Many people often wonder if eating raw greens like kale continually is good for their health. As such, many individuals still seek answers to the following question: “Can you eat kale raw in a smoothie?” The simple answer is yes, though there are certain measures that you may need to take to prevent conditions that can be caused by excessive consumption of the vegetable. Therefore, you can read on since this post is designed to give you more details about eating kale raw in a smoothie.
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Benefits of Eating Raw Kale
Kale is a healthy vegetable with plenty of fiber and vitamins and these are good for your health. Fiber is good for your digestive system and vitamins also play a pivotal role in enhancing different components of your health system. Kale also has plenty of calcium which is good for the growth and health of your bones and it also has lutein which is good for your vision.
The other significant benefit of kale is that it is anti-inflammatory and it helps to fight against heart disease as well as protect you against cancer. These are chronic diseases that are responsible for causing deaths among different people. Therefore, kale is a natural remedy that can help you prevent deadly diseases in the long run.
Kale has high nutritional value and it can be used in different forms that include smoothies, salads, green juices as well as tacos among others. The focus of this post is on raw kale in a smoothie and how it can be of concern to your health. Eating raw kale is not a problem for many people but they should watch their intake of the product.
Downsides of Eating Raw Kale
While it is undoubtedly true that kale is a healthy vegetable with fiber, vitamins and capable of fighting heart disease, it also has its downside. When raw kale is consistently and excessively consumed, it can lead to the suppression of the production of thyroid hormone. This hormone plays a pivotal role in regulating metabolism in your body.
Metabolism involves the chemical reactions that occur in each cell of living organisms that are responsible for providing energy for key processes that promote the synthesis of new organic material. The process is very important in promoting and maintaining quality of life.
Thus, according to Linus Pauling Institute from Oregon State University, raw kale contains a compound called progoitrin that can interfere with the synthesis of thyroid hormone together with thiocyanate ions that can lower the iodine required by your thyroid.
You can experience some hormonal irregularities after eating a large amount of raw kale. These irregularities can lead to fluctuations in weight, blood sugar, and overall metabolic health. The other issue is that if you consume raw kale in excess, you can experience swelling of the thyroid, a condition also known as goiter.
The other challenge that you can experience is that raw kale consists of a large amount of fiber that is indigestible. Your stomach may not be able to handle large amounts of raw kale so it is crucial to stick to the right quantity to avoid undesired side effects like stomach pain or constipation.
Best Ways to Use Greens in a Smoothie
However, besides these downsides, kale remains a healthy vegetable and there are certain measures that you can take to prevent them. The following measures can help to eliminate health problems related to the consumption of raw kale.
Steam or Cook the Kale First
You need to steam the raw kale first before using it in your smoothies. In most cases, people prepare their smoothies in a rush and they do not have enough time to steam the greens in the morning but this method is very effective. You can steam the contents enough to cover a week then freeze them.
The benefit of cooking or steaming kale is that the process helps to deactivate the oxalic acid content they usually contain thereby improving their nutritious value. Oxalic acids also bind with calcium in food which makes it unavailable for digestion. Such a scenario can lead to different health issues like osteoporosis and the acids can also cause irritation to the kidneys.
Mix Up the Greens
Kale can be your favorite and you do not want to miss it in your daily meals but you can make a big difference by mixing up things. You should not always eat it raw or in some instances juiced but for a change, you can roast or bake it. This will help to prevent unpleasant side effects that you can experience in the long run.
It is also recommended to pair your kale with healthy fats which helps to increase the availability of vitamins D, E, A, and K. These vitamins are essential since they help improve the nutritional value of kale. You can lightly apply butter, extra-virgin olive oil, ghee or coconut oil to nourish the green smoothies.
Do Away with Liquids
Cutting down on the consumption of your favorite smoothies can seem to be a daunting task though it can improve your health. All the same, you can consider eating whole foods meal instead of sticking to your favorite smoothie by drinking more than what is recommendable.
Drinking more liquids from your favorite smoothie might not do you any good for your health though they are enjoyable every time. While there is no recommendation on the amount of green smoothies that you can have at a time, you can limit your weekly consumption to about four times including raw kale.
Kale is a healthy vegetable that consists of plenty of vitamins and fiber that are good for your health. Fiber enhances your digestive system and kale also plenty of calcium which is good for the growth and development of your bones. Therefore, you can eat raw kale in a smoothie since it gives you nutritional value.
However, if consumed to excess, raw kale can cause unpleasant effects such as fluctuations in metabolic health, weight, blood sugar and in some instances can cause kidney irritation. You should stick to the right amount of kale to avoid these side effects which are not harmful anyway.