Kales, popularly known as sukuma wiki is a popular vegetable in Kenya with many people consuming it every day.
There are two main reasons why sukuma wiki is the most consumed vegetable in Kenya.
Secondly, sukuma wiki is the most affordable vegetable in Kenya. It is sold in grocery stores for as little as Ksh5 making it a staple dish in the country.
However, what most Kenyans do not know is there are dangers associated with consuming sukuma wiki every day;
Most of the sukuma wiki vegetables have harmful chemicals according to research published by Kenya Organic Agriculture Network (KOAN, 2021).
“Out of 10 sukuma wiki samples tested in Kenya, nine (90 per cent) were contaminated with toxic pesticides,” the study revealed.
According to the study, the chemicals are due to; pesticide use and misuse, lack of proper sanitation in the market, and contamination during cooking.
According to Medical News Today (2022), sukuma wiki can cause bloating in people who have difficulty digesting FODMAPs.
FODMAPs refer to short-chain carbs are resistant to digestion. Instead of being absorbed into your bloodstream, they reach the far end of your intestine, where most of your gut bacteria reside.
You may also experience gastrointestinal distress from excessive consumption of sukuma wiki.
Kidney stones and other related health issues
According to Organic Authority (2022), consumption of Sukuma wiki can cause kidney stones.
“Sukuma wiki contains oxalates, unfortunately, oxalates in too much quantity can deposit in the kidney, leading to stones formation.”
“Therefore, it is best to eat this veggie in moderation,” the medical journal warns.
“Sukuma wiki is abundant in potassium. Although it’s crucial for the body’s growth & repair, sadly, too much potassium can damage the kidneys.”
“Potassium toxicity may damage the kidneys in the long run,” Organic Authority warns further.
Nutritional value of sukuma wiki
Aside from the health dangers associated with kales, the greens have a wide range of health benefits. They are a source of Vitamin A, which boosts night vision.
Sukuma wiki also has fibre, which helps in digestion and lowers cholesterol levels in human body. It also contains iron and calcium, which are vital in blood and bone formation respectively.