Just about any health book, blog, or recipe book you pick up these days raves about the seemingly endless benefits of kale. From smoothies and juices to dehydrator chips and crunchy salads – kale is one of the most popular health foods in the country right now. But is your family eating too much of it? While kale does bring a pretty impressive list of benefits to every meal, it turns out there is such a thing as too much. Balancing foods and getting a wide variety of greens is essential in helping the body prevent sensitizing, allergies, and too much intake of one nutrient. Kale even counts in this! I love feeding kale to my family, and I have found that it’s one of the most amazing greens to work with as far as versatility and flavor – but I’m going to cut back just a bit on how much I use it to ensure that my family gets a wide variety of benefits from greens of all types.
The Dangers Of Eating Kale
Recent research has found that eating too many raw cruciferous vegetables like kale can actually prevent the production of thyroid hormone – a disease called hypothyroidism. This is a known fact among nutritional scientists and it’s something that all kale fans need to pay attention to. Another “side effect” of eating too much kale is kidney stones, as large amounts of kale will produce a high level oxalate content.
What’s too much? 2+ servings everyday for 2+ months.
What I learned from this report isn’t that I should avoid kale like the plague – it’s that I should balance out my family’s kale intake with lots of other amazing veggies as well. A intake more cooked kale than raw as it has a smaller impact on the thyroid. Kale is a superstar – but it’s one of many amazing greens that do great things for the people who eat it.
Balance Is Better
While it’s easy to get addicted to the texture, flavor, versatility, and list of benefits that kale offers, kale alone isn’t enough. Mixing it up and getting a big array of greens in your diet will actually diversify your palette and nourish your body with all kinds of good stuff. It will also help ensure that your body doesn’t develop a sensitivity to kale, something that can happen when we eat too much of a good thing.
Bok choy, swiss chard, spinach, cabbage, romaine, and lettuce are all great greens that have their own health benefits. These can be mixed a balanced diet of other fruits and veggies, protein, etc to mix things up a bit. A variety of greens (and colorful veggies) is extremely important when it comes to kids because the more we introduce them to good foods as children, the more likely they’ll be to choose them as adults.
Try exposing your little ones to a wide variety of colorful vegetables and even if they get stuck on 1 or 2 fav. veggies for a while, don’t sweat it. Research some of those funky veggies at the store we have no idea about, and sneak them into a few new recipes! Keep reintroducing variety, their tastebuds will continue to mature and may latch on to more of nature’s candy. Kale will always hold a special place in my heart and in my recipe book – but I think it’ll do better with a wide group of friends to share the spotlight with.