Weight Gain

Potassium Rich Foods

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Potassium is a mineral found in almost all foods in varying amounts. The richest sources of potassium are vegetables, especially the green leafy varieties.

Potassium is an electrolyte as is; sodium, chloride, calcium and magnesium.  Electrolytes help to conduct electrical charges throughout the body.

Potassium is particularly important as the heart and nervous system can completely shut down if levels get too high or low. Most of us get enough potassium in our diet, but a diet low in fruits and vegetables can become compromised.

Our kidneys are constantly keeping electrolytes in a healthy range in our blood. There can be a number of factors which may impact on potassium levels, so it always worth keeping an eye on the levels. As the blood is usually kept within a healthy range it may be more beneficial to have a hair, tissue, mineral analysis to determine potassium levels outside of the blood.

Foods rich in potassium;

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Artichoke
  • Asparagus
  • Avocadoes
  • Banana
  • Beet greens
  • Berries
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celeriac
  • Celery
  • Cherries
  • Chillies
  • Citrus fruits
  • Coconut Water
  • Dairy
  • Dates
  • Eggs
  • Fish (all types)
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Grapes
  • Kefir
  • Lentils
  • Melon
  • Milk
  • Mushrooms
  • Nuts; almonds, cashews and pecans
  • Onions
  • Parsnips
  • Passionfruit
  • Pears
  • Potato
  • Raisins
  • Red meat
  • Sardines
  • Seeds such as; sunflower seeds, pepitas, sesame
  • Soy including; milk, beans, tofu and tempeh
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potato
  • Tomatoes (sundried)
  • Turnips
  • White Beans
  • Yoghurt


Goitrogens – how they affect the Thyroid

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What is a goitrogen?

Goitrogens are substances that cause the thryoid to enlarge forming a “goitre”. They may be foods, pharmaceutical drugs (eg, lithium) or chemicals in environmental pollution.

How do they affect the Thyroid?

They can affect the thyroid’s ability to produce metabolism regulating hormones, by interfering with iodine metabolism. This causes the pituitary gland to release thyroid stimulating hormone which may cause the thyroid to eventually lay down more cells in an effort to increase its production of hormones, leading to an enlarged thyroid or “goitre”.

Should we stop eating Goitrogens?

While it could be a good idea to minimise goitrogens in those who have a thyroid condition it’s not necessary to avoid all of them all of the time. Keeping the foods that are high in goitrogens to a minimum, and also eating them cooked, steamed or fermented, will help reduce exposure to goitrogens.

Also getting enough iodine by eating plenty of iodine rich foods such as; seafood, seaweed, yoghurt, cow’s milk and eggs, will help reduce the impact goitrogens will have on thyroid function.

There are so many wonderful nutrients in these foods, that I wouldn’t advocate cutting them out altogether.

Foods that have a high Goitrogenic effect on the thyroid;

  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cabbage (including sauerkraut and kimchi)
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Mustard and Mustard greens
  • Radishes
  • Swedes
  • Soy (soy isolates, soy milk and tofu)
  • Turnips

Foods with lower amounts Goitrogenic effect on the thyroid;

  • Almonds (raw)
  • Asparagus
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Cashews (raw)
  • Flaxseeds (linseeds)
  • Peaches
  • Peanuts (raw)
  • Pears
  • Pine Nuts
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Walnuts (raw)

Steaming, cooking and fermenting all of these foods reduces goitrogenic substances considerably.