Can Kale Help Reduce Stress?
With so many nutritional goodies kale is hands-down one of the most nutrient dense vegetables we currently have!
It contains a good variety of nutrients including 47mg of magnesium per 100g of kale, which makes it a great source of magnesium.
Magnesium is one of the Macro-Minerals that we must have to support our health, and there’s one key thing that makes us use it up:
Having organic Kale in your diet can help support your body’s ability to deal with stress, as well as generally support your nutrient intake. See the Chinese medicine uses further down this post too, on using kale as medicine.
The Key nutrients of kale:
Vitamin B Complex: Overall this Vitamin group is necessary for energy production and the synthesis and repair of DNA and RNA. This is vital for your overall health but also for cell function, which includes egg and sperm cells and their genetic health and quality.
Vitamin A: Is necessary for the growth and repair of many body cells including bones, teeth, collagen, and cartilage. It’s also involved in cell differentiation where cells become specific types of cells such as a liver cell or a blood cell. This is vital for the development of your healthy baby. Supplementation does not offer balanced forms of Vitamin A.
Vitamin K: Vitamin K is an essential nutrient necessary for responding to injuries as it regulates normal blood clotting. Vitamin K can be particularly useful if you suffer from heavy and/or painful periods as it can help slow down the blood flow and reduce cramping.
Vitamin C: For fertility health, Vitamin C is important in the process of absorption and also in its ability to support the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.
Potassium: Is an electrolyte which counteracts the effects of sodium, helping to maintain consistent blood pressure levels – another important element for pregnancy.
Manganese: is a naturally occurring mineral which aids in the formation of connective tissue, bones, blood-clotting factors, and sex hormones.
Iron: Is a mineral that the body uses to carry oxygen in the blood and plays a key role in strengthening the immune system and helps regulate body temperature.
Phosphorus: Is an element that plays an important role in how the body uses carbohydrates and fats. It is also needed for the body to make protein for the growth, maintenance, and repair of cells and tissues. It is essential in our diet and particularly in children when growth and development occurs.
Calcium: Calcium is needed to build and maintain strong bones, support heart health, and for optimal function of the muscles and nerves. It is also required alongside Vitamin D to aid in its use throughout the body.
CHINESE FERTILITY MEDICINE USES IT TO:
- Treats Blood deficiency
- Help reduce Qi deficiency
- Reduces Bleeding
Treats Blood deficiency:
Blood deficiency is the term used to describe a poorer quality of blood.
If the presentation is more serious you will see physiological changes in the blood, such as reduced iron, hemoglobin, ferritin, and other nutrients. You may also see changes in the volume and quantity of the blood cells and it’s clotting ability or nature.
However, in many cases of blood deficiency, there may be no physiological changes and so we look for specific symptoms in your general health.
Typical symptoms of blood deficiency in men and women are:
Poor circulation (hands, feet, head, and reproductive system), dizziness, low blood pressure, dry skin and hair when not moisturised, ‘the four pales’ (pale: lips, nails, inner lower eyelid, and tongue), brittle and/or ridged nails, constipation, feeling cold, feeling tired, diagnosed circulatory issues that create damaged blood vessels (varicose) or masses in the lower half of the body.
Diagnosed issues such as: varicocele or poor sperm quality in men, ovulatory issues, poor egg quality, thin endometrium, fibroids, cysts, endometriosis, blocked fallopian tubes, adenomyosis, polyps, clotting issues, and bleeding disorders frequently have a component of blood deficiency at their root too.
Blood deficiency typically arises from either:
- a lack of production of blood cells in the bone marrow – due to reduced levels of Qi. This can be due to loss of energy through lifestyle, wrong diet, or inherited genetic issues.
- a severe or extended blood loss from menstruation, miscarriage, birth, or physical trauma that causes bleeding.
Kale supports blood cell production to overcome blood deficiency when eaten regularly.
Helps reduce Qi deficiency:
Qi (pronounced chee) is the Chinese word used to describe energy or vitality.
It’s the non-physical aspect of your body that makes all of your organs and systems work, to fulfill their role in keeping you alive and healthy. This means that it’s also vital for the function of all aspects of your fertility, and pregnancy health too.
Energy is needed for every process in your body including cell creation and division, activity, and function – think of egg and sperm cells here too. If there isn’t enough energy available then your cells, tissues, organs, and systems of your body start to function at a lower and slower level, making them less efficient at supporting the processes they should support.
Your body becomes slower and less efficient and the ability of the eggs and sperm to function properly is also affected, making them weaker and underactive. When Qi becomes more severely deficient you will likely present with hormone imbalance, typically with reduced Progesterone, Testosterone and/or FSH levels. In some cases, the FSH can rise and present itself as being elevated, due to the ovaries or testes being underactive and sluggish (tired).
Pregnancy becomes harder with lower levels of energy, and once pregnant your body will need high levels of energy to support the first 10-weeks of elevated Progesterone and growth of your baby.
Some key symptoms of Qi deficiency are: Tiredness, lethargy or fatigue, lack of motivation, poor circulation, dizziness when getting up, poor appetite, bloating, looser bowel movements, sore lower back, low levels of hormones such as Progesterone and Testosterone and FSH, short luteal phase, miscarriage (cases that are not related to genetic issues), erratic and dropping BBT chart temperatures, weight gain, slow metabolism, low blood pressure, under-active thyroid and/or adrenals.
Each person is conceived and created with a certain amount of Qi.
This amount is determined by the amount of Qi your parents had at the time of your conception. This corresponds to the scientific understanding that egg and sperm quality determines the health of the embryo, the strength of the pregnancy, and the health of the baby.
Once you were conceived you used your mums Qi to further support your own Qi until you were born and able to breathe, eat and drink. From that time on you were able to support your own Qi by taking it from the outside world through food, air and fluids. This will continue for the rest of your life, but the way you eat, sleep, live, breathe, think, act physically (exercise, rest etc) and many other factors – will determine how strong your Qi remains.
Qi deficiency is at the cause of many people’s fertility health issues and so this is an important aspect to strengthen. The good news is that it’s possible to strengthen it through the correct balance of the 5 Fertility Foundations.
Kale can help to support the healthy production of Qi.
Due to its high vitamin K content, kale can help to slow down mildly heavy blood loss.
This is helpful when there is thin, and pale coloured blood that is not clotted or dark in colour. This approach would typically be applied to people that have been diagnosed with Blood deficiency, as above, when there are no signs of clotting or stagnation.
Season available: Mid- winter to early spring
How it’s typically cooked: The best way to eat kale is steamed, sauteed or boiled. It’s a deliciously healthy addition to a nice soup! Kale can be used in soups, stews or even lightly roasted into kale chips.
Cautions: be careful if you are on blood thinning medication such as warfarin, heparin or clexane. Check with your Dr before consuming alongside blood thinning medications. Kale is also warming in nature so best avoided for people that suffer with ‘Heat’ conditions as diagnosed in Chinese medicine.
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