Kale is a type of green leafy vegetable that is touted as a superfood . This nickname arises because of the many vitamins and minerals that you can get just by eating kale. For example, one glass of raw kale contains 3 grams of protein, 2.5 grams of fiber, vitamins A, C, K, and B, alpha-linolenic acid and omega-3 fats, as well as lutein, zeaxanthin, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and zinc. All vitamins and minerals are needed by the body and have their respective roles. Just imagine, just by buying, processing, and consuming one type of vegetable, you can get all of these nutritional intakes.
To better understand the reason for the increasing popularity of kale, let's find out more about the benefits of kale. First, this vegetable is known to be rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants function to fight free radicals that trigger premature aging and cause cancer. Second, kale also helps lower cholesterol. One study found that consuming kale juice for 12 consecutive days increased good cholesterol by 27 percent and lowered bad cholesterol by 10 percent. Furthermore, the lutein and zeaxanthin content in kale leaves is useful for reducing your risk of developing myopia and cataracts.
Another benefit of kale that is no less important is its ability to help you lose weight. The high water and fiber content and low calories found in kale leaves make you feel full longer. Therefore, kale is good for consumption by those of you who intend to lose weight.
Even though it has a myriad of benefits, excessive consumption of kale can have a negative impact on health, especially if you like to eat raw kale. Compared to cooked kale leaves, raw kale has more potential to cause health problems. The following are health problems that can be triggered by consuming raw kale.
Indigestion and flatulence
The fiber contained in kale is a type of stiff fiber that doesn't dissolve easily. It is this fiber that makes it a little difficult for you to chew raw kale. When you finish chewing and swallowing raw kale, the vegetable will pass through the digestive tract intact because it doesn't dissolve quickly. This type of fiber is indeed useful for smooth bowel movements and overcome constipation. However, excessive consumption of rigid fiber can cause digestive problems. Fiber from kale leaves can get stuck in the intestines. As a result, you will feel bloated and pass gas more often.
Not only that, kale leaves also contain a sugar called raffinose. This type of sugar is difficult to digest by the stomach. The stomach and small intestine don't have enough enzymes to break down raffinose so this sugar content will enter the large intestine intact. Raffinose will then ferment with intestinal bacteria and produce methane and carbon dioxide. As a result, your stomach will feel swollen due to bloating.
Raw kale contains thiocyanate compounds which in large quantities can interfere with the absorption of iodine by the body. If the body does not have sufficient amounts of iodine, you can experience a condition of hypothyroidism, which is when the thyroid gland fails to produce the amount of thyroid hormone it should. Thyroid hormone plays an important role in regulating the body's metabolism. Inadequate amounts of this hormone cause blood sugar instability, weight gain, and metabolic health. In more severe cases, your body can experience swelling of the thyroid gland which causes a goiter.
Triggers the emergence of kidney stones
If you are at high risk of developing kidney stones, then raw kale is a food that you need to avoid. The reason is, kale leaves contain a fairly high amount of oxalate. In the body, oxalate with the mineral calcium will produce a compound with a shape resembling sharp needles which cannot be absorbed by the body. The combination of calcium and oxalate stones is the main cause of kidney stone disease.
If you are at risk of developing kidney stones, then you should reduce your consumption of kale, especially in its raw state. Choose other types of vegetables according to your nutritional needs and body condition.
Even though there is a risk of causing health problems, it doesn't mean you can't eat kale at all. Keep in mind again, kale leaves are a superfood with a variety of vitamins and other nutrients. So that you can get the maximum benefit from kale leaves while avoiding the negative effects, make sure you consume enough kale leaves or don't overdo it. Also, try to avoid consuming raw kale leaves. Come on, consume kale in sufficient quantities and enjoy its myriad health benefits! #LiveExcellently