You go after my kale, and there’s going to be a fight. I eat it almost every day, in my oatmeal, stir fries, soups, etc. After reading this article about the danger of kale on Yahoo Shine, I thought, “it must be an exaggeration or a mistake.” So I read the article it’s referencing, about a woman who loved her green smoothies and ended up with hypothyroidism. Did the kale cause it? Hard to say. While there is no mistake, it does point out that health is not a black and white thing.
First, life is a fatal condition. Unless God intervenes, everyone dies. The question is, how to stay strong, active and healthy as long as possible until death. Many factors interact in that picture. Your genes are 50% of the equation, but that is the 50% you can’t control. The other half is your habits: food, exercise, smoking, sociability, and psychology. Food and exercise are at the forefront now, as we have developed a clearly unhealthy lifestyle. The parts we can control only contribute to our good or bad health, they don’t insure it. Everyone who smokes does not die early of cancer, everyone who eats healthy and exercises does not die of old age in perfect health.
Second, we love excess in this country. If some is good, more is better. That is usually a mistake. By drinking juice, you can consume more vegetables than you ever could by eating them. I’ve never been a fan of juicing, as that eliminates the fiber, which is very good for you, filling you up and balancing the natural sugars in the fruits and veggies. I’ve heard of people consuming vast quantities of fruits and vegetables by juicing. Too much of anything is just too much.
Everything in life is a balance. I will still keep encouraging others to eat their kale, because I think for most people there is absolutely no danger of overconsumption. I will personally cut mine down to 2-3 times a week, adding other veggies into the mix that aren’t goitrogenic. Both articles mention that cooking kale reduces the goitrogenic effect, and that eating brazil nuts, which contain selenium, and eating iodine rich foods, will both mitigate the effects.
Before I go, I want to give you one more article reference that I found very sound, from 90.9, WBUR, an NPR station. It was an article written by Rachel Zimmerman in response to the original kale/hypothyroidism article. In it, she has advice on what to do. It comes down to moderation in all things, including healthy things.
Post script: A friend of mine sent me an article saying the risk of goitrogenic foods is vastly overplayed, and I found a link to an interview with Dr. Jeffrey Garber, chief of endocrinology at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, and he said the same thing. So, as long as you are not iodine deficient, go ahead and eat kale to your heart’s content