I have had a low thyroid condition for the past 15 years. Over the last few years I have learned so much about how food can intervenes with many different health issues, but never thought far enough that kale could intervenes with thyroid function. My latest experience just proves that there is always more to learn. As I had my yearly physical my doctor announced that I had an enlarged thyroid, therefore I needed to get an ultrasound to make sure everything was ok. Of course, this burst my bubble as I was thinking to myself, “what the heck? Enlarged Thyroid?” here I am feeling the best I have in years, and he is telling me I need an ultrasound. Very funny doc!

Of course, I’m besides myself. I could not wrap my head around it. I’m thinking if I were to be sick or had some kind of reason for concern shouldn’t I feel worse and not great. My diet has dramatically changed over the past 7 years, but mostly over the past year. I have been gluten free for seven years but have extended my diet to adding whole-foods instead of eating just gluten free replacement foods, for example instead of replacing my granola bar with a gluten free granola bar I now eat raw almonds with an apple and maybe a square of dark chocolate. I also started juicing about seven month ago, so I have had lots of breakfast vegetable juices, which include kale; lots of kale actually. I thought it was healthy for me, and for most people it is. Kale is a super food with its antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties. I love to cook with it and also put it in my green juice. Needless to say, the morning of my physical I had a 16 oz glass of my green juice with a big bunch of kale in it, yumm right?

Coming from the doctor’s office that morning I tried thinking of things that may have caused the swelling of my thyroid. Of course, the first thing that came to mind was food. I went over the foods I had eaten within the last 24 hours and Kale was definitely one of my main ingredients, so I researched it and found that Kale has something called “Goitrogens” which can cause the thyroid to enlarge if the person eating it is suffering from a Thyroid condition such as hyper or hypo thyroid. I googled this info and also read up on this in a book called” Foods at a Glance” by Tina M. Rattan, DNM. Needless to say, I stopped eating kale completely until my ultra sound to put this theory to the test and my thyroid was actually normal maybe even a bit small, at the time of the ultra sound.

Once I returned to my doctor for a follow-up I asked him if it is actually true that Kale consumption could have influence the size of my Thyroid. He did not say I could never eat kale anymore but he did say yes, it could certainly matter. I haven’t eaten kale since, and I feel great without it.

The moral of my story is, I wanted to make people with Thyroid conditions aware of this, as I was not aware. No one ever told me not to eat kale if you have a thyroid condition. I feel I could have had great use of this information and saved myself the worry between the waiting times of the Ultra sound and the follow up doctor’s visit. Fifteen years and I never knew! So here you are, now you know! This just shows that even a lot of a good thing can be too much for some of us.

I don’t want to discourage you from eating Kale or any other healthy, nutritional foods, but I do would like for you to be aware of some of the interferences between illnesses and certain foods. Just as if you suffer from inflammation of any sort, sugar in any way can be a very negative substance for you to consume, as it may worsen your condition.

Awareness is the key ingredient to anyone’s diet, I have learned.


All material and information presented by Andi O’Connor @ HealthyForFood.com/ BerryGoodFood.blog is intended to be used for educational purposes only. These statements made about products, supplements, or treatments have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The information on this site presented herein is not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any kind of conditions or disease. Please always consult with your own physician or healthcare practitioner before making changes to your diet, exercise routine, or lifestyle.