Meet the Crucifers
Cruciferous Vegetables For Healing Your Thyroid
The name “cruciferous vegetables” comes from the shape of four equal-sized flower petals of this botanical family, that come together to form a cross. Cruciferous vegetables are also sometimes referred to as the mustard family vegetables since mustard greens, seeds, and oils all belong to this group. Additional vegetables from this group include arugula, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, collard greens, daikon radish, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, radish, turnip, watercress.
In terms of nutrients, cruciferous vegetables are superstars, having extremely high amounts of vitamins A, B, C, E, carotenoids, and fiber. The vitamin K content of these vegetables, especially kale and collards, is critical for preventing and healing cancer and lowering inflammation. Crucifers also have the ability to ignite hidden cleansing and healing qualities found in other foods when eaten in certain combinations (I’ll talk more about this later.)
This group of foods (Crucifers) has received some negative attention lately due to misinformation because the vegetables contain goitrogenic substances that many believe disrupt thyroid hormone production by interfering with iodine uptake in the thyroid gland. This belief could not be farther from the truth. These vegetables do contain a small amount of goitrogen, but it is negligent. In addition, the phytochemicals and amino acids found in these foods prevent goitrogens from causing harm.
The bioactive trace mineral iodine found in these foods, as well as additional nutrients, is exactly what the body needs to help heal thyroid disease. Crucifers help to heal a goiter, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves’ disease, nodules or tumors. They also help eliminate radiation from the thyroid and protect against viral disease, which is at the source of most thyroid problems.
Crucifers also help to prevent a variety of cancers, including breast, reproductive, brain, intestinal, and, particularly lung cancer, as the type of sulfur in these vegetables helps to restore and stimulate healthy lung tissue.
Crucifers are great at supporting those who are in a state of confusion. If you feel baffled, bewildered, or confounded, sit down to consume kale and/or red cabbage salad, cauliflower soup, broccoli, or brussels sprouts.
Various Types of Crucifers:
Red Cabbage: The red coloring helps to make this vegetable particularly powerful. It is one of the most rejuvenating foods for the liver. Red cabbage is so powerful that it can actually help retard and reverse scar tissue in the liver.
Kale: For those dealing with connective tissue damage, aches and pains, inflammation of the joints - kale help to lower inflammation and destroy the viruses that cause inflammation. Kale contains phytochemicals that help to stimulate cell growth and the production of healthy new connective tissue.
Gomen, bok choy, and other collard greens: The stems of these greens contain antibacterial properties. Steaming them brings out their medicinal properties and when and added to soups, they act as antibiotics.
Cauliflower: This crucifer contains trace amounts of boron that positively influences the endocrine system, helping the thyroid and the rest of the endocrine system to ward off viruses. Cauliflower is easily digested in its raw state, which enables you to benefit from the full potential it has to offer.
Broccoli: This is an all-purpose multivitamin that also contains bioavailable trace minerals and other nutrients that enhance all body systems.
Brussels sprouts and green cabbage: Green cabbage is very nutritious and wonderful for supporting the joints and reversing osteoporosis, but if you are looking for maximum nutrient density - go with brussels sprouts. Brussels sprouts help to lower bad cholesterol, increase good cholesterol, purify the liver and spleen, and purify the blood.
Radishes: Radishes are truly medicinal food. What makes radishes unique is that they have two components - the root and the radish greens, or leaves.
Radishes are an immune-system replenisher. The sulfur in radishes repels all types of pathogens and acts as a wormicide to kill intestinal worms and other parasites. They also help prevent cardiovascular disease by keeping veins clean and creating a protective barrier so plaque doesn’t accumulate. Radishes help to lower “bad” cholesterol and increase “good” cholesterol. The pigments in the red skin of radishes repel most types of cancer, while also help to restore the kidney, liver, pancreas, and spleen.
Radish leaves are regrettably often thrown away. These leaves are a powerful prebiotic and are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and have cancer-fighting alkaloids. They possess antibacterial and antiviral properties while helping to heal the colon and other parts of the intestinal tract, thus improving the absorption of nutrients.
If you are growing your own radishes you want to harvest them when the greens and radishes are young and tender. This will allow for an even higher nutritional profile.
For a more complete list of Cruciferous Vegetables and how to grow them, go to Happy DIY Home's website.
How to Make the Most of Your Crucifers
- When cauliflower and seaweed are eaten together they help to detox and expel chlorine, harmful fluoride, and radiation from the endocrine glands. A great way to prepare it is to blend raw cauliflower in a food processor and use it as you would rice in nori roll-ups.
- The combination of apples and red cabbage is particularly effective for expelling bacteria, worms, and other parasites and viruses from the liver, spleen and intestinal tract. Try combining apples, red cabbage, tahini, and garlic in the food processor. Serve as a side dish or with leafy greens.
- Broccoli and asparagus steamed together enhance cancer-fighting compounds found in asparagus, while broccoli strengthens the kidney-cleaning phytochemicals in asparagus.
- Collard greens and pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, and combining them together in a salad makes the zinc even more bio-available.
It is interesting to note that crucifers have been around to support the thyroid throughout the ages, but due to misinformation many people refrain from eating them when in actuality this food group is what the thyroid needs most. The tides have turned, and this often under-appreciated group of vegetables is making a come-back. When you feel misunderstood, under-appreciated, and overlooked - you can connect with the unwavering loyalty of crucifers to help sustain you until things turn around.
Keep well and know that nature is on your side,
Information in this article has been taken from: