Kale is the picture of health in a vegetable. The healthiest social media accounts are brimming with beautiful images and recipes for kale smoothies, kale chips and kale omelettes and it’s supposed to be a ‘superfood’ so you’d be forgiven if you thought that kale is a compulsory part of being super healthy. So why don’t I eat it??
The answer to that question is simple. Because I don’t really like it!!! I’d rather eat spinach. Social media can be a source of inspiration for healthy eating, but it can also make us feel like we’re not quite doing healthy right. And when it comes to vegetables, on social media kale seems to be the top dog. But you don’t HAVE to eat kale to be healthy. Sure it’s nutritious, but so are many other vegetables. It’s not super special – despite what you may have been led to believe.
When I say I don’t really like it, I have eaten it, and I have bought it. I added some to a salad at work when someone bought lots in to the office. I would eat it again if it was served up to me, but it’s certainly not my favourite vegetable in the world. It’s kinda tough and the flavour is, well, just not that appetising to me. I’ve grown kale before I knew it wasn’t really my thing. It’s easy to grow, and the bugs don’t like it. Maybe that’s saying something, when even the bugs don’t eat it…
Apparently if you massage kale it with olive oil, it softens and is delicious in a salad. But really, I don’t have time to be giving my kale a massage.
Yes kale is rich in many vitamins and minerals. But so are other vegetables! In fact, compared to kale, spinach is higher in iron, potassium and folate. Eating any vegetable is beneficial. They all contain vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals (plant based compounds that are good for our health, such as antioxidants). What we want to aim for is eating a range of vegetables in different colours so we get a variety of nutrients and antioxidants.
It’s easy to get the feeling that if you don’t do yoga handstands and eat bunches of kale you’re just not quite making it when it comes to being healthy. But while kale may be trendy, trendy doesn’t need to be part of a healthy diet.
So in a nutshell, if you like kale, by all means by all means, buy it, eat it (or drink it!). But if it’s not your thing, don’t worry! Don’t force it down! Eat a different vegetable. Kale isn’t the be all and end all in health. Let’s not get bogged down in the details and just eat vegetables.