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Cruciferous vegetables: key to women’s health or thyroid killers?




In my BEEautiful U period wellness program for women, I encourage a focus on cruciferous vegetables, particularly in the second half of the Follicular Phase (the time after your period but before ovulation).


This is because cruciferous vegetables are rich in certain compounds (such as Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C and its byproduct DIM), which helps a woman’s body to clear excess estrogen, maintain healthy estrogen detox in the liver, and as a result, improve PMS symptoms and support hormone balance.


What are cruciferous vegetables?


The list is actually quite extensive, so I am sure anyone can find something to their liking! It includes foods such as:


· Arugula

· Broccoli

· Bok Choy

· Brussel sprouts

· Cabbage

· Chinese cabbage

· Cauliflower

· Collard Greens

· Horseradish

· Kale

· Kohlrabi

· Radish

· Turnip

· Watercress

· Wasabi



You can eat most of these veggies raw or cooked and they can be prepared in so many ways! Different nutrients will be more or less available, depending on the way you prepared your dish, but there is no single best way to do it, so just allow yourself to experiment and enjoy!


Overall, food scientists agree that steaming vegetables preserves most nutrients, while boiling them will cause the most loss, particularly of water-soluble vitamins (unless of course you are making soup and all liquid is preserved).


Below I attached a FUN RECIPE for your period wellness collection! Let me know your thoughts or share in comments your favourite ways of eating cruciferous vegetables! :)


cauliflower-chickpea-curry
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Download PDF • 714KB


Are cruciferous vegetables bad for your thyroid?


As much as cruciferous vegetables are being praised for their ability to combat estrogen excess and support period health, they are equally being blamed for their ability to affect your thyroid gland and cause hypothyroidism. It is said that some compounds in cruciferous vegetables are able to interfere with synthesis of thyroid hormones as well as “steal” some iodine, which your thyroid needs to function properly.


However (!), here is the catch that not many people talk about.


Research to date shows that your thyroid is not at risk unless you already have iodine deficiency and you are eating these veggies in moderate amounts. More than that, one study discovered that the consumption of 150 g/day of cooked Brussels sprouts for four weeks had no effect on participants’ thyroids.



What is the recommended daily intake of cruciferous vegetables?


Unfortunately, there are no specific recommendations have been established for cruciferous vegetables, so I can’t give you the exact number.


However, Health Canada recommends to eat dark green vegetables and leafy greens daily and USDA specifically suggests 1½-2½ cup-equivalents each day. If you look at the list, a lot of dark green veggies are actually cruciferous vegetables! So, use this to guide your nutrition and keep healthy!


If you are not a big fan of cruciferous veggies, or don’t feel like eating them every day, start by adding them to your diet only during the follicular phase of your menstrual cycle to support hormone balance and boost your period health!


As always, love you all and til next!



Want to play?


THIS OR THAT

  • Broccoli

  • Cauliflower


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