Too much spinach and kale?

by 2316 · April 29, 2014 at 11:09 AM

I've been having some hypothyroidism symptoms for about the past month. Lack of energy, weakness, depression, slower muscle recovery, cold fingers, crappy workouts etc...I eat a couple handfuls of spinach and kale with every meal..I started to lightly cook them but It hasn't seemed to help.

I really can't figure out why I'm feeling so crappy. I used to to have a six pack of abs...I've gained 5 pounds and now I'm even losing that. It's frustrating.

I'm wondering if I'm blocking some kind of nutrient? I also eat a lot of sunflower seeds and soaked almonds...

Any thoughts?...

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18 Replies

best answer

85 · May 15, 2012 at 10:18 PM

Spinach and kale are few of the list of goitragenic foods that block absorption of iodine and thus depress thyroid function.

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3512 · May 16, 2012 at 01:35 AM

YES!!! I was eating a ton of spinach and kale, I am talking a couple cups a day, everyday, and I was feeling like crap. I had trouble sleeping and back chills. All symptoms disappeared when I stopped consuming them so often.

48 · May 15, 2012 at 09:52 PM

The only thing I could think of with the spinach and kale would be a build up of alkaloids, but you would have to eat quite a bit of it. You could try a larger rotation of greens. Instead of just eating those two, cycle through seven to ten different varieties.

6043 · May 16, 2012 at 06:46 AM

Glucose .

15070 · May 16, 2012 at 02:30 AM

They are also high in oxalates. Are you also eating beets, carrots, and sweet potatoes?

Try reducing foods that are high in oxalates.



360 · May 16, 2012 at 01:19 AM

Nuts. Get rid of them.

3886 · May 15, 2012 at 10:17 PM

You can definitely overdo it with nuts and seeds. Try getting different sources of protein? Cold water fish, perhaps?

10 · November 21, 2012 at 12:50 AM

Just thought I'd add my experience... All this past year I was gorging on all sorts of raw foods high in oxalic acid and also ones that are goitrogens. I'd buy big bags of mixed baby spinach/bok choy/swiss chard. Water cress (loved that). I also would pick up buy one get one blueberries and strawberries and, so they wouldn't spoil, I would eat them up like they were going out of style. I also ate an ounce or 2 of almonds daily plus other nuts and seeds. This was part of my health kick of antioxidants and flavanoids. I thought, hey, it must be good for me. What could go wrong? This fall I started getting crazy symptoms like muscle twitches all over, muscle aches and other weird feelings, trouble swallowing, tightness around my throat and pain on one side of my neck, pressure in left ear, exercise intolerance, terrible fatigue. I have been to the doctor and my TSH level was normal. Magnesium, calcium, potassium etc.. ok too. I read about oxalates and their possible effect on thyroid functioning and I started to make the connection. I stopped all the high oxalate foods weeks ago but the symptoms continue. Driving me insane and fearful of something neuro. Doc referred me to neurologist next (scary) but I am wondering if I should see an endocrinologist first for more thyroid testing etc...

285 · May 16, 2012 at 04:43 AM

I have hypothyroidism also and while I do eat dark greens, I limit them to 1-2 cups in a day. I haven't noticed any increase in my symptoms (granted I'm on medication - Armour Thyroid - and you didn't specify whether or not you were). I'd suggest cutting back on your leafy greens for a week and reevaluating how you feel.

1744 · May 15, 2012 at 10:10 PM

Too much beta carotene, not enough Retinol?

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60 · April 29, 2014 at 11:09 AM

The hydrolysis of some glucosinolates found in Kale and Spinach(e.g., progoitrin) yields a compound called Goitrin that interfere with thyroid hormone synthesis. The hydrolysis of different class called indole glucosimolates releases thiocyanate ions that iodine for uptake by the thyroid gland.

0 · April 28, 2014 at 06:51 PM

You don't have to completely cut these healthy greens out of your diet, but you do have to make sure to have a good iodine intake while you eat them. I have a green smoothie every morning with 1/4 tsp kelp powder in it (you can't taste it). When I make my bone broth, I always add seaweed. If I have a lot of goitrogenic foods in a day, I will eat a piece of nori (like what sushi comes wrapped in). The mitochondria need iodine to function properly. Check out Dr. Terry Wahls' books, Minding My Mitochondria and The Wahls Protocol. I am using the Wahls diet to successfully manage depression.

0 · June 27, 2013 at 07:31 PM

Shannon, this is paleo hacks. Your meal plan of grains and whey is not really paleo/primal. And the grains in the bagel is not even a grey area, it's a no/no. Your diet is entirely carb laden, and also includes legumes/sugar (peanut butter) and I am sorry to come across as rude but this question is about spinach/kale and it's relationship with the paleo diet/lifestyle.

0 · June 01, 2013 at 11:52 PM

you CAN overdose on Kale. btw. it can make your thyroid all out of whack.

8 · February 07, 2013 at 07:08 PM

No name calling DOCTOR FEELGOOD or we are going to change your name to DOCTOR FEELBAD!

791 · May 16, 2012 at 01:15 AM

Check your ferritin, iron, and total iron binding capacity (TBC). Spinach is rich in iron, and iron overload could be the cause of low energy. Generally speaking, you want serum iron to be a small fraction of your TBC.

-2 · February 23, 2013 at 02:59 PM

I agree with Dr. Feelgood. I eat fresh, leaf baby spinach each and everyday with 1/2 onion bagel, toasted with real butter and garlic power and one orange for breakfast. I finish off a whey protein drink (with water) after my workout and man do I feel good!! It gives me the energy I need to alternate my workouts (gravity force trainer - weights and kettle bell. Later in the day I always add another protein drink with kale, frozen berries and flax seed! It is so good for you and you don't even taste the kale. Dinner is always healthy too (salmon, broccoli with feta, and piece of fruit). Evening snack is yogurt or apple with peanut butter, or the other half of my bagel from breakfast. Drink tons of water too!

6 · January 04, 2013 at 10:08 PM

You guys are idiots. Stop taking advice from the freelance "doctors and nutritionists" on message boards. They have know idea why you don't feel well. Hypothyroidism is what you are diagnosed with when they don't know why you are really sick. Kinda like autism and fibromayalgia (forgive spelling). Yes, some people have these sicknesses but probably less than 2% that are diagnosed with them. You are not going to overdose on kale and spinach. Try eating more fat and protein. Get the proper amount and you will feel better. It this diet is so good then why do you feel so horrible. The body needs fat and protein to function. You will not get enough of either one with this diet. Want to feel good, lose weight and be healthy? 50% calories from fat, 25% protein, 25% carbs. The carbs need to be mostly veggies and fruit. The only thing the paleo diet is good for is getting people to stop eating additives(poison). The only thing harmful in kale and spinach are the pesticides and preservatives they are sprayed, coated and packaged with. I'd imagine its tough to eat that much of leafy greens and still afford to buy organic. You better be washing the hell out of it. Even more so if it comes in plastic.

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