This page about kale for gout was last reviewed or updated on 22 August 2014.
Kale, the springy,curly, headless dark green vegetable, is a member of the same family as cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower (brassicas). Like parsley, it should be eaten, not merely used as a garnish. These brassicas are vegetables for gout sufferers, but will not control it alone.
Kale, often described as a super food, and you'll see why as you read on. It can do a good job of delivering a wide range of vitamins and minerals in useful amounts. There is thiamin (B1), folate (folic acid), magnesium, zinc, iron, plus Vitamins B6, A, (natural Vitamin A in a huge amount, about 10,000 IU), E, and K, in kale.
And in higher amounts than in another super food, broccoli. Some of these are antioxidants. When gout attacks raise degenerative “free radicals,” antioxidants are needed to quell them - that's one good reason to eat kale for gout.
Kale also contains the super flavonoid quercetin, which is also found in watercress and broccoli, in a very useful amount of 22.58 mg per 100 grams. (1) This is much more than in broccoli and about 70% of the amount in watercress.
Studies have shown quercetin lowered uric acid in mice. How? It may inhibit xanthine oxidase, the enzyme responsible for converting purines into uric acid. It might help in excreting uric acid too, and together with bromelain, act in an anti-inflammatory way.
Should kale be avoided if you have gout? As with the other veggies in this family, it is hard to see why kale should be bad for gout because it is low purine and alkaline. Low purine means it can’t produce much of the uric acid whose elevated level in the blood is the immediate cause of gout. Alkaline means it just might assist your excretion of uric acid. But you would probably also have to be on a diet which is choc-a-bloc with alkaline food.
The highest amount nutrients in kale are calcium, potassium and vitamin C. Potassium (in the citrate form) has a role in natural gout treatment and any sort of potassium is good for any gout diet. If you were trying to consume 500 mg of Vitamin C daily (or more) in an attempt to lower uric acid with it, you’d get more than 1/5th of that from 100 grams of kale.
Beef for vegetarians For a vegetable, raw kale has a lot of protein - 4.28 grams of protein per 100 grams. (2) And not only that, but it contains all the nine essential amino acids that form proteins, and even nine others.
Good for eyes too Lutein, the carotenoid found in the macula part of the eye's retina, is in kale, as is its "running mate" zeaxanthin. Both are good for the eyes. There is about 20 mg of lutein + zeaxanthin in 100 grams of kale (kale, frozen, cooked, boiled, drained with or without salt). (3). That is very close to the amount in one typical lutein + zeaxanthin dietary supplement pill.
And omega fats. Incredibly it even has some polyunsaturated fats - omega -3 and -6 fats - in a ratio that is nowadays considered healthy by many experts. That is, very unusually, there is about 30% more omega -3 than omega-6 in kale.
More calcium than whole milk. Seems incredible, but the numbers are: Kale 150 mg/100 grams; whole milk 113 mg/100 grams. (2) However, milk is a good drink for gout partly because of its casein, a milk protein that is not found in kale.
What else in kale? The other surprise, not related to gout but worth mentioning, is its sulforaphane, which is being seriously scientifically investigated for its anti cancer properties.
So this is why kale is rightly called a super food. Kale for gout sufferers is a good idea.
A gout diet checklist. KALE Raw. Nutrient data. All per 100 grams
Purines Kale is low purine, producing according to one calculation, 48 mg uric acid per 100 grams of broccoli.
Calories Low. 49 kcal per 100 grams. That’s useful on a low calorie diet.
Carbohydrates Fairly low. Kale has 8.75 grams of carbs per 100 grams. But the net carbs number (the real number) is 5.15 grams because there are 3.6 grams of fibre (fiber), and you deduct the fibre (fiber) from the carbs to get the effective carbs number. Compare that to a typical daily allowance low carbohydrate diet of 20-60 per day.
GI-GL Its Glycemic Index number hasn’t been calculated but estimates are a low number of around 2. This is good for low carbohydrate dieting, and for those folk such as diabetics (diabetes often accompanies gout), who don’t want a food to release glucose quickly.
Acid-Alkaline Kale, like parsley and broccoli, is very alkaline, mainly because of its high amount of potassium, an alkalizing mineral. That is good for gout.
KALE raw. Nutrient amounts per 100 grams.
Vitamin C 120 mg
Calcium 150 mg
Potassium 491 mg
Magnesium 47 mg
Zinc 0.56 mg
Phospherous 92 mg
Iron 1.47 mg
Thiamin 0.110 mg
Riboflavin 0.130 mg
Niacin 1.0 mg
B6 0.271 mg
Folate (folic acid) 141 mcg
Vitamin A 500 mcg
Vitamin E 1.5 mg (2.235 IU)
Vitamin K 704.8 mcg
NUTRIENT COMPARISON WITH PARSLEY, BROCCOLI, AND WATERCRESS (2)
All healthy nutrient big hitters.
As you can see (below) kale is in the same league for calcium, potassium and vitamin C, as parsley. And it’s ahead of those other super foods, broccoli and watercress
Amount in milligrams per 100 grams (2)
Kale raw Calcium 150 mg Potassium 491 mg Vitamin C 120 mg
Watercress raw Calcium 120 mg Potassium 330 mg Vitamin C 43 mg
Parsley fresh Calcium 138 mg Potassium 554 mg Vitamin C 133 mg
Broccoli raw Calcium 47 mg Potassium 316 mg Vitamin C 89 mg
Kale for gout - related links
Want to read more pages like this one about good foods for gout? Visit this page, where there are links to good gout foods pages.
Some folk have said cauliflower causes gout. Can it? Visit our cauliflower for gout page.
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(1) USDA Database for the Flavonoid Content of Selected Foods. Release 3.1 (revised May 2014)