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Raw broccoli and cauliflower are standard on party platters and coleslaw is a picnic favorite but did you know that eating too many raw cruciferous vegetables can interfere with your thyroid function?
Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, collard greens, arugula, bok choy, brussel sprouts, radish and watercress.
When raw these vegetables contain goitrogens which interfere with the formation of the thyroid hormone and increase your need for iodine.
They also interfere with the transfer of iodine into breastmilk for the nursing mother.
The good news is cooking these vegetables can significantly reduce the goitrogen content. Studies show that steaming until fully cooked reduced goitrogens by 2/3 and boiling for 30 minutes reduced them by 90%.
Fermentation does not reduce goitrogen content but since fermented crucifers such as sauerkraut are usually eaten in small amounts it should not pose a health risk as long as your diet is sufficient in iodine.
In my opinion you don't need to worry about eating these foods raw occasionally unless you already have an impaired thyroid. However it is good to be aware that eating raw cruciferous veggies on a regular basis may cause health problems.
Sources and relevant links:
Wikipedia- Cruciferous Vegetables
Think Raw Veggies are Best? Think Again.
Should We Eat Raw Crucifers?
Why You Need To Cook These Vegetables For Maximum Nutrition
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