‘Super-food’ kale packed with nutrients, but don’t eat too much of it

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DENVER -- Kale is really growing in popularity, and it’s no surprise.

Kale is a powerful super-food that has more iron than beef and is packed with cancer-fighting antioxidants.

Experts say kale is a safe and healthy choice for families.  There are, however, some who have been asked by their physician to enjoy kale in moderation.

Aurora mother of two Reema Rihani told FOX31 that her doctor is restricting the amount of kale she eats due to her thyroid condition.

Reema said she was diagnosed with hypothyroidism after complaints of feeling tired and gaining weight.

“I figured I'm a mom -- a working mom -- so this is normal. I didn't think anything of it until I was pregnant," Reema said.

Her doctor said eating too much kale can aggravate the condition.  Those without hypothyroidism needn’t worry though.

"Eating raw cruciferous vegetables presents virtually no risk for anyone with a normal thyroid gland," said Dr. Joshua Klopper of the University Of Colorado Hospital.  "The contribution of kale to exacerbate hypothyroidism is likely minimal in our country where we do not have problems with iodine deficiency.  In general, people should be encouraged to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables given the epidemic of obesity and diabetes in our country"

For balance, experts said you can alternate kale with non-cruciferous vegetables (meaning veggies other than broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage).

Beets, cucumbers and tomatoes are a great choice.

For recipes that include alternative veggies, check out these beet recipes, these cucumber recipes. Below is a healthier recipe option that includes Kale, provided by The Kitchen restaurant in Denver.

Sauteed Lacinato Kale
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 lb lacinato kale
1 clove garlic (sliced)
1 tbs fresno chili (diced)
2 tbs olive oil
Pinch salt
2 sprigs thyme
lemon juice from half a lemon

Preparation procedure
In a large sautéed pan combine oil, garlic, fresno and thyme. Heat until garlic starts to lightly brown. Add kale & salt. Cook until the kale is soft and tender, squeeze the ½ lemon over the greens and continue to cook for a few more minutes. Serve warm with the pan juices.

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