Kale for gout. All hail to kale! A superfood that’s helpful in gout, but it's not a magician’s cure

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


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

Don’t like kale? Try watercress, which has a slightly better good-for-gout profile, with more quercetin. Or broccoli and cauliflower. Or purchase kale extract supplements.

Kale for gout  related pages

Spinach is up there with kale as a star nutrient. How good is it for gout ?

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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Kale for gout references

(1)  USDA Database for the Flavonoid Content of Selected Foods. Release 3.1 (revised May 2014)

(2)  USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. Release 26. October 2013.

(3) www.nutritiondata.self.com.



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