Why I Stopped Eating Raw Kale

Why I Stopped Eating Raw Kale

I recently stopped eating raw kale, but not because of its consistent place on EWG’s Dirty Dozen list.

In fact, I love growing my own kale and preparing it for my family, but here’s the key: I always make sure to serve cooked kale.

Why I Stopped Eating Raw Kale

I learned from Carrie Vitt, Chris Kresser, and others, that kale and other cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, collards, etc., are known as goitrogens.

Why I Stopped Eating Raw Kale | Roots & Boots
  • Save

I’m neither a scientist nor a medical professional, but my basic understanding is that goitrogens prevent iodine uptake, which can have a negative effect on thyroid health, especially for folks with hypothyroidism.

This concerns me, since I have hypothyroidism, and it’s the reason why I’ve stopped eating raw kale or collard greens.

Other goitrogenic veggies:

  • Bok Choy
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cassava
  • Cauliflower
  • Collard Greens
  • Kohlrabi
  • Mustard Greens
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Turnips

Why I Stopped Eating Raw Kale | Roots & Boots
  • Save

Everything in Moderation

Granted, current studies seem to indicate that you’d have to consume quite a bit of raw cruciferous vegetables in order to see a significant effect, and some people may be unaffected.  Additionally, these veggies also provide many important nutrients.

Wellness Mama Katie Wells (also diagnosed with hypothyroidism & Hashimotos) did her research and decided not to worry too much about goitrogens.  She feels the benefits of eating a variety of vegetables outweigh the potential risks allegedly posed by certain veggies like raw kale.

I’ve taken a similar stance, including consuming about 75% of my veggies cooked and about 25% raw.  In the end, it’s probably better to eat veggies than to not eat them, but I do try to cook most of my kale and other goitrogens.

Two Simple Kale Prep Methods

When it comes to the kale, collards, chard, and other leafy green veggies coming from our garden, I generally opt for one of two procedures:

  1. Sauté greens in animal fat like butter or bacon grease, usually with onion and sometimes garlic, and always with salt.  Cooking in animal fats improves the assimilation of nutrients.
  2. Cook lightly in boiling water, drain, chop, and then freeze for future use in smoothies, soups, and scrambled eggs.

Do you eat kale?  Do you prefer it raw or cooked?


Why I Stopped Eating Raw Kale
  • Save
3 ebook covers (1)

Sign up NOW for my best tips delivered weekly to your inbox!

You’ll also get instant access to my library of free ebooks and resources.

You might also like...

Kathleen Henderson

Let's get real! I’m Kathleen Henderson, your Natural Living Mentor. I’m on a mission to help families see the joy in real food, while finding natural remedies and creating a nontoxic home. Learn more about my story >>


  1. MJ on 07/23/2019 at 10:15 pm

    i like cooked kale a tad better than the raw version, but i like both actually.

    • Kathleen on 07/29/2019 at 5:53 pm

      Me too!

  2. Danielle M Harper on 08/15/2019 at 5:41 am

    I’ve not had much kale, but I love collard and turnip greens. I love them raw and cooked. This is most interesting since I too have in the last year been told I have hypothyroidism. I have to agree that eating leafy greens is much more important and very very much outweighs the effect on the thyroid. But I’m curious as to how its negative effects compare to the crappy western diets so many eat which is definitely more of the culprit to my own thyroid issues.

    • Kathleen on 08/19/2019 at 6:19 pm

      Good point! SAD (standard American diet) is probably worse, but it’s good to be aware of how certain foods affect our thyroid.

Leave a Reply