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Could your green juice actually be bad for your thyroid?

Could your green juice actually be bad for your thyroid?

Green juice is supposed to be good for you, but could it actually be messing with your thyroid?

We’re not going to beat around the bush with this one:

It could be.

Wait, what?

I know, I know! This is Organifi, and we have our own green juice, we share green juice recipes, we love green juice, surely we’d write about the benefits of green juice and say: “no, green juice is always good for you and your thyroid.”

But, we want to be honest with you: there is a link between thyroid and weight gain and your juicing habit could be part of it. Our mission is built around the concept that “we’re in this together,” we would not lie to you! Therefore, it is our duty to inform you that:

Depending on the ingredients, green juice could negatively affect your thyroid. 

On the flip side, with the right foods, green juice could work in your favor - without impacting your thyroid in any negative way.

Let’s break it down:

The Thyroid’s Role in Your Body

You don't want to mess with your thyroid. At its best, it’s is a vital hormonal gland that is necessary to maintain a healthy body. At its worst, it may wreak havoc on your weight loss plans, lead to fatigue, obesity, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism and autoimmune disorders like Hashimoto’s.

So, what does the thyroid do?

A healthy thyroid participates in multiple hormonal and energy management processes to keep the organism running and thriving, depending on what you need in each situation. It works with the pituitary gland, following it’s “orders” to produce whatever is needed.

It helps regulate:

  • The metabolic rate
  • Energy expenditure
  • Breathing
  • Pulse and circulation
  • Bodyweight
  • Muscle strength
  • Menstrual cycles
  • Body temperature
  • Cholesterol levels
  • More!

It also supports bone growth, body mass development, brain maturation in children, and activates the central nervous system when there is a threat increasing concentration levels and boosting reflexive performance.

As you can see, it is a very important gland, and you definitely want it healthy to keep things running smoothly.

Your Thyroid and Green Juice

Now, why could your morning drink be harming your thyroid? The answer is in the iodine. The thyroid gland produces three main hormones:

  • Triiodothyronine (T3)
  • Tetraiodothyronine (T4)
  • Calcitonin

Technically, only T3 and T4 are thyroid hormones, but all three are controlled and regulated by the gland. The important ones in the green juice-thyroid connection are T3 and T4.

Iodine is one of the main building blocks of both T3 and T4 thyroid hormones. 

Because our bodies are not capable of producing iodine on their own, we have to get it through foods like fish, dairy, iodized salt, and seaweed. This trace element is absorbed by the bloodstream and transformed in the bowel, finally ending up in the thyroid gland, where it is used to produce those two super important hormones. 

Without iodine, the thyroid cannot properly produce T3 and T4 hormones.

Some green vegetables - like spinach, broccoli, and sometimes kale- inhibit iodine absorption, which may result in a slowed metabolic rate, thyroid malfunction, little to no T3 or T4 secretion, weight gain, and more.

Cruciferous green vegetables that inhibit iodine absorption are called goitrogens, and if they’re in your green juice, they could affect your thyroid.

We’re making an emphasis on could because not all bodies are created equal, and the concept of goitrogens dates back to the 1950s when studies found that certain substance produced “goiter formations” also known as an “enlarged thyroid gland.”

Cruciferous vegetables contain glucosinolates that can act as “goitrogens” and interrupt iodine transport or absorption. There is no conclusive evidence at the moment that says “never eat broccoli again,”  instead the research shows that these vegetables are only dangerous when they are consumed in “large amounts in the raw form” by susceptible populations.

You need to consider goitrogens if:

  • You have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s 
  • You have an abnormally sized thyroid (either too large or too small)
  • You have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism
  • Your physician recommended a “healthy thyroid diet” and told you to cut back
  • You’ve noticed your body has an adverse reaction to them (but sticking your tongue out in disgust doesn’t count)

I other words, if you have a healthy and fully-functioning thyroid, the goitrogen effect of cabbage, broccoli, spinach, or kale, will likely not affect you.

How to Avoid Irritating Your Thyroid with Green Juice

There are some thyroid stimulating foods, and fortunately, they’re not all bad. If you’re concerned about thyroid and weight gain, don’t worry. You can avoid irritating your thyroid with a few simple dietary changes, and help it thrive with others.

