A guide on how to eat properly and live a healthy life while controlling, reducing, and eliminating the symptoms of MS.

Multiple Sclerosis Support

MS Articles, Support, Recipes, and Inspiration for those living with Multiple Sclerosis

4 Health Benefits of Kale for MS Patients

By Daryl H. Bryant (752 words)
Posted in Living with MS on January 27, 2015

There are (5) comments permalink

4 Health Benefits of Kale for MS Patients

Kale is the super green of the season. Just one cup of its leafy goodness will give you a full serving of protein, as well as a healthy jolt of Vitamins A, C, and K. For those with multiple sclerosis, kale can help reduce inflammation and decrease the likelihood of symptom outbreaks. Kale comes from the cabbage family and is available all year round in most grocery stores, making it an easy dietary addition to any meal. Incorporate kale into at least one meal a day to take advantage of the following health benefits.

1. Kale is anti-inflammatory

Kale is rich in anti-inflammatory nutrients and anti-oxidants, making it ideal for an MS-friendly diet. One cup of kale also gives you a full day’s serving of Vitamin K1, a vitamin that plays a key role in reducing inflammation by inhibiting the white blood cells that are attacking the nervous system of MS patients.

With MS, inflammation is a common occurrence, causing symptoms to flare up and fluctuate at random. By eating kale on a regular basis, you can counteract the inflammation caused by other foods in your diet – like sugars. This is because the Vitamin K from the kale will stay in your body longer than the sugars and fats, working at breaking them down and reducing inflammation.

2. Kale increases brain power

Not only do the anti-inflammatory properties of kale help keep your brain in check but it is also rich in omega-3s, which keep your brain running smoothly. Because the brain is 60% fat, the omega-3 fatty acids work as one of the brain’s high-power assistants. A serving of kale can help increase the performance of your brain, as omega-3s are essential for brain growth. If your MS causes you to have lapses in memory or cognitive functioning, eating a cup of kale at lunch or dinner can reduce these symptoms and improve the cognitive functioning of your brain. 

3. Kale helps with digestion

Kale is rich in fiber, which lines your digestive tract and helps you maintain healthy digestion and bowel movements. MS can often cause disruptions in digestion, making it uncomfortable even to eat. By keeping kale as a regular part of your diet, you can reduce these symptoms and get back to eating a comfortable, regularly scheduled diet. 

If you are experiencing symptoms that affect your digestion, steaming kale with some of your other favorite veggies is the best way to take advantage of the fiber properties. The steaming process helps the fiber to bind together with the bile acids in your intestines, which will keep everything running smoothly as it moves through your body.

4. Kale helps you detox

Kale is popular among those who are doing natural cleansing programs, as it is extremely concentrated with glucosinolates, an anti-carcinogen that can be broken down into isothiocyanates (or ICTs) once it’s digested. Even if you don’t know what ICTs are, you’ve tasted them before in the spiciness of mustard, horseradish, and wasabi. They are essential in cleaning out the body.

While cleansing regimens are not necessarily recommended for patients with MS, the ICTs created by the glucosinolates in the kale are still beneficial. Reducing carcinogenic substances in your body will reduce the stress on your immune system, keeping it calm and less likely to flare up with symptoms. ICTs also help regulate your colon, prostate, and bladder performance, and reduce symptoms that lead to incontinence and other bowel discomforts.                                                                                    

How are you going to include kale in your diet?

Now that you know the health benefits of kale, it’s up to you to find delicious kale recipes that fit your lifestyle and your taste buds. Because kale is available all year round in grocery stores, you won’t be limited by seasonal veggies when it comes to creating a meal. Mixing kale with other greens can make for a delectable lunchtime salad, and in the summertime, adding kale to a fruit smoothie can help boost your immune system without affecting the taste.

If kale is too bitter for you, steam with a little lemon juice to soften the taste and make it sweeter. Kale is one of the most flexible vegetables in the food pyramid, giving you the opportunity to try as many new recipes as you can while reaping the health benefits of an MS friendly diet.

Comments (5)

Sharon B posted on: January 29, 2015

Kale is a really a superfood for everyone. It is easy to prepare and can be used in many ways. I like the raw "massaged" preparation with evoo, kosher salt and fresh lemon juice. Chop it fine after removing the ribs and add 1-2 tbsp evoo and 1/2 tsp salk to 1/2 to full bunch and then massage for about 3 minutes. This breaks down the fibers and tenderizes it. Next add juice of 1/2 lemon and mix well. I add some fresh grated parmesan and also either sun dried tomatoes or dried cranberries. Keeps well for several days.

Lee Heiden-Schock posted on: January 29, 2015

I was juicing a lot and feeling very well. Learning to juice and really finding out what my body needed - I started getting large bruises all over.I hadn't bumped or het anything, besides the major falls I take. I remember those. Turns out I have something called Von Willebrands Disease or Factor. Had To Go To A Hematologist Oncologist. I just have to be careful during any surgeries, oral or injuries. The clotting factor is slow. So by Loving Eating Kale ( know what and how much Vitamins & Calories your putting in your body). Kale is just Full of Vit K which for most people is a good thing. Just know how these things will help or any drawbacks. I can't take any NSAID either.. It actually explains a lot of thing in my past medical background...who knew?

Debra S Kness posted on: March 20, 2015

I have mild gastroparesis and fibrous foods caause debilitating nausea. Anyone else have this? And does juicing kale cause nausea for you?

Diane A Lombardi posted on: April 25, 2015

Good blog on kale. Would also suggest readers note that much of kale purchased in stores are pesticide laden Therefore probably best to grow your own, buy from a farmer you know who practices organically or biodynamically...
Diane A Lombardi, RDN, CND

Tim Tjernlund posted on: April 26, 2015

Kale is probably the easiest veggie I've ever grown. A 4'x4' bed will grow 16 plants and will keep you in leaves faster than you can use.

Leave a comment

Not a robot?