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Kale is considered one of the healthiest foods you can eat.  I remember the bitter taste, but also know that I have spent a lifetime of ingesting tremendously vile tasting herbs, remedies, and foods in my life—SO? I just inserted the fork in my mouth and ‘ponied up’!  

After a recent investigation, my instinctual hesitation was correct.  I now believe that you should NEVER eat Kale if you fall into one of these 3 categories…

Stay clear of Kale: If you have thyroid issues.  One of the compounds in raw kale is called progoitrin.  Progoitrin BLOCKS your thyroid from working right (it stops it from absorbing iodine). This lack of iodine absorption can lead to serious health complications.

In one case, I even read of an elderly octogenarian woman in Florida who fell into a coma after eating too much!  Now to be clear, she WAS eating the equivalent of 3 POUNDS of kale a day. But if you have existing thyroid issues, it may be better to just steer clear of kale altogether (at least raw).

Stay clear of Kale: If you have digestion issues.Kale is a high fiber food–Which for most people would be a good thing. But if you frequent the following:  bloating, gas, diarrhea, or just getting an upset stomach…That insoluble fiber in kale will hit there and stay there— IN your stomach—fermenting! What happens next? Your tummy blows up–Making your gas and bloating even worse than dinner of refried or black beans from Tex-Mex!

Stay clear of Kale: If you do not like the taste.  One of my favorite sayings is: “Listen to your body talk.” My personal insight was correct because I have a personal situation with a low thyroid. If you HATE the taste of kale…The worst thing you can do is force yourself to eat it.

YES kale has a lot of nutrients in it… and helps bind the calcium you ingest,
but there are other foods out there that have MORE nutrients than kale (and taste a lot better too). Here are my “Sensational/Nutritional Seven”:

1. Seaweed–Really shines in its high content of iodine, a mineral your body uses to make thyroid hormones. Just eating a high-iodine seaweed like kelp a few times per month can give your body all the iodine it needs. Sushi anyone? If you do not like the taste of seaweed, you can also take it in supplement form. Dried kelp tablets, or blue green algae:  Both loaded with iodine.

2. Salmon–Not all fish is created equal–contains the greatest amount of omega-3s fatty acids. Omega-3s are extremely important for the optimal function of your body. They are linked to improved well-being and a lower risk of many serious diseases. Salmon is loaded with vitamins and minerals, including large amounts of magnesium, potassium, selenium, and B vitamins.

Eat fatty fish at least once or twice a week to get all the omega-3s your body needs. People who eat fatty fish regularly have a lower risk of heart disease, dementia, and depression.  Flash FRY it ‘Chernobyl-Style’ 2 minutes on both sides, seasoned with crushed garlic and Old Bay Seasoning—and FIGHT the FAMILY for the crispy skin!

3. Garlic–Not only can transform all sorts of bland dishes to delicious delicacies, but it is also very nutritious– High in vitamins C, B1 and B6, calcium, potassium, copper, manganese and selenium–Garlic is also high in beneficial sulfur compounds such as allicin.  Allicin and garlic may lower blood pressure as well as reduce the “bad” LDL cholesterol. It also raises “good” HDL cholesterol, potentially reducing risk of heart disease down the line.  Garlic has various cancer-fighting properties. People who consume garlic daily have a much lower risk of several common cancers: colon and stomach. Raw garlic also has significant antibacterial and antifungal properties—Thus?  Eat garlic, and there is no fungus among-us!! 

4. Spinach– Two cups of raw spinach (one large salad or smoothie) is just 20 calories, no fat, 2 grams of protein, and 3 grams of carbohydrates with 2 grams as fiber. Spinach provides the daily need for bone-supporting vitamin K,  for vitamin A, and  vitamin C, which all support immune function and promote healthy skin. Spinach also contains the fantastic folate:  a B vitamin that helps form red blood cells and DNA.   iron and magnesium, potassium, calcium, along with smaller amounts of the other remaining B vitamins: a smoother taste and replacement for Kale.

5. Blueberries–When it comes to the nutritional value of fruits, blueberries are in a league of their own. Although not as high — calorie for calorie — in vitamins and minerals as vegetables, they are packed with antioxidants. They are loaded with powerful antioxidant substances, including anthocyanins and various other plant compounds, some of which can cross the blood-brain barrier and exert protective effects on your brain. Blueberries are known to improve memory in older adults.  Concerning weight loss, obese men and women had a lowered blood pressure and reduced LDL cholesterol. Blueberries increase the antioxidant value of your blood and can help fight cancer.  Compared to most fruits and are loaded with powerful antioxidants: Linked to longevity and vitality.

6. Egg Yolks— have been unfairly demonized because of their cholesterol content. Eating moderate amounts of cholesterol does not raise the “bad” LDL cholesterol in your blood. Egg yolks are therefore one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. Whole eggs are so nutritious that they are sometimes referred to as “nature’s multivitamin.” I encourage anyone who engages in athletic activities to EAT the YOLK and all!!

Egg yolks are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and various powerful nutrients, including choline, lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that can protect your eyes and reduce your risk of eye diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration. Eggs also contain high-quality protein and healthy fats and can help you lose weight.  Choose organic free-range eggs ONLY!

7. Dark chocolate with a high cocoa content is one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. It is loaded with fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, antioxidants, and manganese. Dark chocolate has powerful health benefits, including improved blood flow, lower blood pressure, reduced oxidized LDL and improved brain function. 

Given that heart disease is the most common cause of death worldwide, dark chocolate may be a tasty treat for disease reversal!  Make sure to get dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa content. The best ones contain 85% cocoa or higher.  Macca is a food that is a great substitute, if you are lactose intolerant.

The bottom line

If you want lots of nutrients without many calories, the most obvious strategy is to take dietary supplements. However, supplements can hardly replace a healthy diet. A better way? Get all the nutrients you need and fill your meals with nutrient-dense foods. Nutrient-dense foods are rich in nutrients relative to their calorie content: Especially the sensational seven—vegetables, fruits, cocoa, seafood, and eggs. 

Start adding the above foods to your diet today to reap their benefits.
There is only a limited amount of food you can eat in a single day. To maximize the amount of nutrients you take in, it makes sense to spend your calorie budget wisely. The best way to do that is to simply eat the foods that carry the greatest amount and variety of nutrients.

If you eat just one of these foods, you will never have to eat kale again (unless you want to, you like the taste, and then it is good for you).

Listen to your body talk!

Jo Dee Baer

Certified Health Coach

Holistic Nutritionist

Nationally Ranked Triathlete

O: 800-820-0584