Kale is considered the King of superfoods. Being one of the healthiest and nutrient-rich foods in nature, Kale has earned its position in the health chart, at the top. While there are numerous benefits of Kale that makes it a superfood, the news is spreading that eating too much of kale is causing thyroid issues in many. What could have gone wrong? Kale is low in fat; it has got a good amount of the beneficial omega fats; it is also very low in the calorie bank, the list goes on.
As it says, it takes just one wrong move to destroy all your efforts, Kale contains that one villainous ingredient in it that can mask the whole benefits it has.
Benefits Of Eating Kale
There are several types of Kale available. There is the green kale or the purple colored kale. They also differ in the leaf types. It either has the smooth leaves or the curly ones. It is the curly green Kale that has made its mark.
- Kale has abundant vitamins, and minerals like manganese, copper, calcium, potassium, magnesium etc. It is low in fat and carbohydrates. It has low-calorie content than making it a simple, fiber-rich and nutritious food for a healthy diet.
- Kale contains antioxidants that can slow down the aging process and maintain the cells and tissues in the body. It also has the cardioprotective compounds like flavonoids.
- Kale can help lower the cholesterol and reduce chances of heart diseases.
- The main character in the powerhouse of Kale is vitamin C that boosts the immunity and serves as an antioxidant. A single bowl of kale has got more vitamin C than an orange has. Presence of Vitamin K reduces the chances of blood clotting in the body.
- Kale has anti-cancerous compounds in it. It has eye-protecting nutrients, generally useful minerals etc.
- Kale contains very fewer calories and that makes it a weight-loss friendly factor. This is where things can go south with too much of kale in the system to destroy every effort.
Too Much Kale Kills The Benefits
Anything that is too much is not good. Since kale is low in calories, people tend to eat more, which can bring them to a jinx. The most common option of eating kale is in the salads. Mixing it with other raw vegetables makes a good filling for each meal. It not only gives them a fuller stomach but also adds many nutrients to a single bowl.
Another way of having kale is juicing. Juicing the raw kale leaves for a smoothie or for a green juice drink is considered healthy.
What people do not know or be aware is the fact that Kale is from a cruciferous family where the vegetables contain a high amount of this sulfur-containing compounds called glucosinolates. Too much of glucosinolates is the villain here that leads to thyroid issues.
The Kale Thyroid Connection
What makes kale villain here is the presence of glucosinolates. These compounds can form another substance called goitrin that interferes with the iodine intake by the thyroids. The thyroid glands need more iodine than any other cell in the body. When the intake of the iodine in blocked or reduced, it can affect the performance of thyroid glands. The thyroids can underperform and could also lead to the enlargement of the glands.
The goitrin formed from the glucosinolates in the kale, can weaken a certain enzyme called thyroid peroxidase. Without this enzyme, the iodine cannot be used for the hormone production. It can also cause the enlargement of the glands.
All these ill effects are seen when there is an over-consumption of glucosinolates. Though kale contains a comparatively lesser amount of this compound, the damage comes when it is eaten raw. Eating cooked cruciferous food is not as damaging as it is when eaten raw.
How Much Kale Is Safe?
Eating cooked kale is not enough. You would also need to watch, how much you are eating. It is recommended that 1-2 servings of kale are enough for the day. You should also need to pair it up with other nutritious foods to make it healthier. A bowl of mixed vegetables and kale is just what you may need. Since kale contains a high amount of fiber, it can fill the stomach faster.
Loading up the diet with kale with every meal would overdo the benefits. This is where the problems start. You don’t need that. Blanch or cook the kale before you add them to the salad. It makes it less threatening and can still retain the nutrients.
Who Can Have Thyroid Issues By Having Kale?
If you are to get thyroid issues by kale, you have to be eating a much higher amount of just kale. By overeating kale over a period of time would be the usual way of the high amount of goitrogens in the system.
People who already have hypothyroidism or are on the verge of this problem are more vulnerable to this problem than the healthier people. Since their thyroids are already underperforming, the presence of goitrin would only add fuel to the fire.
People who have too much of cruciferous vegetables are also under the threat. It is not just kale that has glucosinilates that can form goitrin. All the cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, turnip, watercress, etc have this compound. If you are not an ardent kale eater but consume a lot of any of these vegetables in their raw form, you might want to take a step back. You need to reduce the overall consumption of cruciferous vegetables. You can always look for other super foods for the added nutrients.
Who would have thought that even the super foods come with a lot of troubles! This is another reason for you to look for mixed vegetables in the diet. It is boring to eat the same type of food. Mix n’ match works well for a healthy living rather than concentrating on a single type of foods.