The World's Healthiest Foods

The Latest News About Kale

While not as well researched as some of its fellow cruciferous vegetables like broccoli or cabbage, kale is a food that you can count on for some unsurpassed health benefits, if for no other reason than its exceptional nutrient richness. In our own website food rating system, kale scored 4 "excellents," 6 "very goods," and 10 "goods" - for a total of 20 standout categories of nutrient richness! That achievement is difficult for most foods to match.

What's New and Beneficial About Kale

WHFoods Recommendations

You'll want to include kale as one of the cruciferous vegetables you eat on a regular basis if you want to receive the fantastic health benefits provided by the cruciferous vegetable family. At a minimum, include cruciferous vegetables as part of your diet 2-3 times per week, and make the serving size at least 1-1/2 cups. Even better from a health standpoint, enjoy kale and other vegetables from the cruciferous vegetable group 4-5 times per week, and increase your serving size to 2 cups.

Cruciferous Vegetable Benefits

All cruciferous vegetables-including kale-provide integrated nourishment across a wide variety of nutritional categories and provide broad support across a wide variety of body systems as well. For more on cruciferous vegetables see:

Health Benefits

Kale provides numerous health benefits including:

For more details on kale's health benefits, see this section of our kale write-up.

Nutrient Profile

Kale is an excellent source of anti-inflammatory vitamin K, immune-supporitve vitamin C and vitamin A (in the form of carotenoid phytonutrients), and enzyme-activing manganese. It is also a very good source of heart-healthy fiber, vitamin B6, and potassium, and bone-healthy copper and calcium. Additionally, it is a good source of energy-producing iron, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, and phosphorus; heart-healthy magnesium, vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, and folate; and muscular-system supporting protein.

Kale as a "Goitrogenic" Food

Kale is sometimes referred to as a "goitrogenic" food. Yet, contrary to popular belief, according to the latest studies, foods themselves-kale included-are not "goitrogenic" in the sense of causing goiter whenever they are consumed, or even when they are consumed in excess. In fact, most foods that are commonly called "goitrogenic"-such as the cruciferous vegetables (including kale, broccoli, and cauliflower) and soyfoods-do not interfere with thyroid function in healthy persons even when they are consumed on a daily basis. Nor is it scientifically correct to say that foods "contain goitrogens," at least not if you are thinking about goitrogens as a category of substances like proteins, carbohydrates, or vitamins. With respect to the health of our thyroid gland, all that can be contained in a food are nutrients that provide us with a variety of health benefits but which, under certain circumstances, can also interfere with thyroid function. The term "goitrogenic food" makes it sound as if something is wrong with the food, but that is simply not the case. What causes problems for certain individuals is not the food itself but the mismatched nature of certain substances within the food to their unique health circumstances. For more, see an An Up-to-Date Look at Goitrogenic Substances in Food.

For more on this nutrient-rich vegetable, including references related to this Latest News, see our write-up on kale.