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Is Raw Kale Bad For You?

by Institute for Vibrant Living

As you already know, adding a wide variety of natural, unprocessed vegetables to your diet has wide-ranging benefits for your health. Benefits of Eating Kale | Institute for Vibrant Living

For instance, the leafy green nutritious veggie kale provides many health benefits, including cancer protection and lower cholesterol levels. In fact kale - also known as ‘the new beef’ and ‘the queen of greens’ in recognition of its exceptional nutrient richness - is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet.

Kale belongs to the Brassica family that includes cruciferous vegetables such as arugula, bok choy, cabbage, collards, broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, turnips, mustard greens, Swiss chard and Brussels sprouts.

The problem is this - all of these veggies contain compounds called isothiocyanates, which appear to block an enzyme in the thyroid gland that is responsible for attaching iodine to the thyroid hormones to make them active.

In other words, these vegetables may block your body from using the iodine that it needs. If your thyroid doesn’t have enough iodine, the cells in your thyroid gland start overgrowing and your thyroid gets bigger - known as a goiter.

Now this is not a serious problem, because kale and other cruciferous vegetables only interfere with normal thyroid function when eaten raw. When these vegetables are cooked or lightly steamed, this issue goes away.

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

If you always avoid these foods, you would miss a lot of beneficial nutrients in your diet. For instance, isothiocyanates are very important for detoxification and elimination of many cancer-causing toxins from your body.

Eating raw cruciferous veggies daily at one or two meals is OK, as long as you're getting enough iodine in your diet. Increasing your iodine intake will supply your thyroid with what it needs and offset the mild inhibiting effect of raw cruciferous vegetables at the same time.

The simplest thing to do is to increase your intake of foods rich in iodine such as iodized sea salt, seaweed, saltwater fish and shellfish.

Sprinkling kelp, dulse or nori flakes on your food, or adding a strip of kombu when cooking soups, stews, beans, pasta, rice or quinoa will also provide iodine. You can remove the kombu when finished cooking and the minerals - including iodine - will remain in your food.

Given the anti-cancer benefits of the super-nutritious kale as well as other cruciferous vegetables - isn’t it time you added them to your diet today?

Source: Is Raw Kale Bad For You?  

 

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