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Is Raw Kale good for you?

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Have you ever eaten raw Kale in your salad or juiced it?

Benefits of Kale

  • Kale can provide you with some special cholesterol-lowering benefits if you will cook it by steaming. The fiber-related components in kale do a better job of binding together with bile acids in your digestive tract when they’ve been steamed. When this binding process takes place, it’s easier for bile acids to be excreted, and the result is a lowering of your cholesterol levels. Raw kale still has cholesterol-lowering ability—just not as much.
  • Kale’s risk-lowering benefits for cancer have recently been extended to at least five different types of cancer. These types include cancer of the bladder, breast, colon, ovary, and prostate. Isothiocyanates (ITCs) made from glucosinolates in kale play a primary role in achieving these risk-lowering benefits.
  • Kale is now recognized as providing comprehensive support for the body’s detoxification system. New research has shown that the ITCs made from kale’s glucosinolates can help regulate detox at a genetic level.
  • Researchers can now identify over 45 different flavonoids in kale. With kaempferol and quercetin heading the list, kale’s flavonoids combine both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits in way that gives kale a leading dietary role with respect to avoidance of chronic inflammation and oxidative stress.

 

Kale, cooked
1.00 cup
(130.00 grams)
Calories: 36
GI: very low
NutrientDRI/DV

 

 vitamin K1180.1%

 

 vitamin A98.3%

 

 

 

 copper22.2%

 

 vitamin B610.5%

 

 fiber10.4%

 

 calcium9.3%

 

 potassium8.4%

 

 vitamin E7.4%

 

 

 iron6.5%

 

 magnesium5.8%

 

 

 

 phosphorus5.2%

 

 protein4.9%

 

 folate4.2%

But Is Kale bad?

Kale (and other cruciferous vegetables, including cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, turnips, and collards) contain a compound called isothiocyanates, which appear to block an enzyme in the thyroid. This enzyme, TPO, is responsible for attaching iodine to the thyroid hormones to make them active.

Basically, these vegetables are thought to block your body from using the iodine that it needs. If the thyroid doesn’t have enough iodine, the cells start overgrowing and the thyroid gets bigger — this is called a goiter. That’s why these foods are often called “goitrogens,” because they make the thyroid swell as it’s trying harder to make your thyroid hormones with limited raw materials.

Kale and other cruciferous vegetables are only considered to be goitrogens when eaten raw. When these vegetables are cooked or lightly steamed, this issue goes away.

Does this mean you should never eat raw vegetables? Absolutely not!

After all, life is about balance, and nature would not have given us these bountiful plant foods if they weren’t good for us. If you always avoid these foods, your diet will be very restricted, and you would miss a lot of important nutrients.

Eating raw cruciferous veggies daily at 1 or 2 meals is OK, and periodically doing a medically sound detox program is fine, too, as long as you’re getting enough iodine in your diet.

You can learn more here.

Original article by Dr. Susan Blum

Sources cited: World’s Healthiest Food

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