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    Archive for the ‘Swiss chard’ Category

    You Ask, I Answer: Broccoli, Sprouts, & Swiss Chard Bad for Thyroid Health?

    broccoli-sproutsI would so appreciate it if you would comment on the raw broccoli/thyroid problem issue that I have come across on blogs.

    I have been steaming my broccoli for the past year after reading far too many articles that state one should not eat it raw.

    I trust your advise more than the anonymous blogs out there, and I would love your thoughts.

    — Michael (Last name unknown)
    Via the blog

    Is Swiss chard part of the brassica family?  I thought it was a chenopod.

    My understanding is that all brassicas contain a goitrogen, but one that is killed off in cooking, unlike that in soy. Not that I can think of any time I’ve ever wanted to eat raw Swiss chard!

    What about broccoli sprouts, though?

    Are they better, worse or much the same as headed broccoli for those with thyroid issues?

    — Polly (Last name unknown)
    Via the blog

    Michael: unless you have a thyroid condition, there is no need for you to worry about eating raw broccoli.

    Cruciferous vegetables (including bok choy, broccoli, and kale), contain goitrogenic compounds called isothiocyanates, which can exacerbate already-existing thyroid issues.

    Let’s make this very clear, though — cruciferous vegetables do not cause thyroid problems.  In fact, isothiocyanates are wonderfully healthy compounds that  have been linked to decreased risk for a number of cancers.

    It’s worth pointing out, too, that even individuals with thyroid problems can still eat a limited amount of cruciferous vegetables (no more than one and a half cups per week).

    Cooking does indeed lower these vegetables’ goitrogen content  — by roughly a third.

    Polly: Swiss chard is technically a member of the beet family.

    However, since it contains a very similar nutrient profile to cruciferous vegetables, it is considered “one of the bunch” (in the same way that quinoa and amaranth are talked about as whole grains even though they are technically seeds).

    One thing Swiss chard doesn’t provide that cruciferous vegetables do?  Isothiocyanates!

    Broccoli sprouts, meanwhile, are very high in goitrogens — more so than raw broccoli florets.


    Numbers Game: Answer

    891318One cup of cooked Swiss chard contains as much potassium as two medium bananas.

    FYI: The United States Department of Agriculture classifies medium bananas as those measuring anywhere from 7 to 8 inches.

    Score another point for dark, leafy green vegetables.

    Remember — they already get kudos for being good sources of calcium and vitamin K — two crucial nutrients for bone health.

    While most people equate potassium with bananas (and that’s not too off-the-mark; bananas are a good source of that mineral), other foods provide higher amounts.

    A medium banana contains approximately 420 milligrams of potassium (roughly ten percent of the daily requirement).  One cup of cooked Swiss chard, meanwhile, contributes 961 milligrams (slightly over a quarter of a day’s worth!).

    Take a look at these other potassium-rich foods that are often forgotten:

    • Spinach (1 cup, cooked): 835 milligrams
    • Lentils (1 cup, cooked): 731 milligrams
    • Edamame (1 cup): 676 milligrams
    • Nutritional yeast (3 Tablespoons): 640 milligrams
    • Baked potato (medium, with skin): 610 milligrams
    • Halibut (3 ounces, cooked): 490 milligrams

    A good list to keep in mind, particularly since the majority of adults in the United States do not meet daily potassium requirements.


    Numbers Game: Potassium-Packed!

    Red_chardOne cup of cooked Swiss chard contains as much potassium as ______ medium banana(s)

    FYI: The United States Department of Agriculture classifies medium bananas as those measuring anywhere from 7 to 8 inches.

    a) .75
    b) 1.5
    c) 2
    d) 2.5

    Leave your guess in the “comments” section and come back on Thursday to learn the answer — as well as more Swiss chard nutritional facts!


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