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Mary Shomon

Those Antithyroid Veggies

By September 24, 2006

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In an earlier post, I talked about the antithyroid veggies that some people are genetically disposed to disklike and find bitter tasting. Readers wrote and asked which vegetables were studied in the test, and so I was able to get a complete list. All but three are members of the antithyroid Brassica family...
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Chinese Broccoli
  • Collards
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Mustard greens
  • Rutabaga
  • Turnip
  • Daikon
  • Red radish
  • Watercress
Note: read the article for more information on the study that looked at these vegetables.
September 29, 2006 at 4:03 am
(1) Anna-Anna says:

I cannot seem to locate your initial post about these awesome- but nasty- veggies… Would you please repost these as myself and others may have missed them.

Also, can you find any direct link between my migraines, my hypothyroidism, my panic/anxiety attacks and the DES that my birthmother took during her pregnancy with me?

I would be very interested in knowing if there are any correlations here- But ONLY if there is a connection to ALL that I listed above.
I am 48 yrs old- diagnosed with hypothyroidism at 27- have taken synthroid- ugh- and have now been on Armour for 3+ years. I do very well with the Armour- perhaps because it is not synthetic- and will not give that up.
I also know of the correlation between pork and migraines- would the Armour set them off as it is a derivative of pig thyroid?
I have had migraines since I was VERY young- I was probably about 7 or 8- Have also had a complete hysterectomy in 2000. Please answer if you can.
You may email to: anna_loves_life@yahoo.com
God Bless, Anne

September 29, 2006 at 7:33 am
(2) Sue says:

Yes I would like to see the orginal post also.

September 29, 2006 at 8:15 am
(3) Alison says:

What was the gist of the article? Does it slow down production of the thyroid hormone? My daughter is suffering from a very severe case of Graves and the current medication is not working to bring her levels down.

September 29, 2006 at 8:47 am
(4) Misa says:

Here is the link to the original article… http://thyroid.about.com/b/a/257262.htm

September 29, 2006 at 10:20 am
(5) Lynn says:

Does it make a difference if the veggies listed that are bad for your thyroid are cooked or not? I have heard that if broccoli is cooked it is not bad for your thyroid. Lynn

September 29, 2006 at 10:50 am
(6) Carol says:

it’s so funny, because I’m hypothyroid and yet these are all my favorite veggies! They don’t taste bitter to me at all, in fact they have almost a sweet taste to me. I still try to limit eating too much of them because of my thyroid condition, but I thought it was kind of strange that something supposedly bad for me would be something I’m drawn to and love the taste of.

September 29, 2006 at 1:12 pm
(7) P.J. says:

I agree with Carol. Most of those veggies are delicious. I didn’t know that I should limit them until I read it on this website.

September 29, 2006 at 2:16 pm
(8) Karen says:

I too have read about not eating these veggies if you have thyroid problems. I also heard about: soy, any kind, and peanuts (especially peanut butter).

September 29, 2006 at 2:35 pm
(9) Kevin says:

I think this info about these vegetables nees to be taken with a grain of salt (metaphorically so to speak). For one thing cooking certainly affects the goiterogenic properties of the vegetable. Also, we do not see evidence that eating these vegetables or soy or peanuts etc. can make someone who is healthy, hypothyroid – ie just how antithyroid are these foods? Will they put your tsh up by 3 points or .3? Will your free t3 drop dramatically. None of these studies address this question. Personally, I think if you only ate this stuff and ate it raw it could be a problem after a while if you were pre-diisposed to be hype. However, if you are taking thyroxine in some form, wouldn’t this overide the supposed danger of these vegetables? Don’t these vegetable supposedly work aginst the thyroid by preventing it from making t4? If this is the case once you are on thyroxine the effect of the vegetables could be compensated for by your dose of thyroxine. Yeat I have yet to see any studies that explore this. For me, the health benefits of eating these vegetables far outweighs the possible and likely minimal effects on the thyroid. I think articles like this do a disservice by being somewhat alarmist before all the data is in.

