The Relationship between Beets and Goiter
Goiter is the swelling of the thyroid gland which leads to swelling of the neck and the larynyx. Goiters are generally not painful and will mostly result in coughing, difficulty in breathing and swallowing. The most common cause of goiter is Iodine Deficiency.
Goiter may be a source of annoyance and hence, one will once to fix it immediately. So do beets help at all in treating goiter? Perhaps. But the reality is, beets will not be the best option available to you, per se. Why? As mentioned previously, iodine deficiency is the chief cause of goiter, however beets are a poor source of iodine. This translates that beets will be of little help if the goiter has been caused by an iodine deficiency – which is the primary cause 90 percent in worldwide cases.
Causes of Goiter
The known causes of goiter include the following;
- Iodine deficiency
- Hormone imbalance
- Pituitary or hypothalamus gland dysfunction
- Radiation exposure
- Autoimmune diseases such as Graves' disease and Hashimoto’s disease.
Symptoms of Goiter
Goiter does not always entail signs and symptoms, so to speak. It depends on the reason that caused one’s throat to swell. According to MayoClinic.com, a few symptoms of goiter may include; a tight feeling in the throat, hoarseness, swallowing and breathing issues and coughing. Swollen thyroid can also be an indication of the thyroid dysfunction. Hyperthyroidism is the production of an excess of thyroid. Symptoms for this include increased metabolism, nervousness, oily skin, and insomnia and weight loss. Reduced thyroid function is known as hypothyroidism. Symptoms of this may include reduced metabolism rate, fatigue, dry skin, depression and weight gain.
Benefits of Beets
On its own, beets possess a wonderful set of health benefits which include their ability to minimize cancer risk, a good detox and more! But do beets play a role in treating/preventing goiter? Well, foods which are high in iodine are believed to treat the symptoms of goiter. However, beets hold an extremely scarce amount of iodine.
Nonetheless, beets possess phytonutrients called betalains. These betalains display antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This means that they may help treat/prevent the swelling and inflammation caused by goiter.
Learn more about beets here: Beets Nutritional Profile
Hence, Beets are not exactly a cure for goiter, but the betalain content in beets can reduce swelling. This research was established by ‘Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine.’ One should always consider the fact that cooking beets at high heat can destroy their phytonutrients; in order to avoid that one must cook them on a light fire, boil them perhaps or bake or steam them. The skin can BE peeled off easily once they have been cooked.