Kale has a long, positive history and has a well-deserved reputation for its hardiness and nutrient density. It is said when a traditional doctor in China wanted to establish a practice, he would check to see if the people of the village were growing kale. If kale was growing, he would move on to another village. Today, after nearly ten years in the limelight, kale and other healthy foods are under attack. Is kale actually unhealthy?
Any food that attains the rank of ‘superfood’ inevitably experiences a downfall. Yet, we rarely question if whether it is the food itself that is harmful or the way we’ve chosen to incorporate it into our way of eating and lifestyle. Previously, people cooked kale in a variety of ways- in soups, with beans, blanched, sautéed, or steamed. Now kale goes straight to the juicer or into the smoothie machine. With juices and smoothies, the nutrients in the kale become overly concentrated and are absorbed directly into our bloodstream without going through the digestive system. We can take a cue from common sense wisdom from the West Indies: too much of one thing is good for nothing.
If we eat a variety of organically grown, simply processed foods, we allow our bodies to pick and choose what we need and eliminate what we don’t. Our central nervous system gives us the ability to learn how to make life-supporting decisions. Wouldn’t our second nervous system, which is a part of our digestive system, have the same ability?
It’s a good time to gain and build confidence in our body’s ability to make beneficial choices through enjoying a variety of healthy foods. It is my hope that you continue to include kale in a varied, plant-based diet. I am confident that kale will be vindicated over time.