I can't tell you how many questions I get from my clients—is green juice the devil if you have a thyroid condition? Many of us have heard that cruciferous vegetables can cause goiters, or that you shouldn't eat raw cruciferous vegetables if you have hypothyroidism. Meanwhile, research has shown that broccoli, kale, spinach, and leafy greens help to boost glutathione levels, which supports thyroid function.
No wonder people think navigating nutrition for thyroid balance is confusing!
Back in the 1950s, scientists looked into the goitrogenic properties of certain foods, or their ability to produce a goiter by suppressing thyroid function. Cruciferous vegetables were implicated because their raw glucosinolates (the precise phytonutrients that are cancer protective) might inhibit the intake of iodine. If that's the reason, you're missing out on a whole host of benefits from eating cruciferous vegetables on the possibility that they might knock out iodine. The far more sensible approach is to ensure sufficient iodine levels.
In terms of human research, studies suggesting a strong link between cruciferous vegetables and thyroid disease are limited, with only one reported incident from 1945 when a Chinese woman who ate more than 3 pounds of raw bok choy daily for several months suffered myxedema. The vast majority of the research supports the consumption of cruciferous vegetables to prevent thyroid cancer.
Personally, I'm a big proponent of green juice, especially when paired with an anti-inflammatory diet rich in whole, real, fresh organic foods rich in protein and phytonutrients, adaptogenic herbs, spices, and superfoods.
Here's what I put in my juicer every day.
The Thyroid Balance Daily Green Juice
- ½ cup pineapple
- 1 bushel of cilantro
- 1 bushel of parsley
- 1 cucumber
- 1 beautiful stalk of fennel
- 2 lemons
- 1 to 3 pinches of ashwagandha root, powdered
- 6 drops of liquid chlorophyll extract
- Juice all ingredients except ashwagandha and chlorophyll.
- Add a few pinches of ashwagandha root powder and liquid chlorophyll. Sip slowly and enjoy all the nutrients that are flooding your body with longevity and vibrancy!
Word to the wise: Remember to buy organic everything! Juicing is an extraction technology that pulls liquids and nutrients out of fresh produce. Plant fibers actually block toxic pesticides and heavy metals in your digestive tract, capturing them so that your body eliminates them. But when you drink juice without those fibers, your body absorbs the juice—and everything in it—far more efficiently and quickly.
Most pesticides are water-soluble, meaning they are extracted with the juice and stay in the juice until you drink it. A glass of fresh juice made from nonorganic fruits and vegetables is a glass of pesticide juice.
Fern Olivia is a speaker and influencer on the power of integrative medicine, yoga, and holistic lifestyle practices. She graduated Cum Laude from Syracuse University with a degree in Biomedical Engineering and Entrepreneurship & Emerging Enterprises. She is also a Board-Certified Holistic Health Practitioner (AADP) from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Fern is the founder and CEO of Thyroid Yoga® and now trains wellness leaders and practitioners, integrating Reiki, Sound Healing and Intuitive Healing into the practice. Today, she works with clients through Personal Retreats in Nosara, Costa Rica and virtual Thyroid Yoga® sessions and mentorships, available globally.
Fern has partnered with Dr. Gabrielle Lyon at The Ash Center for Comprehensive Medicine, Dr. Robin Berzin and Dr. Jeffrey Egler at Parsley Health, among leading health practitioners, expert yoga instructors, and brilliant entrepreneurs. Together with these exceptional doctors and renowned practitioners, she offers Thyroid Yoga® in tandem with integrative medical practices, yoga studios, and wellness centers. Fern is a certified Reiki practitioner and registered yoga teacher.