Remember To Rotate Your Greens!

by Leisa on June 28, 2010

I’m a big advocate of Green Smoothies, – I like to have one nearly every day and I regularly recommend them to people – however I always make sure I caution everyone to make sure they rotate their greens.

By this, I mean don’t use the same type of green every time.  It is easy to get into the trap of liking one particular green, and just using that every day – however there are many green leafy vegetables which are in the Brassica family, and they contain plant chemicals which can inhibit the thyroid gland – so it is best to rotate this group of leafy greens regularly.

In the Brassica family you will find kale, cabbage, broccoli, (cauliflower and brussel sprouts – although I’ve never put those in my smoothie!), Bok Choy, Choy Sum and Pak Choi.  These greens have wonderful healing properties, but need to be rotated with other greens such as, lettuce, dandelion, nettle, carrot or beet tops and spinach.

For a more comprehensive list of greens to use in a smoothie, and lots more information on how to source and identify wild greens – see Victoria Boutenko’s book Green For Life, and search out video’s by her son Sergei Boutenko who is a wild edible food expert.

You might want to read the account of one lady who overdosed on Bok Choy and caused herself a life-threatening thyroid condition.  She was eating a LOT of Bok Choy though – 2-3 heads per day over several months.  This can happen with any of the above Brassica family greens, although having enough iodine in the diet from eating plenty of sea vegetables will offset this effect somewhat.

But better to rotate those greens, just to be on the safe side!



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6 commentsAdd comment

Julie July 9, 2010 at 8:28 am

Do you think that a drop of iodine in the green smoothie would cancel out the negitive effect of the brassica family on your thyroid?

Leisa July 15, 2010 at 5:34 am

Hi Julie,
Yes, this would certainly help! I still think rotating anyway is a great idea, but yes, that would offset some of the negative effects of the plant chemicals that may inhibit the thyroid.

Rachel June 11, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Hi- This post says greens from the Brassica family “need to be rotated with other greens like watercress.” But according to Wikipedia, watercress is in the Brassica family:

I am on the lookout for non-Brassica, non-lettuce varieties of leafy green, as I love Brassica and could easily overdo it, but am allergic to leaf lettuce and butter lettuce (and not sure about other lettuce varieties).

Kristine Miles June 15, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Hi Leisa, whats your opinion on spinach as a potential goitrogen? My impression is its mild compared to the brassica family, but I would love your input here, as well as any fruits being a problem. Many thanks 🙂

Leisa July 12, 2012 at 5:05 am

Hi Kristine,
Spinach is not considered a goitrogen so like all greens as long as it is rotated, it is fine. As far as I’m aware there are no issues with fruits either 🙂

Leisa July 12, 2012 at 5:14 am

Thanks Rachel, you are correct and I’ve now updated my post – obviously written on the run 🙂 Yes, rotating with non-brassica is important, but definitely more difficul tif you are allergic to the lettuce family! Good luck with it!!

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