Kale is so nutrient dense and versatile, but it can also cause a lot of bloating. Because it's a cruciferous vegetable, eating it raw can take a toll on your digestion and lead to a gassy, distended belly. And while bloating can be innocuous at times, it also can cause pain and leave you not feeling your best.
But fear not — if you love your kale salads, there IS a way to eat kale without doing a number on your digestive tract. Clinical nutritionist and detox specialist Autumn Bates, CCN, shared this debloating hack with POPSUGAR: "Marinate your kale in lemon juice overnight," said Bates.
She emphasized that it's superimportant to incorporate kale and other cruciferous vegetables into your diet — "These veggies are extremely nutritious and have tons of benefits; kale can reduce your risk of cancer and assist your liver with detoxing," she said. But if you experience bloating and discomfort, you can mitigate that with a little marination. "Marinating your salad overnight — or at least for a few hours! — in a lemon-based dressing or lemon juice helps to break down the fiber and stimulate digestion in your GI [gastrointestinal] tract when you eat it, ultimately reducing any gas and bloating that usually accompanies kale."
Another tip? "Try first finely chopping your kale; this helps with the digestion process by decreasing the amount of chewing you need to do," she said. "Toss your chopped kale with a mixture of one juiced lemon and two teaspoons of olive oil with a pinch of Celtic sea salt. You can let this sit overnight, because kale is such a sturdy leafy green. Pro tip: toss your other salad ingredients in the next day when you go to eat your salad, so that you maintain crunch with the other veggies." Yummm.