I’ve been making salad and green smoothies with raw kale as I used to think you should eat kale raw to get the most out of this nutritious superfood. Oops. I may have been damaging my thyroid. It turns out steaming kale before adding it to smoothies and salads not only is healthier, but allows you to eat more of it, much more easily!
In case you aren’t eating this alkaline wonderdrug- here’s why you should: Kale has more iron than beef, more calcium than milk, is high in Vitamin A, K, antioxidants, and has incredible cancer and disease-fighting anti- acidic, anti-inflammatory properties.
However, raw kale has natural chemicals in it called goitrogens that block thyroid production. Same for all other cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, and bok choy. You have to cook them to reduce the goitrogen levels, especially if you have any kind of thyroid issues, are TTC, pregnant or breast-feeding.
When you eat goitrogens, you need to increase your iodine levels so they don’t damage your thyroid gland. To reduce goitrogens by a third, steam crucifers until they are fully cooked. To destroy 90% of goitrogens, boil crucifers for thirty minutes, but that would be over boiling your veggies, and would destroy a lot of the nutrients as well, as nutrients leech into the water.
So if you eat kale a few times a week, the solution is to steam it for 5 minutes, make sure your multivitamin has iodine in it, or take liquid iodine drops. If you eat crucifers every day, I would suggest steaming them for longer.
Sadly, fermentation does not neutralize the goitrogens in crucifers. When foods like kimchi or sauerkraut are consumed in small amounts however, goitrogen levels are not harmful if you’re getting enough iodine.
Up your iodine intake by eating seaweed, and natural iodine drops made from kelp.I take liquid iodine made from kelp (you can buy a bottle for $3 at a health food store), a multivitamin with iodine in it, eat seaweed when I can, AND gently cook my cruciferous veggies.
The great thing is that it’s so much tastier to eat steamed kale salad than raw kale – the texture is less chewy, and it reduces in size, so you can easily eat more.
Next up- my Dream Body Green Goddess Smoothie recipe with steamed kale!