#1 Understand that Not All Greens Are Evil

Seaweed, celery, parsley, mint, zucchini, cucumbers, and more, are all green in color but not goitrogenic in nature - so do your research! Switch up the ingredients in your juice and look for combinations that support your needs. Talk to your doctor if you need help putting together a list of greens you can eat more freely.

#2 Eat Raw Cruciferous Greens in Moderation or Cooked

Cruciferous vegetables are very healthy and powerfully detoxifying vegetables, rich in sulforaphane, a powerful phytochemical. They have many health benefits, including:

  • Lowering the risk of type two diabetes
  • Cancer prevention
  • Decreased cardiovascular disease
  • Supporting natural liver detox
  • Improved blood circulation
  • Fighting inflammation and depression
  • More!

Even if you have an imbalanced thyroid, you can still eat some of these vegetables cooked. When they are cooked, the goitrogen effect is reduced, but most of the health benefits are maintained. And if you’re thyroid is OK then just don’t eat them every day! A healthy diet has balance and variety.

#3 Rotate and Go on Breaks

There is such a thing as “too much of a good thing,” even if you have a healthy thyroid and you love green juice, it’s best to keep your ingredients on rotation and go on “breaks” from your detox periods. A good rule of thumb is once you’ve completed a detox phase -whether it was 3 to 21 days- scale back and enjoy your cruciferous-based green juice two to three times a week. 

This keeps your body from adapting too much and allows you to get a wide variety of nutrients in.

#4 Know Your Triggers

Goitrogens are not the only triggers that may affect your thyroid. There are other potential triggers to consider: excess dietary iodine, fast foods, processed foods, excess dietary fat, high doses of green tea, soy and soybean products, gluten, etc.

This is a list of cruciferous vegetables you often find in green juice, monitor them to see how you react. If you suspect thyroid imbalance talk to a licensed physician. 

  • Arugula
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Chard
  • Collard greens
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Mustard greens
  • Spinach
  • Turnips and turnip greens

#5 Increase Your Dietary Fiber Intake

Proteins, carbohydrates, and fats are easily broken down and absorbed by the body. However, dietary fiber can pass through the body, virtually untouched. If you suspect that you have thyroid issues or have been diagnosed with one, slowly building up your dietary fiber intake can help mitigate some of the risks associated with thyroid problems; from increased risk of cardiovascular disease to easier weight loss.

Add them to your new -and improved- healthy juice version. The following fruits and vegetables are high in fiber:

  • Berries
  • Apples (with the skin!)
  • Carrots
  • Bananas
  • Pears
  • Almonds
  • Figs
  • Gooseberries
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Pineapples
  • Rhubarb

As you increase your fiber intake, drink more water to avoid bloating, gas, and digestive discomfort.

Thyroid-Friendly Green Juice

These are just a few examples of the many options still available to you for thyroid-friendly green juice, so you don’t have to worry about thyroid and weight gain so much. 

  • Avocado
  • Celery
  • Cucumbers
  • Basil
  • Lemons
  • Carrots
  • Matcha green tea
  • Mint
  • Green apples
  • Cilantro
  • Pineapple
  • Chlorophyll extract
  • Beets
  • More!

Organifi Green Juice is Thyroid-Friendly

We know there's a large number of people with either diagnosed or undiagnosed thyroid issues. When we created our Superfood Green Juice, we only used ingredients that support body detox and boost the metabolism, without jeopardizing the thyroid.

Organifi Green Juice is made with moringa, chlorella, mint, spirulina (a super plant-based protein), matcha green tea, beets, wheatgrass, turmeric, lemon, coconut water, and ashwagandha. Nothing but clean ingredients ready to give you a boost.

The Bottom Line

Everything in excess is bad; the key is moderation! If you’re worried about thyroid and weight gain issues, it’s ok to cut back on raw green cruciferous veggies and enjoy them cooked instead. Add variety to your diet, monitor your symptoms, and talk to your doctor when you suspect a bigger issue. In the meantime, enjoy a thyroid-friendly glass of Organifi green juice, or make your own.

Was this helpful? Do you have your own list of tips and tricks to deal with thyroid and weight gain issues? Share them, and we might update this post with them! Believe us; we’re in this together.

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