September 29, 2006 at 2:52 pm
(10) Karen says:

I read along with this that once your thyroid was back in balance you could try reintroducing these back into your diet slowly and then seeing which ones you could tolerate and which ones to avoid. So go figure!

October 3, 2006 at 2:06 pm
(11) Debora says:

Gosh… does ANYone like those veggies?? :-)

September 23, 2008 at 12:40 pm
(12) vonita says:

I was a healthy individual watching my weight and eating healthy I thought until I became hypothyroid what i was doing without knowning was suppressing my thyroid Tust me I eate 99% of the food on the list every week

June 18, 2010 at 6:26 am
(13) V. says:


“Although research studies are limited in this area, cooking does appear to help inactivate the goitrogenic compounds found in food. Both isoflavones (found in soy foods) and isothiocyanates (found in cruciferous vegetables) appear to be heat-sensitive, and cooking appears to lower the availability of these substances. In the case of isothiocyanates in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, as much as one third of this goitrogenic substance may be deactivated when broccoli is boiled in water.

{ Also see
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=george&dbid=250 }

June 18, 2010 at 8:01 am
(14) ChMB says:

I am a big fan of stir fried veggies, and so I eat a lot of these veggies. Over here in Asia, the broccoli and cauliflower veggies are quite expensive, so I don’t buy them often. Don’t eat them raw!

June 18, 2010 at 8:45 am
(15) Ruth says:

Hi, I have been diagnosed with HYPothyroid right befor I got pregnant with my son 9 years ago. Struggled with getting the baby weight off with no luck. did boot camps, 1200calorie diet, and then I met this nutritionist at a party and he said to try low glycemic diet. I basically did the atkins. I dropped 20lbs!! in about 3 months and now I am still on a low carb diet now for about 7 months I feel better and the best part I have not had a migraine since I have started this low carb eating. I cannot beleive this because my migraines were getting worse and worse.

Try it!!

I hope this helps.


June 18, 2010 at 6:51 pm
(16) dale says:

I love all these vegetables and eat them (cooked) several times a week. I do limit my intake of soy and have switched to rice milk – which is delicious and better tasting than soy.

June 19, 2010 at 12:22 am
(17) Therese says:

I am experiencing a great deal of hair loss, but no one seems to talk about this. What is everyone doing to overcome hair loss due to hypothyroidism?

June 19, 2010 at 10:34 am
(18) Debra Baldwin says:


Prior to getting on proper medication for my hypothyroidism, I could definitely tell if I’d been eating one of these foods to excess. I had the strongest reaction with soy, peaches and cabbage. Strawberries affected me if I ate too many as well. The others, not so much. The mechanism of action by which these foods affect your thyroid is that they are thyroid peroxidase inhibitors. If you are looking to do a literature review, use that term for additional information.

June 20, 2010 at 10:00 pm
(19) Cathy Brown says:

Debra: I did not know the correlation between these veggies, strawberries and hypothyroidism until just recently. What kind of reactions did you have? Thanks for any information you can give me.

June 21, 2010 at 3:21 pm
(20) Military Lyme Support says:

Therese: Synthroid can cause hair loss….you may need to switch to another brand like Levoxyl.

June 29, 2010 at 3:51 am
(21) Cynthia says:

I have been taking Levoxyl for over 2 years now. I experience hair loss too.

March 9, 2011 at 1:34 am
(22) john says:

well , for my diet , i only eat a lot of MEAT, but no vegetable, and in the last month, doctor have found that i have HYPERthyroidism. so i guessi will need to eat vegetable and reduce meat consumption???

March 9, 2011 at 5:22 pm
(23) john says:

so … too much of these vegetables = hypothyroid
too little of these make u = hyper thyroid?

if anyone out there is having hyperthyroid, please tell us if you eat a lot of the vegetables mentioned above?

April 22, 2011 at 10:53 pm
(24) catgross says:

Does Cooking them or boiling them make any difference and what about adding Sea Salt that has Idodine to the the steamed vegetables would that help to making them more safe to eat? These kinds of questions and test need to be done. I had read a while back that cooking makes a difference in the effect it has on the Thyroid. Oh another question that needs to be asked is how much can a person eat before being effected? I would like to see research done in these areas. Before telling people who have thyroid problems not to eat. It would be nice to have these questions answered.

