So many people ask about the kale/broccoli/cruciferous controversy! As the article on mercola.com speaks about, these vegetables are packed with nutrients, as well as having been shown to have potentially anti-cancer properties (apoptosis-induction), due to the isothiocyanates.
Interestingly, where the controversy comes in is precisely around those same isothiocyanates! This is because for a small percentage of individuals with a certain type of thyroid condition, their condition worsens when they consume such isothiocyanates that are particularly potent in raw cruciferous vegetables (such as kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts, chard, cabbage, watercress, daikon, etc.). This is the case for some individuals since these substances can disrupt their bodies’ ability to synthesize necessary thyroid hormones. Because of this, these individuals are typically advised by their physicians to avoid eating cruciferous vegetables, especially in their raw state.
When these cruciferous vegetables are consumed raw, the anti-cancer powerhouse agents are at their strongest, but when cooked at high temperatures, the anti-cancer potency is reduced, though many (but not all) of the other nutrients they offer are still at least partially intact.
There you go — bio-individuality at work again! We are all different and our bodies have different needs. Be sure to check with your healthcare professional for personalized guidance and recommendations around your unique dietary, lifestyle and health needs. The more we can free ourselves from the misguided mindset that there is only one right way to eat in order to be healthy, the better!
Together we can make the world a better place…
Dr. Theresa Nicassio is a registered psychologist (#1541) and author of YUM: plant-based recipes for a gluten-free diet (Sept 2015). Embracing a holistic perspective of health and certified as a gourmet raw food chef, nutrition educator and integrative energy healer, Theresa focuses her time providing psychotherapy to clients in her private practice in Vancouver.