Foods of the month
As many of you know, March is an occasion for a variety of celebrations. It opens up with Dr. Seuss’s Birthday on March 2nd and many indulge in Green Eggs and Ham. This is a fun dish to prepare and although often the green color is acquired by green food coloring, see my recipe below for the same color-rich palate with a much healthier option when spinach is added to create the green colored eggs. On March 14th, many schools and libraries are celebrating the Pi Day and enjoy their pizza pies as well as a cornucopia of dessert pies. By far though, the most well-known March celebration is St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th. Traditionally it is celebrated with Irish foods and among them Corned Beef and Cabbage, Shepherd’s Pie, and Colcannon, an Irish side dish of cabbage and mashed potatoes.
Recipe of the month
Green Eggs and Ham
- 6 eggs
- 6-8 oz of fresh baby spinach
- 3 slices of pork, lamb, or turkey bacon (best if you choose uncured and organic)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil, optional
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat a skillet on medium or medium-high. Cut up the bacon. If you prefer to render the bacon fat, add bacon to the dry skillet and allow to cook for a few minutes until the fat liquefies and coats the entire skillet. If you prefer to add bacon without rendering the fat, drizzle some olive oil once your pan heats through.
In a blender, process eggs, spinach, and seasonings, if using. Pour the eggs onto the skillet. If you did not render the fat from the bacon, add chopped bacon once you’ve added the eggs.
Reduce heat and cook with a lid on, on low-medium heat for 5 or so minutes until the eggs are fully cooked. Once cooked, serve and enjoy! This recipe serves 3 or 4 and makes a great option for breakfast or diner.
Adding spinach to your daily diet is a wonderful step toward health or is it not?
Everyone heard of Popeye the Sailor Man and his abundant consumption of spinach to keep up his strength and physique. According to the USDA, spinach is rich in anti-inflammatory fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K; anti-oxidants, in high enough concentrations, for spinach to be called and anti-cancer food; and due to high content of vitamin K it is also promoted as a food to strengthen bones and protect them from osteoporosis. (https://www.ars.usda.gov/plains-area/gfnd/gfhnrc/docs/news-2013/dark-green-leafy-vegetables/)
However, spinach belongs to the group of plants/foods that have been classified as goitorogens. Goitorogenic foods are foods that contain a compound that interferes with the production of the thyroid hormone.
In addition to spinach, other foods classified as goitorogenic include
- Cabbages (all, including green, red, white, Brussels sprouts)
- Cauliflower and broccoli
- Radishes, turnips, and kohlrabi
- Most dark leafy greens (including kale, mustard greens, collards, etc.)
- Cassava, yucca, and sweet potatoes
So, should one stop eating all these wonderful foods when media is booming about their extensive health benefits? In short, no.
First, for those without any thyroid issues, eating goitorogenic foods should not have any affect on the thyroid.
For those with thyroid issues. Goitorogens are actually beneficial for those with overactive, also known as HYPER-, thyroid. For those dealing with HYPOthyroidism (sluggish thyroid function), cooking these foods will significantly reduce the concentration of goitorogens and these foods may continue to be a part of a healthy diet. Consuming these foods in moderation is another way to reduce exposure to goitorogens. (lpi.oregon.edu/mic/food-beverages/cruciferous-vegetables)
So, as we enjoy our Green Eggs and Ham, cabbage stews, and green morning smoothies, let’s keep in mind the power of the foods that we eat and the fact that we are all unique individuals and have unique needs that may not always fit into the latest food craze of a superfood fad.