The study you’ve all been waiting for: Kale Friend or Foe?
I have never understood how kale managed to rise to fame a few years ago.
I blame kale chips, and people on strict diets who suggest kale chips are their “cheat” snack, for romanticizing this truly overrated, bitter and oddly hairy vegetable.
Kale chips never fooled me: Add oil, salt to paper to anything and it becomes automatically delicious.
I would guess paper would taste pretty damn good if it was battered, seasoned and deep fried.
“Can we stop with the kale propaganda? They could find out kale cures cancer, and I would still be like, ‘I”m just going to do the chemo. I’ve tried the kale.’” – Comedian Jim Gaffigan
Good news for kale skeptics like myself!
Turns out kale, once deemed a super-food—a word that is proving to mean nothing more than a temporarily popular fad—might actually be bad for your health.
Or at least kale salads might cause problems.
It’s true: While kale propaganda has led us to believe kale is heart healthy and has cancer-fighting properties, new science from Oregon State University says RAW kale can cause problems for your thyroid.
This is because the leafy green vegetable contains progoitrin, a compound known to interfere with thyroid hormone synthesis, and thiocyanate ions, which can overwhelm the iodine needed by your thyroid.
In layman’s words, this means raw kale can lead to hormonal irregularities that can wreak havoc on your blood sugar, weight, and metabolic function. And worst case scenario, kale could lead to a goiter!
Believe it or not, this study isn’t a stand-alone piece of vegetable craziness: There’s an entire school of thought out there that says leafy green vegetables might not be what you thought they were!
Chris Kresser, a globally recognized leader in ancestral health, Paleo nutrition and functional and integrative medicine, suggests that we have probably been led to believe we need more green vegetables than we really do.
Because our bodies don’t digest leafy greens that well. In fact, this article suggests that kale is one of the hardest vegetables for our bodies to digest.
Kresser refers to these difficult-to-digest foods as FODMAPS. They can lead to gas, bloating, pain and changes in stool frequency and consistency.
Also, conditions like irritable bowel syndrome are also associated with FODMAP intolerance. Read more here:.
Specifically, Kresser said digestion problems, as well as constipation, diarrhea, and acid reflux could be caused by too many vegetables.
This is because they’re high in fiber, and when you consume too much insoluble fiber, your gut can become inflamed, Kresser says.
If this is the case for you, vegetables he recommends avoiding due to high amounts of insoluble fiber include:
• Greens (spinach, lettuce, KALE, mesclun, collards, arugula, watercress, etc.)
• Whole peas, snow peas, snap peas, pea pods
• Green beans
• Kernel corn
• Bell peppers
• Onions, shallots, leeks, scallions, garlic
• Cabbage, bok choy, Brussels sprouts
Meanwhile, vegetables lower in insoluble fiber include:
• Winter squash
• Summer squash (especially peeled)
• Starchy tubers (yams, sweet potatoes, potatoes)
Pretty much contrary to everything you learned growing up about how you can’t eat too many green vegetables, right?
But if you’re having digestion problems, maybe experiment. Oh, and start by eliminating kale!