So I am a total health freak (although my cheesy bread below wouldn't prove that), and the hygienist I work with, Gina, is identical to me. We are constantly coming into work saying, "Did you see the new research on these foods.... Can you believe microwaving that plastic is leaking BPA into my coffee..... (And the latest), What do you think about raw veggies?" She was a Nutrition major so she gives me lots of awesome tips on all sorts of topics and I just find her so knowledgeable.
One of my all time favorite foods on the planet is Kale. I am so happy it's a super food because I am literally obsessed with it. I will eat it any way, raw, steamed, or slightly pan fried. This organic gardener says eating a bit of Kale, all 365 days a year, is a huge health benefit and cancer fighter. I believe it! But what is the best way to eat it? Gina and I both went home and did some research because she "remembered learning something about raw kale and it being hard on the body to digest." But I have heard repeatedly that cooking collard greens will leak out most of the nutrients. So which is better?
Turns out, it just depends on the vegetable and how you cook it. But overall, the pros and cons of raw vs. cooked is still not clear cut. The majority of the literature I found on this said it's important to eat a mix of both. But it looks like Kale (and other collard greens, which are members of the cabbage family... broccoli, brussel sprouts, & cauliflower, for example) are healthiest when only lightly steamed. This makes it easier for the body to digest, but still keeps it's high level of Vitamin K in it's leafy leaves. :)
This blogger really sums up the research in her "Calling out Kale" entry, going as far to say that kale literally "helps put up a force field around your colon" and helps kill potential cancer cells before they have a chance to do damage on the body.
In summary, I am not sure I learned much from doing the small research I did, and I realize I'm not bringing a lot of new thinking to today's post. But I will continue to eat Kale both raw and steamed, every day of my life if possible! My entire bottom drawer in my fridge is packed with Kale, I buy it every single time I shop because clearly, you can't eat too much of it! It can be a little bitter for some people so I squeeze lemon juice over it whether it being raw or cooked. I usually add sunflower seeds as well with a little salt and pepper, sooo yummy! One of my girlfriends makes baked kale chips, but again I am not sure if that would be removing important nutrients? Hopefully this has sparked some "kale-eating" in your near future. ;-)