I recently stopped eating raw kale, but not because of its consistent place on EWG’s Dirty Dozen list.
In fact, I love growing my own kale and preparing it for my family, but here’s the key: I always make sure to serve cooked kale.
Why I Stopped Eating Raw Kale
I’m neither a scientist nor a medical professional, but my basic understanding is that goitrogens prevent iodine uptake, which can have a negative effect on thyroid health, especially for folks with hypothyroidism.
This concerns me, since I have hypothyroidism, and it’s the reason why I’ve stopped eating raw kale or collard greens.
Other goitrogenic veggies:
- Bok Choy
- Brussels Sprouts
- Collard Greens
- Mustard Greens
- Sweet Potatoes
Everything in Moderation
Granted, current studies seem to indicate that you’d have to consume quite a bit of raw cruciferous vegetables in order to see a significant effect, and some people may be unaffected. Additionally, these veggies also provide many important nutrients.
Wellness Mama Katie Wells (also diagnosed with hypothyroidism & Hashimotos) did her research and decided not to worry too much about goitrogens. She feels the benefits of eating a variety of vegetables outweigh the potential risks allegedly posed by certain veggies like raw kale.
I’ve taken a similar stance, including consuming about 75% of my veggies cooked and about 25% raw. In the end, it’s probably better to eat veggies than to not eat them, but I do try to cook most of my kale and other goitrogens.
Two Simple Kale Prep Methods
When it comes to the kale, collards, chard, and other leafy green veggies coming from our garden, I generally opt for one of two procedures:
- Sauté greens in animal fat like butter or bacon grease, usually with onion and sometimes garlic, and always with salt. Cooking in animal fats improves the assimilation of nutrients.
- Cook lightly in boiling water, drain, chop, and then freeze for future use in smoothies, soups, and scrambled eggs.
Do you eat kale? Do you prefer it raw or cooked?
Kathleen Henderson is the yankee behind the homestead. Follow along as we grow real food and three boys while renovating a 20-acre farm in northern Virginia. Do you love homegrown food, Paleo-ish recipes, and natural living? You’re in good company! Let’s grow together…