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How much kale juice should I drink?

Kale juice has become an increasingly popular health drink in recent years. Packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, kale juice offers many potential benefits. But how much kale juice should you actually drink to reap these benefits without going overboard? This article will examine the pros and cons of kale juice and provide dosage recommendations based on your health goals.

The Benefits of Kale Juice

Here are some of the top evidence-based benefits associated with drinking kale juice:

  • High in antioxidants like quercetin, kaempferol and vitamin C, which help fight inflammation and oxidative stress.
  • Excellent source of vitamin K, providing over 1000% of the RDI per cup.
  • Good source of vision-protecting carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin.
  • Provides compounds that may help lower cholesterol, including fiber and bile acid-binding agents.
  • Contains heart-healthy omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
  • May help boost immunity and fight inflammation due to isothiocyanates like sulforaphane.
  • High in magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium and B vitamins.

Based on these nutrients, drinking kale juice has been associated with benefits like improved heart health, reduced inflammation, healthier cholesterol levels, stronger bones and enhanced immunity.

Downsides of Drinking Too Much

While kale juice has some impressive benefits, drinking too much may cause some potential downsides, including:

  • May irritate the gut lining and cause digestive issues due to high fiber content.
  • Contains vitamin K which can interfere with blood-thinning medications like warfarin.
  • Oxalate content may increase kidney stone risk in those prone to them.
  • Juicing removes fiber, making nutrients more rapidly absorbed. This can increase blood sugar spikes.
  • Removes hydrating water content, so drinking too much may cause dehydration.
  • May impact thyroid function if consumed in excess due to goitrogen content.
  • Excessive beta-carotene intake may cause carotenodermia, giving skin an orange hue.

To keep these potential downsides in mind, it’s best to stick to moderate amounts of kale juice per day.

Recommended Kale Juice Dosage

So how much kale juice is ideal? Here are some general guidelines based on your health goals:

For General Health

  • 1/2 to 1 cup per day.
  • No more than 16 ounces (2 cups) per day.

One cup of kale juice can provide over 500% of the daily recommended intake for vitamin K and over 100% for vitamin A and vitamin C. It also provides a healthy dose of magnesium, calcium, potassium and iron.

For most healthy adults, a 1/2 to 1 cup per day is enough to get a good amount of nutrients without overdoing it on oxalates, fiber or goitrogens.

If You’re on Blood Thinners

  • Limit to 1/2 cup per day at most.
  • Monitor your INR closely.
  • Consult your healthcare provider.

Kale is very high in vitamin K, which plays a key role in blood clotting. Consuming too much may interfere with the effects of blood-thinning medications like warfarin or Coumadin.

For High Cholesterol

  • Up to 2 cups per day.
  • Split into a few servings throughout the day.

Thanks to its fiber, phytosterols and antioxidants, kale juice may help lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol. Two cups per day split into a few servings provides the best benefits without spiking blood sugar too much.

If You Have Kidney Stones

  • Limit to 1 cup or less per day.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Consult your doctor.

People prone to calcium oxalate kidney stones may want to limit high-oxalate foods like kale. Have no more than 1 cup per day, drink plenty of fluids and talk to your healthcare provider.

During Pregnancy

  • Have no more than 1 cup per day.
  • Avoid raw juicing.
  • Cook kale first to avoid foodborne illness.

Pregnant women can still enjoy kale juice but shouldn’t overdo it. Limit to 1 cup or less per day, cook kale first and opt for pasteurized juice to minimize risk of toxoplasmosis.

For Children

  • Consult pediatrician first.
  • Limit to 1/2 cup or less per day.
  • Dilute with water or sweeter juice.

Kale juice hasn’t been well studied in children. It’s best to consult your pediatrician, limit to 1/2 cup or less per day and dilute with water or milder juice to improve palatability.

How Much Kale For Juicing?

For every 1 cup (67 grams) of raw kale, you’ll get about:

1 cup Raw Kale Kale Juice Yield
67 grams 1 ounce (30 ml)

So for a 16-ounce glass of kale juice, you’d need about 21⁄2 cups of chopped raw kale leaves. This equals around 170 grams or 6 ounces of kale.

Keep in mind that different juicers have varying yields. For example, a more efficient masticating juicer may get around 2 ounces of juice per 1 cup of kale leaves.

How to Make Kale Juice That Doesn’t Taste Bad

Pure kale juice can be quite bitter and unpleasant tasting for many people. Here are some tips to make fresh kale juice more palatable:

  • Mix with sweeter fruits and veggies like apples, carrots, beets, grapes or orange.
  • Add in herbs like mint, parsley or basil.
  • Mix with milder green juices like cucumber, celery or lettuce.
  • Add lemon, ginger or turmeric to help mask bitterness.
  • Start with half kale and work your way up to more intense flavor.
  • Select young leaves and stems for milder taste.
  • Drink immediately after juicing for best flavor and nutrient retention.

The Bottom Line

Kale juice can be a nutritious addition to a healthy diet if you don’t overdo it. For most people, 1/2 to 1 cup daily is enough to get beneficial nutrients without potential downsides.

Drink higher amounts like 2 cups per day only if you have specific health goals like lowering cholesterol and split it into smaller servings. And be sure to dilute and mix kale juice with other ingredients to boost palatability.

Additionally, certain groups like those on blood thinners or with kidney issues need to be cautious with kale juice and limit intake. Speak to your healthcare provider if you have any concerns.

At the end of the day, moderation is key to harnessing the nutrition of kale juice without unwanted effects.