Kale: Is it really worth the hype?

Kale: Is it really worth the hype?

I’m sure you’ve seen the “superfood” craze that’s happened over the last couple of years, and certain trends that have taken off like crazy!

Nutrition is always changing, and every time a new health trend comes out, it becomes even harder to decide what foods are good for us and which ones are not. You have to decide what is actually healthy and what’s just really good marketing…it’s exhausting!

Part of my job as a registered dietitian is to educate you about nutrition and help you to decipher myths from facts. There is a LOT of conflicting information out there, but I want to help you make sense of it.

One food that has risen to the top in the “superfood” trend is kale….kale smoothies, kale chips, and kale salads plague our Instagram feeds and restaurant menus.

So is it really all it’s cracked up to be? Actually YES. I’m calling this one fact, and here’s why:

  • Kale is considered one of the most nutrient dense foods, providing vitamins A, C, K , calcium and other nutrients
  • Kale is considered a cruciferous vegetable, which means it is a natural detoxifier. It’s high levels of fiber and something called indole-3-carbinol help to carry out toxins and bad estrogen from the body (which can fight against breast cancer!)
  • Kale is available in many different forms including curly, flat, and in different colors from green to purple, each offering different health benefits
  • Kale is extremely versatile, and can be used in many different ways: soups, shakes, salads, and more

Kale might be a new trend, but it’s not a new food: it’s been around forever, and it’s health benefits are numerous. It provides so much nutritional value and helps to add volume to your meals to help keep you feeling fuller for longer.

This one isn’t just hype, so don’t be afraid to get your Kale on.

***HOWEVER, there is such thing as too much of a good thing. If you have any known thyroid dysfunction, make sure to consume kale (and all cruciferous vegetables) in mostly cooked forms. Cruciferous vegetables are rich in something called “goitrogens”, which can compromise the uptake of iodine which helps get T3 into the cells. So again just make sure to consume in cooked forms to reduce the goitrogen effect!