We may have heard of the term Super Foods but for those of you that haven’t a Super Food is a food item that is particularly high in nutrients, higher than the average comparison food item. There are many examples of Super Foods promoted by Dr. Oz (an irresponsible health care provider that gives health advice on subject matter that he has no education on whatsoever – for proof on the DR. Oz’s role in deceptive and unethical marketing practices surrounding weight loss scams please watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkUe4bMS_8Y) such as Gogi Berries and the newest super food, Kale. I mean think about it, you would never get a carpenter to fix your plumbing issues in your house, why would you take nutrition advice from a Cardiac Surgeon? The logic is just flawed right off the bat, the man has no qualifications to talk about nutrition and I can’t tell you how much time per week I spend making this point to EVERYONE.
Kale has been promoted by Nutritionists, nutrition ‘experts’ and the like to the same degree that Dr. Oz will unethically promote weight loss products. Don’t get me wrong, Kale is great, I eat Kale, but the difference is that I know the limits. Nutritionally Kale has 3.1g of fibre, 3.4g protein and 33 calories per serving along with a massive dose of vitamins and minerals. I also tell anyone that eats Kale on a regular basis the limits and to promote an ‘everything in moderation’ approach to nutrition as opposed to the ‘more is better’ mentality that North Americans seem to be obsessed with. The reason why? Kale and other cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower contain heavy metals such as Thallium and Cesium along with nickel, lead, aluminum and arsenic (yeah you read that correctly, ARSENIC an ingredient in rat poison and cigarette smoke).
Now I know what you must be thinking: “That’s just GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) grown Kale, Brocolli, Cabbage or Cauliflower.” We actually, no it’s not. In fact it’s got nothing to do with organically grown practices or not. It has everything to do with vegetables in the Cruciferous family’s ability to absorb Thallium and the rest of the heavy metals from the soil they’re grown in. Now not enough is known about the geographic regions and how that affects the absorption of Thallium and other heavy metals into these vegetables but it’s a big enough issue to be aware of. Why? Well a researcher by the name of Ernie Hubbard started to notice so health fanatics (people that exercise regularly, eat healthy, don’t smoke or drink), specifically vegetarians, were going to their doctors complaining about chronic fatigue, skin and hair issues, arrhythmias (Irregular heart beat) gluten sensitivity (I cringe at this, everyone seems to be Gluten sensitive nowadays with no physical proof whatsoever) and other digestive troubles, but no one could figure out why, until Ernie Hubbard came along.
Mr. Hubbard started taking urine samples from these people and discovered high amounts of Thallium and Cesium along with other heavy metals, which is definitely not normal. He then looked at the diet after eliminating other usual suspects and found those people that had high intake of vegetables from the Cruciferous family had these heavy metals in their urine and experiencing these health issues.
Don’t get me wrong, you shouldn’t avoid Kale or the other vegetables altogether, they’re still extremely healthy vegetables but in moderation. The issue is when people hear about the newest super food they tend to go crazy thinking that ‘more is better’ To give you an example, one of Hubbard’s patients was a 5s year old vegetarian exercising 2 hours a day and ate a lot of vegetables, which seems healthy, but always complained about chronic fatigue and her hair falling out. After some questioning it was revealed that this patient was eating large quantities of Kale and Cabbage on a daily basis. After he analyzed her urine and other people with the same complaint he say a trend. Getting her to remove Kale and Cabbage from her diet allowed her to return back to normal, hair started growing back and her energy levels returned to normal.
The health benefits still outweigh the risks, so go ahead and eat Kale and vegetables from the cruciferous family. 2-3 servings a day of these vegetables would be perfectly acceptable, but don’t over do it. That’s the whole point of this post, even good things in large quantities can be harmful to your health. Nutrition is all about balance and Dietitians have been saying this for years and for years to come. All foods fit into a healthy lifestyle, in moderation. So go ahead and eat Kale and other vegetables from the cruciferous family, just don’t over do it. Keep it to 2-3 servings per day (1 cup per serving) and definitely don’t eat it every single day. Recognize that more isn’t always better. Everything belongs in a healthy diet, just in moderation.