BY JAMIE DUVNJAK, CERTIFIED HEALTH COACH
I was told at a young age that eating lots of vegetables was a good habit to get into. During my health coaching schooling, I learned that "kale is king." Throughout the years, I've consumed pounds of broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and the so-called "king" of vegetables. A few hours after eating those particular ones, I'd become extremely sleepy. This fatigue led me to conduct some research to find out if there was a link. After reading several articles and forums, many people have experienced the exact same side effect. Turns out those veggies are also goitrogenic foods. Goitrogens are naturally occurring substances in the vegetables I already mentioned, as well as radishes, soy products, peanuts, pine nuts, peaches, pears, turnips, mustard greens, and millet. These foods interfere with the production of thyroid hormones and block the absorption of iodine. If iodine levels are low in the body, hypothyroidism (low thyroid function) can occur.
If you regularly consume goitrogenic foods, it would be beneficial to add iodized salt to your meal and iodine-rich foods such as seaweed to keep your iodine levels up. Cooking the food could also lessen the negative effects as well. If you've had your thyroid checked and it's underactive, this article offers helpful tips to bring your levels up:
I've greatly reduced the amount of goitrogenic foods and have noticed the fatigue has subsided. I don't wake up feeling as groggy either. I'm not saying I'll never eat these foods again, because I truly enjoy their flavors. Plus, eliminating them would make me feel deprived. I'm now aware what had been causing my fatigue and will make sure I eat them sparingly from now on. No big deal. There are plenty of other foods on this planet to savor.
Have a healthy day!