Kale & the Immune System

Kale & the Immune System
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Comparing the immune system-boosting effect of cooked versus raw kale.

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There were some extraordinary reports last year on cruciferous vegetables. For example, the immunostimulatory effects of kale. So simple an experiment I don’t know why it hasn’t been done before. Roll up your sleeve, take some white blood cells, drip a little kale on, and see if it boosts their ability to produce antibodies. Here’s the control—no kale, which is basically the Standard American Diet. Though if you check with the USDA, we do consume, as a country, annually per capita, 0.28793567 and change pounds. That’s a cup of kale per person per year. So the average American is responsible for eating about a half teaspoon of kale a week, and kale consumption is in decline.

So anyways, here’s the control. Then you start adding a billionth of a gram of kale protein per liter—just slightly less than U.S. consumption, and look at that spike, quadrupling antibody production with kale. “These data provide valuable information to confirm yet another beneficial function of kale.”

Now that’s for raw kale. What if you cooked it? And not just cooked it, but cooked it to death—boiled it, for half an hour? What do you think happened? Did boiling abolish its immunostimulatory effect? Here’s the control again. The filled circles will be the cooked; the unfilled, the raw, and the cooked appeared to work even better.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Martin King via flickr, and Clindberg via Wikimedia Commons.

There were some extraordinary reports last year on cruciferous vegetables. For example, the immunostimulatory effects of kale. So simple an experiment I don’t know why it hasn’t been done before. Roll up your sleeve, take some white blood cells, drip a little kale on, and see if it boosts their ability to produce antibodies. Here’s the control—no kale, which is basically the Standard American Diet. Though if you check with the USDA, we do consume, as a country, annually per capita, 0.28793567 and change pounds. That’s a cup of kale per person per year. So the average American is responsible for eating about a half teaspoon of kale a week, and kale consumption is in decline.

So anyways, here’s the control. Then you start adding a billionth of a gram of kale protein per liter—just slightly less than U.S. consumption, and look at that spike, quadrupling antibody production with kale. “These data provide valuable information to confirm yet another beneficial function of kale.”

Now that’s for raw kale. What if you cooked it? And not just cooked it, but cooked it to death—boiled it, for half an hour? What do you think happened? Did boiling abolish its immunostimulatory effect? Here’s the control again. The filled circles will be the cooked; the unfilled, the raw, and the cooked appeared to work even better.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Martin King via flickr, and Clindberg via Wikimedia Commons.

Nota del Doctor

The bioavailability of some phytonutrients is increased by cooking. See my video, Best Cooking Method, to find out which vegetables are better cooked, and which are the best to eat raw. And check out my other videos on greens.

Also, note that the study I’m talking about here is published in an open access journal, so you can click on it in the Sources Cited section, above, and read it full-text for free.

For more context, check out my associated blog posts: Breast Cancer Stem Cells vs. BroccoliEating Green to Prevent CancerThe Anti-Wrinkle DietMushrooms and Immunity; and Probiotics During Cold Season?.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

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