February 5, 2013 at 2:50 pm
(25) Veronica says:

regarding weight loss..I was consuming raw Kale, broccoli, and strawberries in smoothies and I gained 10 pounds. then I read this article and realized I was Sabotaging myself. I have cut the smoothies out of my diet and if I do eat some of these foods I cook them.

I have lost 7 pounds since then. The medication I am on is Levothroxin.

May 21, 2013 at 9:33 pm
(26) ann says:

when you say soy, does this include fermented soy products such as tempeh and miso?

August 28, 2013 at 9:53 am
(27) Teresa Atkinson says:

If we aren’t to overindulge in these foods raw, can we eat as many as we like when cooked.

November 11, 2013 at 12:04 pm
(28) Glenn Moran says:

The key is overeating. The daily requirements of minerals, vitamins and fatty acids fuel the metabolic process for healthy regeneration of the body. Exercise to help the Catabolic and Anabolic process build tissue and reap energy. Any over ingested minerals and vitamins can cause conditions of disease and likewise undernourishment is negative to the process. A balanced diet balances the body and the energy gained gives strength through natural process.

January 23, 2014 at 1:17 pm
(29) Juanita Richards says:

Ive always loved cauliflower and broccoli but always eat them cooked (with cheese sauce). My overactive thyroid was removed 4 years ago and I’m struggling with my weight no matter what diet I try. I dont drive and walk and cycle everywhere. When I moved cities my new doctor couldnt find the brand of thyroxine I was taking before and prescribed Eltroxin. Almost immediately my metabolism plunged and I gained a huge amount of weight and was sleeping most of the time. Last week I had my script changed to Synthroid. Is this any better? I have had Goldshield reccommended to me but my doctor couldnt find that either. But what I want to know is will goitregenic veges affect my medication?

March 18, 2014 at 12:18 am
(30) old_broad says:

The spring mix greens contain some of these vegetables. Is it possible that the mix has enough goitrogens to noticeably lower the T3 and T4 levels?

March 18, 2014 at 12:33 am
(31) old_broad says:

For years I tried to convince the endo that I needed something else because I couldn’t loose weight and felt so sluggish. Finally, I took some info from one of Mary’s doctor sources and some pics of me before the doctor that changed my thyroid from Armour to Synthroid years ago. This doctor finally believed that I wasn’t kidding about once being thin. He added the T3 and adjusted the T4. When that mixture got into my system, I had so much energy I felt like a new person. I’ve lost about 20 lbs, and hope to keep on losing.

April 1, 2014 at 12:30 am
(32) asmita says:

recently I’m suffering from high level of TSH .I just want to know whether these Anti thyroid veggies are responsible for that or not , whether I.ve to intake of these veggies or not ..

April 30, 2014 at 9:03 pm
(33) Diane A. says:

Veronica…I did the same thing…I started drinking the NAKED smoothies I did it for a few wks an had to STOP!! I put on 12 pds with in 2 wks!! I said WTH??? it doesnt matter what I eat 300 to 1800 cal I CAN NOT lose any weight..:( I am soo aggrivated…with hashis I am fluctuating between hypo an hyper…I also have tumor on thyroid…I have been referred to weight loss surgery by 2 of my dr’s bc of insulin resistant and everything else going on…now if the hubs makes me a smoothy I bought a protein powder with less then a gram of sugar an nothing in but organic ingrediants an free of everything an I have to be careful with what he adds to the smoothy before I drink it now…but the weight will NOT budge!

May 13, 2014 at 6:56 pm
(34) K says:

Stop with these articles on fruits and vegetables, articles that are not backed up by any nutritional studies and/or science! It is hard enough dealing with all the challenges having thyroid disease can bring, without mis-information and just bad information being put out there! Look at what the nutritional science really says: eat your fruits and veggies, with or without thyroid disease!

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