One of the healthiest and nutritionally dense foods of the world and tagged as the “Queen of the Greens”, kale is now a magnet of attention among health enthusiasts. This is due to the amazing benefits it carries, along with loads of ways it can be prepared and served. A breakdown of nutritional values of kale can get you a long list of health and medical advantages. But what is kale good for?
A native of Asia Minor, kale is basically a variety of wild cabbage, which is curly and dark green in appearance. This has been a typical ingredient in Roman dinners and it has made its way across Europe and now it has reached almost every part of the world.
The search for superfood that can get you both health and wellness without a high cost ends with kale. This green long leafy plant you’re seeing in the shops can give you numerous benefits.
What Is Kale Good For? Health Benefits of Kale
How is kale good for you? Kale is one of the most dense foods and contains potassium, fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and omega-3 fatty acids which are all essential for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Kale just like broccoli, contains a compound called glucoraphanin, that activates a special protein called Nrf2. This protein is very important as it prevents plaque in arteries from adhering and protects cells from damage.
The chlorophyll content of most plants, especially kale, has been studied and observed to be effective in blocking carcinogenic chemicals that are produced in grilled foods and meals cooked at a high temperature. This is why it is advisable to pair charred meats with kale to “neutralize” the molecules produced in food through grilling.
In addition, kale is a good source of compound called indole-3-carbinol, a substance that is believed to help prevent cancer and sulforaphane, a substance that has been shown in many scientific studies to stop the initiation of cancer.
Protects the Eyes
Kale contains lutein and zeaxanthin, two very important antioxidants for eye health. Several studies have demonstrated that people who consume high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin have a significantly lower risk of macular degeneration and cataracts, common eye disorders affecting older people.
Did you know that a cup of cooked kale (130 grams) provides about 1000 micrograms of vitamin K which is over 1100 % of our daily needs? As many bone fractures are caused by insufficient vitamin K consumption, kale is a very important vegetable for anyone who wants to avoid osteoporosis. Vitamin K increases the absorption of calcium, decreases the loss of calcium through urinary excretion and even has positive effect on bone formation.
Due to the high fiber and adequate water content of kale, it can really help you deal with indigestion, constipation, and similar digestive complaints and therefore assist you to have a much healthier digestive system. Kale really does promote regularity and if you incorporate it in your daily diet your digestive tract will be in top condition.
Kale is a lot higher in vitamin C than many other vegetables and it contains 4.5 times as much as spinach. The high vitamin C content of kale will help you with collagen production. Collagen is the most abundant structural protein so you need a lot of vitamin C to have beautiful, firm skin.
Can Help in Diabetes
The antioxidant called alpha-lipoic acid present in kale has been observed to have lowered glucose levels and increase sensitivity to insulin in patients with diabetes. It can also help to decrease peripheral neuropathy, a common complication of diabetes.
Helps With Weight Loss
Incorporating kale in your diet can help you lose weight. Kale is low-glycemic, very low calorie vegetable (only 49 calories per 100 grams) that is a good source of fiber and contains some proteins so it has all the characteristics of food that is weight loss friendly.
So is kale good for you? Absolutely! Kale is considered to be a super food because it is packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and benefits your health in so many ways. Kale is a very healthy food that can be added to many recipes.
Having kale as a part of your diet does not mean that you have to eat it in the same way over and over since even the healthiest food, when prepared in a similar manner each time, can bore you and get you to hate it over time.
Ways to Prepare and Serve Kale
The spicy and a more noticeable flavour of Kale, when compared to a typical lettuce, can get you not just one way of preparing and serving them, but more. You can be creative and you can always mix and match this with any recipe you feel would click with this health option. Here are some of them:
Fruit and Vegetable Routine
- Suits the vegans and vegetarians
Salad and Sandwiches Wrap
- In exchange of your typical loaf combinations
Fresh Garlic and Kale Sauté
- Your choice of tenderness plus extra virgin oil
- Minus the ribs and add up some flakes
- Get your high speed blender working
What to Do If You Really, Really Hate Kale
Kale is amazing because it has enormous nutritional value. It has a huge amount of vitamins A, C and K, it is high in protein content protein and full of fibre. It helps reduce inflammation, which is good for people with arthritis or cardiovascular health issues. It has a ton of antioxidants and chlorophyll, along with some calcium and iron.
There is one problem thought - unfortunately, kale is not the best tasting vegetable and many people simply hate kale.
If this is you, there are some fun things you can do, like adding it to a smoothie or making kale chips. But I wanted to share with you one amazing and simple tip for eating kale - without triggering your gag reflex - so that you can eat kale frequently and enjoy kale amazing health benefits.
Say hello to kale powder! Kale powder preserves the abundant health benefits of this popular green superfood in a convenient, highly concentrated form. But beware as not any kale powder will do.
Many kale powder products are sourced from China or other dubious sources. As they are concentrates they can contain haevy metals and pesticide residues, so just like with any food concentrate go for USDA certified organic type.
I recommend Pure Synergy Organics Kale Vegetable Powder, USA grown and designed to bring you the very best of this well-loved veggie.
This vibrant, fresh-tasting pure veggie powder has tons of uses. It's fresh freeze-dried and cold-milled for maximum nutrient retention.
Pure Synergy Organics Kale Vegetable Powder is certified organic and kosher, gluten-free, chemical-free, non-GMO and it has no fillers or sweeteners. See it on Amazon here.
Add a teaspoon to your favourite shake, sauce or soup every day and enjoy all the health benefits of fresh kale.
You can be creative in serving kale or kale powder for yourself or everyone in the family, and eventually instil good health all throughout the household. There are always more ways to prepare a healthy plate of kale, given a few hearty imaginations.
Just in case you have been prescribed with beta-blockers, you might need to consult with your doctor first so you would know how much of kale you can consume as too much of this vegetable can get you potassium overload which is also not advisable among those with kidneys disease.
Moderate consumption is advised and it is best that if you are not certain how much kale you can eat, discuss your diet with a dietician or nutritionist.