2]

How about those folks who are adding raw “maca” powder to their smoothies for an extra boost in libido and energy? It’s a double whammy! Maca root is cruciferous (from the brassicaceae family) and also contains high levels of glucosinolates.

Yes, it’s a “super food.” And yes, the Incan’s used it for energy and endurance, but Maca was traditionally eaten cooked, not raw.

One of the awesome benefits of maca is that it is rich in iodine and that can be good for the thyroid. So if you want some maca, you may be better off having in a delicious hot cocoa, rather than a smoothie.


If you are one of the unlucky folks that is not feeling healthier and your thyroid is not healing, take a closer look at your diet and make some changes.

This doesn’t mean that you can never have another smoothie or eat a raw kale salad, it just means to listen to your body, hear what it is saying, and make the necessary dietary adjustments to facilitate healing.

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