The Hidden Truth About Kale

As if there were anything to hide!

Anyone who’s been reading the Paleoista blog since its inception back in 2007 can vouch for the fact that I am, admittedly, quite possibly, one of the biggest kale pushers around.

I’ll throw some Kale in the Vitamix as part of my post workout smoothie in the morning and shred some to top off an afternoon wild salmon salad. If you need to dress it up, my signature Raw Kale Fusion salad, as featured in The Paleo Diet Cookbook is the star dish of any dinner party.

In fact, the truth is, I feel odd when a day passes without eating some of my all time favorite leafy green.

How does Kale measure up on the ANDI1 scale, which ranks the nutrient value of many common foods on a scale of 1-1000 on the basis of how many nutrients they deliver to your body for each calorie consumed? Kale rolls in at 1000!

For context, Coca Cola bottoms the chart out with a 1.

At just 33 calories, one cup of raw kale2 has:

  • Nearly 3 grams of protein (but please don’t let that lead you to believe it’s a good source of aminos!)
  • 5 grams of fiber
  • Vitamins A, C, and K
  • Folate, a B vitamin that’s key for brain development and essential during pregnancy
  • Alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin, nutrients that protect against macular degeneration and cataracts
  • Potassium (3), calcium, and zinc

So pile on the kale… right?

Yes, but here’s the caveat- there is, sadly, such a thing as too much kale.

All cruciferous veggies contain sulfur, but when eaten to excess, and without balancing it out with iodine, can actually hamper normal thyroid function.

What to do?

Simple fix- add seaweed to your diet. Seaweed is the best food source of iodine, far superior to taking an iodine supplement, or worse, piling on the iodized table salt. This tasty veggie makes a great snack or add on to any meal.

Try making your own sashimi wrap at home with a sheet or two of Nori, some raw fish and a few slices of avocado.

Now, back to the star of this article:  kale.

You may find red curly, green curly, black, or Dino/Lacinto Kale, Cavolo Negro or Scotch Kale in your local farmer’s market or grocery. Which is best?

All of them!  Some find the black kale makes a better juice if you’re throwing it in the Vitamix, and perhaps raw curly warrants the best texture for a quick stir-fry in coconut oil with some garlic, ginger and scallions.

Why not try all of them?

And if you’re convinced that there’s no good way to try it raw, you definitely haven’t experienced Paleoista’s Raw Kale Fusion, sure to turn even the biggest skeptic or most picky eater into kale’s newest fan.

Join me virtually in my East Coast Kitchen as I prepare it, step by step!

Or try it for yourself!

Click Here for Paleoista’s Raw Kale Fusion Salad Recipe!



[1] Dr. Fuhrman’s Nutritarian Handbook, by Joel Furhman, MD, May 2013

[2] Agricultural Research Service National Agricultural Library, USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference