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What’s up with Kale and Juicing?

Good morning from Lubbock, Texas! I thought I arrived in Hell yesterday, it was so hot. A whopping 100! On June 1st, no less! Keep in mind this comes from someone who lives at 7000 feet where mornings are so cool I have to wear my leggings and a blanket to have my tea outside. Going to be a hot summer here in West Texas!

So a friend sent me this opinion piece from the New York Times the other day: Kale? Juicing? Trouble Ahead. Yikes! Kale is the super star of the veggie lover’s world! What’s up with this? As a Certified Health Coach, I know a lot about Kale and other cruciferous vegetables and their potent health benefits; however, I recently began reading about hypothyroidism and these very vegetables. Seems that there can be some side effects to anything that we over indulge in and Kale is no exception.

cruciferous veggies

So here’s the thing: we are not meant to juice on a regular basis. OMG, did I just say that? I will be crucified by the juicing world, but I believe this to be the truth. When veggies and fruit are turned into juice, depending on the juicer, the results are no fiber or very little remaining in that juice you gulp down. This can leave you hungry in a short time and deprives your body of the work it should be doing to retain the miracle of the vegetables and their wonderful fiber, minerals and vitamins. Also, eating a wide variety of vegetables is always in your best interest because we obtain different vitamins and minerals from each.

Here’s the skinny, , taken from the Oregon State University Micronutrient Information Site, on why the kale and cousins have contributed to the hypothyroidism mentioned in the NYT article:

Very high intakes of cruciferous vegetables…have been found to cause hypothyroidism (insufficient thyroid hormone) in animals (68). There has been one case report of an 88-year-old woman developing severe hypothyroidism and coma following consumption of an estimated 1.0 to 1.5 kg/day of raw bok choy for several months. Two mechanisms have been identified to explain this effect. The hydrolysis of some glucosinolates found in cruciferous vegetables (e.g., progoitrin) may yield a compound known as goitrin, which has been found to interfere with thyroid hormone synthesis. The hydrolysis of another class of glucosinolates, known as indole glucosinolates, results in the release of thiocyanate ions, which can compete with iodine for uptake by the thyroid gland. Increased exposure to thiocyanate ions from cruciferous vegetable consumption or, more commonly, from cigarette smoking, does not appear to increase the risk of hypothyroidism unless accompanied by iodine deficiency. One study in humans found that the consumption of 150 g/day (5 oz/day) of cooked Brussels sprouts for four weeks had no adverse effects on thyroid function.

In other words, the amount you eat has more to do with the results you obtain than the veggies themselves. Don’t make a poison out of your medicine. Here’s what to do:

1: Cook cruciferous veggies. Cooking reduces the goitrogenic compounds found in kale and the other cruciferous vegetables, i.e. broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kohlrabi, mustard, rutabaga, turnips, bok choy and Chinese cabbage.

2: Eat a variety of veggies and don’t juice on a daily basis. Super juicing should be reserved for cases of cancer or other disease where high doses are needed to boost your immune system or for an occasional detox.

3. Be sure and get a daily dose of iodine. Iodized salt was introduced to our diets many years ago to help us avoid hypothyroidism. With the demonization of iodized salt, it’s possible you might be lacking if you eat a vegan diet. Add to your daily diet seaweed and/or iodized salt. 1/4 tsp of iodized salt will provide plenty. Check out this source for more on iodine and veganism.

kale

Kale and it’s cruciferous cousins really are super foods and as long as hypothyroidism is not an issue, it can be eaten on a regular basis. The key, as with all good things, is to not overdo it.

•Kale, with it’s high calcium content, supports strong bones.

•Kale boosts the immune system because it is rich in vitamin C.

•Kale helps protect us against cancer because of it’s antioxidant richness.

•Kale is high in iron for blood and energy levels support.

•Kale is packed with fiber and thus is good for digestion.

WOOHOO! Kale can stay!

Kale on my friends!

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Peace and Joy!