Although I had the sneaking suspicion that vegetables, even the cruelly cruciferous kind like broccoli, kale, and brussel sprouts might be doing more GOOD than harm, I always defer to Dr. Andy Larson for his medical opinion on matters such as this. His answer is as follows:
“Back in the 50s the question was brought up about whether certain foods had goitrogenic properties (the ability to produce a goiter because they suppressed thyroid function). Cruciferous vegetables were implicated because their raw glucosinolates (the precise phytonutrients that are cancer protective) inhibit the intake of iodine. But, there are no human studies on this. Furthermore, cruciferous veggies are one of the most potent anti-cancer foods that exist! However, Kim can ensure sufficient iodine levels by eating sea veggies (like seaweed or nori that you can buy at a health food store). But, other things she will be doing as part of the challenge will indirectly help with Hashimoto’s.
• decreasing protein intake and eating more plants and less animals
• eating more fruits and veggies
• taking a phytonutrient supplement
• eliminating processed vegetable oils and optimizing omega-3/omega-6 ratio
• using turmeric and ginger in cooking”
As I suspected, the data on this all too common advice about cruciferous vegetables is outdated and not necessarily applicable to human beings (as most dubious nutritional advice is these days). You can rest assured that Clean Cuisine’s research is based on human studies and human epidemiology (the study of cause and effect as it relates to human health and disease).
However, I do want to provide you with some other options for stimulating your thyroid and helping with your Hashimoto’s with two yoga poses (one basic and one intermediate level) that stimulate the thyroid:
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana a.k.a.: Bridge Pose
- Lie supine on the floor. Bend your knees and set your feet on the floor, scoot your heels as close to the sitting bones as possible. *If necessary, you may place a thickly folded blanket or towel under your shoulders to protect your neck.
- Take a deep inhale through your nose but pulling from your throat.
- Exhale through your nose and, press your inner feet, arms, and palms actively into the floor. Lift your tailbone upward, engage your quadriceps (your large thigh muscles) not only the buttocks. In fact, the buttocks should be firm but the thighs should do most of the work! Keep your thighs and inner feet parallel. Clasp the hands below your pelvis and extend through the arms to help you stay on the tops of your shoulders.
- Lift your buttocks until the thighs are about parallel to the floor. Keep your knees directly over the heels, but push them forward, away from the hips, and lengthen the tailbone toward the backs of the knees.
- Lift your chin slightly away from the sternum and, firming the shoulder blades against your back, press the top of the sternum (your chest) toward the chin. Firm the outer arms, broaden the shoulder blades, and try to lift the space between them at the base of the neck (where it’s resting on the blanket) up into the torso.
- Stay in the pose anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute. Release with an exhalation, rolling the spine, one vertebra at a time, slowly down onto the floor.
- Stimulates abdominal organs, lungs, and thyroid
- Stretches the chest, neck, and spine
- Helps to alleviate stress and mild depression
- Improves digestion
- Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
- Relieves menstrual discomfort when done supported
- Reduces anxiety, fatigue, backache, headache, and insomnia
The next asana (pose/posture) is one that is more advanced but very beneficial for stimulating and regulating the thyroid:
Halasana a.k.a. Plow Pose
- Begin by lying flat on your back with your legs extended and your arms at your sides, palms down. *Again, if necessary, you may place a thickly folded blanket or towel under your shoulders to protect your neck.
- Inhale through your nose, use your abdominal muscles to lift your legs and hips up toward the ceiling. Bring your torso perpendicular to the floor. Straighten your legs and slowly lower your toes to the floor with your legs fully extended.
- If your toes do not yet touch the floor, support your back with your hands. Lower your legs as far as possible, keeping your legs straight. Continue to keep your back supported if your feet do not touch the floor.
- If your feet rest comfortably, extend your arms along the floor and interlace your fingers. Press your upper arms firmly into the floor, drawing down through the pinkie finger side of your hands.
- Align your hips over your shoulders. Un-tuck your toes and press the tops of your feet into the floor.
- Lift your tailbone higher, and draw your inner groin deep into your pelvis. Keep a space between your chin and chest, and at the same time, lift your chest to open the upper back. Soften your throat. Gaze down toward your cheeks.
- Hold the pose for up to five minutes.
- To release, support your back with your hands. Then, slowly roll down, one vertebra at a time, bending your knees if you need to.
DO NOT turn your head to the side while in this pose!
- Calms the brain
- Stimulates the abdominal organs and the thyroid gland
- Stretches the shoulders and spine
- Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
- Reduces stress and fatigue
- Therapeutic for backache, headache, infertility, insomnia, sinusitis
I hope this helps, Kim!
Erin LodeesenContributing Editor to Clean Cuisine Ask Erin a question: firstname.lastname@example.org Follow her on Twitter: @elodeesen