Kale or leaf cabbage is a cabbage variety grown for its edible leaves, and are closer to wild cabbage than the domestic cabbage. It is native to Europe but is now grown in different parts of the world.
Kale provides several health and beauty benefits because of essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, polyphenols, and dietary fibers.
Despite all these benefits, consume Kale in moderation to eliminate the risk of possible side effects of eating too much Kale.
Side Effects Of Eating Too Much Kale
(1) May Cause Dry Mouth And Dehydration
The diuretic properties of kale increase urination frequency to help with the detoxification.
During urination we not only lose toxins and impurities but also lose plenty of water, thereby increasing the risk of dehydration and dry mouth.
Rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat, sunken eyes, dry skin, and drowsiness, etc are some common symptoms of severe dehydration.
Our vital organs like the liver, kidneys, digestive system and brain, etc need water to help perform various biological functions associated with them.
Water is important for our health, and our body is made up of about 70 percent water. In some vital organs like the liver and kidneys, this percentage is as high as 83 percent and 79 percent respectively. Our bones also contain water.
To avoid excessive water loss through urination, eat diuretic foods such as kale in moderation.
(2) Too Much Dietary Fiber Is Bad For Stomach
When consumed in moderation, dietary fibers in kale improves digestive health and keeps our stomach healthy.
Their laxative properties improve bowel movement and aids in the efficient elimination of stool from the body.
This relieves constipation and other digestive problems like abdominal pain, irritable bowel syndrome, bloating, and flatulence.
Dietary fibers also aid in regulating cholesterol, regulating sugar, and promoting weight loss.
However, excessive dietary fibers should be avoided as they may cause malabsorption and digestive issues like indigestion, intestinal gas, and intestinal bloating.
Excessive intake of dietary fibers without drinking plenty of water may cause dehydration, and also increase the risk of constipation.
(3) May Develop Allergic Reactions In Some Individuals
Vital nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and dietary fibers in kale provide several health and beauty benefits.
However, if you are allergic to cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and asparagus, etc, then you are likely to be allergic to kale and should avoid this vegetable.
Swollen eyes, runny nose, itchy throat, itchiness in eyes, skin rashes, nausea, and dizziness are some common symptoms of kale allergy.
If you are experience any such symptom after eating kale then discontinue the consumption and consult a doctor.
(4) Not So Good For Pregnant And Nursing Women
Essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and dietary fibers in Kale are good for pregnant and lactating women.
Antioxidants and relevant compounds protect the mother and the fetus growing in her womb from free radical damage.
Folate or folic acid in kale improves brain development in babies and protects them from neural tube defects like spina bifida.
Other nutrients like zinc, iron, selenium, and magnesium, etc in kale also promote a healthy pregnancy.
Dietary fibers in kale promote digestive health.
However, excessive dietary fibers may cause stomach discomfort and digestive issues like abdominal pain, bloating, intestinal gas, etc in infants and mothers.
So, eat kale in moderation and after consulting with your doctor.
(5) Too Many Antioxidants Are Bad For Our Health
Kale is loaded with antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K, and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols that are good for us.
Antioxidants and other relevant compounds in kale protect our cells and tissues from the oxidative stress of the free radicals and minimizes the risk of various cancers.
It also provides other benefits such as helps with detoxification, improves cardiovascular health, strengthens immunity, and improves cognitive functions.
However, in large quantities antioxidants may do more harm than good.
As per a study published by the Journal of the Cancer Institute, smokers who took large doses of beta carotene supplements were at higher risk of developing lung cancer in comparison to others who didn’t.
Another study conducted by the office of dietary supplements states that in large doses vitamin E may increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke.
In large quantities, antioxidants not only target the cancer cells but also the healthy cells around them.
This causes oxidative damage to healthy cells and tissues and increases the risk of various cancers.
(6) May Increase The Risk Of Hypoglycemia
Kale is good for people with diabetes because of its low glycemic index and dietary fibers.
With a glycemic index of 15, kale releases sugar into the bloodstream at a slow pace, prevents sudden spikes in blood sugar levels, and aids in managing diabetes.
Dietary fibers in kale slow down the absorption of sugar by the bloodstream and regulate blood sugar levels.
Excessive intake of kale may drop blood sugar levels to an abnormally low level and increase the risk of hypoglycemia.
If you are on diabetic medication, consult your doctor before adding kale to your diet to avoid food-drug interference.
To stay safe, eat kale in moderation.
(7) May Cause Hypotension
The vasodilating properties of potassium, a vital mineral in kale relaxes our blood vessels, improves blood circulation, and relieves hypertension or high blood pressure.
By managing blood pressure it reduces the risk of cardiovascular problems like heart attack, heart stroke, and irregular heartbeat, etc.
However, in large quantities potassium may drop blood pressure to an abnormally low level giving rise to hypotension or low blood pressure.
Fatigue, lightheadedness, dizziness, clammy skin, depression, and blurry vision, etc are some common symptoms of hypotension.
Eat kale in moderation to avoid the risk.
Also, eating kale while being on blood pressure medication should be done only after consulting with a doctor to avoid possible food-drug interference.
The information contained in the post is for general purposes only and shouldn’t be considered as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my best to keep the information contained in this post as accurate and updated as possible, I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.
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Bharat Sharma is a Delhi-based writer who loves reading and writing research-based topics revolving around health, fitness, and nutrition. His love for writing started during his teenage and continues till date. After his graduation, he worked for GE Money, and IBM, but later found his true love i.e. blogging.