Kale is vegetable that is packed with vitamins (A, K, and C) as well as a substance called DIM (a potential anticancer component of cruciferous vegetables). DIM may be a powerful way to prevent estrogen dominance. For women, this means a reduction in breast cancer risk and for men, it means avoiding the side effects of estrogen dominance such as man-boobs, mood swings and sex drive. Bodybuilders eat cruciferous vegetables in hopes of raising testosterone and reducing estrogen. Kale is low in calorie, high in fibre.
100g of kale has:
- Tons of viamin C: 120mg is 200% of your RDA!
- Tons of viamin A: 1000 IU is 33% of your RDA
- Tons of viamin K1: 700ug which is 300% of your RDA (K1 is required for blood clotting and as a precursor for the amazing vitamin K2).
- Approx 10% RDA of calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron.
It’s fat free and its Omega-3 content (25% of your RDA per 100g) makes it an anti-inflammatory food. Inflammation is the cause of many of today’s chronic illnesses.
Indole-3-carbinol is produced by the breakdown of the glucosinolate glucobrassicin, which can be found at relatively high levels in Kale (1 cup has 67mg of glucobrassicin). Diindolylmethane (DIM) is a major digestive product of indole-3 carbinol (DIM is formed naturally when I3C is broken down in the gut). DIM has potent effects on estrogen metabolism and is able to keep the bodies estrogen balanced. In small amounts, it can both inhibit the aromatase enzyme (and prevent conversion of testosterone into estrogen) and it can act on more potent forms of estrogen and convert them into less potent forms; this conversion reduces the overall effects of estrogen in the body. Taking too much DIM at once boosts the aromatase enzyme and increases the testosterone to estrogen synthesis. Supplementing our diets with DIM can shift the production of estrogen metabolites away from dangerous 16-hydroxy in favour of beneficial 2-hydroxy metabolites. The amount of kale needed to be consumed is large. DIM female dosage is 100-300mg per day. To attain this amount of DIM you would need to eat 500g of kale. Male dosage is slightly higher.
Advice: Men should take an estradiol test (estrogen), if levels are above average then you might consider supplementing with DIM (it is widely available). This is also applicable if symptoms of estrogen are present such as man-boobs, low libido, decreased morning erections, decreased erectile function). Too much DIM can have the reverse effect and boost estrogen. The Bioresponse DIM Supplement looks very good, sourced from the US. A supplemental dose of approximately 100mg DIM seems a sensible option.
Minor problems with kale
Cruciferous vegetables contain a small amount of sugar called raffinose. This sugar is not broken down in the stomach or small intestine, it actually makes its way down to you lower intestine where fart producing bacteria go to work. So you may have a fart problem!
Cruciferous vegetables such as kale contains small amounts of substances that can have a ‘goitrogenic’ effect. Goitrogens are substances that disrupt the production of thyroid hormones by interfering with iodine uptake in the thyroid gland. The team at Anabolicmen.com recently did a video warning about the goitrogenic effects of the "low quality kale". Kale contains thiocyanate and it is known that livestock grazing on large amounts of raw kale can suffer serious health issues (goiter). Our research would seem suggest that these substances become inactive with cooking, but they are still active in raw kale. The best advice is to thoroughly cook kale. One, probably very smelly, study in humans found that the consumption of 15 cooked Brussels sprouts daily for four weeks had no adverse effects on thyroid function. Research also shows that goiters are not caused by iodine deficiency or by eating goitrogens, they are caused by the inflammation from chronic autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto’s). In order to get rid of a goiter, a person needs to address the autoimmune thyroid disease, not remove goitrogens from their diet.
So it's best eat raw kale in shakes or salads to be on the safe side!
Thyroid health is boosted by iodine.
Source: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, anabolicmen.com