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The Truth About Yellow Kale: Is It Bad for You?

Kale belongs to the family of cruciferous vegetables and is highly nutritious. You can eat it raw to avail its maximum health benefits. There are other ways to eat kale such as smoothies, salads, and air-fried or sauteed.

Fresh kale is very well known for its health benefits, but is yellow kale bad?

Fruits and veggies are good for you as they are highly nutritious. However, when they start to change color, they might not be safe to eat in some cases. Similarly, when kale has turned yellow, it can be safe or unsafe to eat depending upon the reasons for its yellowing. 

The article will explain why kale turns yellow and which form of yellow kale is safe to eat. Also, you will get to know the major health benefits of eating kale. Keep reading to know the interesting facts.

You can eat the kale that has turned yellow because of chlorophyll depletion. It has the same amount of nutrients as green kale.

Table of Content

Kale Nutrition Facts

Before getting to know the interesting facts about kale, it is important to consider its nutritional value. But, is yellow kale still nutritious? Remember, the nutritional value remains the same whether the kale is green or yellow. A 100-gram kale contains 28 calories. Here are its nutritional facts.

Nutrients% Daily values
Total fat 0.4g1%
Saturated fat 0.1g1%
Trans fat 0g
Polyunsaturated fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 23 mg1%
Potassium 228 mg7%
Total carbs 5.6 g2%
Dietary fiber 2g8%
Sugars 1.3g
Protein 1.9g 
Vitamin A272%
Vitamin C68%
Calcium 5.5%
Vitamin D0.6%
Table: Nutrition Facts of Kale

Is Yellow Kale Bad?

There might be a lot of reasons behind the yellowing of kale. So, depending upon the type of yellowing, you can decide whether to eat it or not. Most of the time, the kale turns yellow just because of the depletion of chlorophyll. The green color of kale is due to a pigment called chlorophyll. Due to the aging of kale, the pigment fades away and the kale turns yellow.


So, is it safe to eat kale that has turned yellow? Yes, you can eat the kale that has turned yellow because of chlorophyll depletion. It has the same amount of nutrients as green kale. Sometimes, it can be slightly bitter. That’s the reason it is good to eat the yellowed kale after cooking it properly.

Sometimes, kale turns yellow because of some infection or disease. It may be due to some worms that eat the fresh kale and its color turns yellow. In that case, it is not safe to eat kale. You can examine kale whether it is moth-eaten or not. Do not eat that kale as it can cause infectious diseases. 

Kale also turns yellow when you keep it in the refrigerator for a longer period. So, kale turned yellow in the fridge and is safe to eat as it is because of chlorophyll depletion. It has no harm if you eat it after cooking.

Eating a lot of yellow kale can interfere with iodine synthesis and the thyroid functioning of the human body.

Health Benefits and Side Effects of Eating Kale

Kale is a superfood with a lot of health benefits. It is healthy because of so many reasons. Most importantly, it is low in calories and full of fiber. 

Kale contains a lot of vitamins and minerals, especially micronutrients. These micronutrients play a vital role in maintaining the proper functioning of the body.  

Fresh raw kale is more beneficial than cooked one. Following are the health benefits of including kale in your diet. Also, we have explained a few side effects of eating yellowed kale or eating it in a large quantity.


Kale Health Benefits

Kale is a watery vegetable with an excellent nutrition profile. Following are the major health benefits of eating fresh kale.

  • Kale contains powerful antioxidants such as beta carotene and vitamin c, that can prevent damage caused by free radicals.
  • Kale contains nutrients such as lutein, xanthine, and carotenoids that play an important role in improving vision.
  • Kale is an excellent source of vitamin k, a fat-soluble vitamin that helps in blood clotting.
  • Kale is a source of a lot of minerals that can boost your immunity and enhance your ability to fight diseases.
  • Kale contains a lot of vitamin c that helps in collagen synthesis which is important for maintaining the health of bones, cartilages, skin, hair, and nails.
  • Kale is a natural detoxifier that helps to remove toxins from your body to keep your body functioning properly.
  • Kale contains a lot of iron which is important to prevent iron deficiency anemia, especially in Pregnant women.
  • Kale has some anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases such as arthritis.
  • Vitamins and minerals present in kale prevent the risk of cardiovascular diseases and reduce the chances of stroke and hypertension.

Not only the fresh kale, but yellow kale also has similar health benefits, if it has turned yellow due to chlorophyll depletion. But fresh kale is more beneficial as it has the least side effects.

Side Effects of Eating Yellow Kale

No doubt, fresh kale is amazingly nutritious and is packed with a lot of vitamins and minerals. However, yellowed kale can have the following side effects.

  • Kale that has turned yellow due to an infection can cause many infectious diseases in the human body.
  • Eating too much kale can cause gas and bloat.
  • Eating a lot of yellow kale can interfere with iodine synthesis and the thyroid functioning of the human body.
  • Kale can cause allergic reactions in certain individuals.

Even green kale can cause these side effects when you eat it in a large quantity. Therefore, it is important to eat kale in moderation.


Question: What happens when you eat bad kale?

Kale that has been infected or rotten can cause a lot of stomach problems. The harmful microbes can enter your gut that may cause diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems. Also, bad kale can cause allergic reactions such as skin redness and rashes, etc.

Question: Can you use kale when it turns yellow?

Yes, you can use the kale that has turned yellow. But the thing is, yellow kale is not as tasty as green kale. It is slightly bitter. So, it is not good to make a salad out of it or eat it raw. You can cook it with other vegetables to enhance its taste and to get the nutrition out of it.

Question: How to know if kale is bad?

Rotten kale smells bad so you may know that it is not good to eat. Moreover, due to aging, the kale turns yellow, and sometimes it is moth-eaten. If the kale turns yellow in the fridge, it’s okay to eat it. But if you bought it a long ago, it might be yellow because it is rotten or bad. So, it is wise to avoid eating old kale.

Bottom Line

Is yellow kale bad?  Yes, it can be bad if it is because of some infectious plant disease. Some individuals show an allergic reaction to yellow kale. So, the kale that has turned yellow in the fridge or due to aging should be examined properly.

 If it is not moth-eaten, it is safe to eat after cooking properly. If you eat kale the right way, it can be a good source to detoxify your body. It is anti-cancer and anti-estrogenic. However, eating too much kale can cause constipation and bloat.

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