Iodine Antagonists and Goitrogens

It’s not only important to know which foods provide your body with certain nutrients to remedy deficiencies, but also which foods may contain a high amount of a nutrient that acts as an antagonist.  In regards to Iodine, there are certain foods you would want to limit while you are trying to remedy an iodine deficiency.  These foods substances are known as goitrogens because they interfere with thyroid function and they promote goiters or enlargement of the thyroid gland.  Below is a list of foods considered to be goitrogenic if eaten raw.  Cooking inactivates the goitrogens.

Goitrogenic Foods List

  • cassava
  • Soybeans (including tofu, soybean oil, soy flour, soy lecithin, containing soy)
  • Pine nuts
  • Peanuts
  • Millet
  • Strawberries
  • Pears
  • Peaches
  • Spinach
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Vegetables (within the genus Brassica)
    • Bok choy
    • Broccoli
    • Broccolini (Asparations)
    • Brussels sprouts
    • Cabbage
    • Canola
    • Cauliflower
    • Chinese cabbage
    • Choy sum
    • Collard greens
    • Horseradish
    • Kai-lan (Chinese broccoli)
    • Kale
    • Kohlrabi
    • Mizuna
    • Mustard greens
    • Radishes
    • Rapeseed (yu choy)
    • Rapini
    • Rutabagas
    • Tatsoi
    • Turnips

Goitrogenic drugs and chemicals

  • Sulfadimethoxine, propylthiouracil, potassium perchlorate, and iopanoic acid
  • Some oxazolidines such as goitrin
  • Ions such as thiocyanate and perchlorate
  • Amiodarone
  • Lithium
  • Phenobarbitone, phenytoin, carbamazepine, rifampin
  • Fluoride often found in toothpaste and city water

Goitrogen list source:

It’s also important to realize that taking too much iodine can be harmful.  As with any nutrient, do not overdo and only take if you are trying to remedy a deficiency.  Keep your body in balance.  If you are unsure, we can provide Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis to see what nutrients you are out of balance in.

In health,
Charlotte and Timothy Test, Naturopaths

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