The majority of people would prefer something sweet over something green any day of the week. However, if you want to enhance your diet or lose a few pounds, the more cruciferous veggies you eat, the better. And if you haven’t tried kale yet, now is the time to do so – not only because it’s low in calories but also because of the amazing health benefits of kale.
The information below provides a comprehensive overview of Kale, including its health advantages, how to add it to the diet, and more.
What Exactly is Kale?
Like cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower, Kale is a cruciferous vegetable with large, edible leaves and a tough central stem. Kale comes in a range of colors, including purple, and is often dark green. The leaf edges are either flat or curled. Kale is usually sold whole or pre-chopped when you buy it, and it can be eaten raw or mildly cooked.
Health Benefits of Kale
1. It’s high in iron
Iron is an essential mineral that plays a number of important roles in the body. It’s necessary for the proper function of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood, and for the muscle protein myoglobin, which helps store oxygen in muscle cells. Iron is also needed for energy metabolism and for the regulation of cell growth.
Although it’s possible to get too much iron, it’s more common to have an iron deficiency. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the United States. Symptoms of iron deficiency can include fatigue, weakness, pale skin, and shortness of breath.
Kale is an excellent source of iron. Just one cup of kale contains 3 mg of iron, which is 17% of the daily recommended intake for adults. Kale is also a good source of vitamin C which enhances your body’s ability to absorb iron.
2. Improves skin health
The list of health benefits that can be attributed to eating cruciferous vegetables is extensive. Kale in particular, has the ability to clear up acne, reduce wrinkles and even promote healthy skin!
It’s an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, and a good source of minerals like copper, manganese, and calcium. Kale also contains phytonutrients that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. All of these nutrients are beneficial for the skin.
Vitamin C is used by the body to make and preserve collagen, a protein that provides structure to the skin, hair, and bones, while vitamin A provides antioxidant benefits. A cup of cooked kale has at least 20% of a person’s daily need for vitamin A and more than 23% of the daily requirement for vitamin C. Vitamin K on the other side is important for wound healing and keeping your skin looking youthful.
In addition to these vitamins, kale also contains beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which are all antioxidants that help fight against damage from environmental stressors like UV radiation from the sun. to protect your skin from damage.
Kale also contains sulfur, which has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. All of these nutrients work together to keep your skin looking healthy and radiant.
If you’re looking for a way to promote healthy skin, adding kale to your diet is a great option! You can use it in salads, soups, smoothies, or as a side dish. There are endless possibilities when it comes to incorporating kale into your meals. Give it a try and see how you like it!
3. Kale is rich in antioxidants
Antioxidants are substances that can prevent or delay cell damage by neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that have an unpaired electron, making them highly reactive. They can damage cells, including DNA, and contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as cancer.
While the body produces some antioxidants naturally, we also get them from our diet. Foods that are high in antioxidants include fruits and vegetables, green tea, nuts, and whole grains. Kale is a particularly good source of antioxidants due to its high levels of carotenoids, flavonoids, and vitamins A, C, and E.
The health benefits of consuming antioxidants are well-established. They can help protect against heart disease, stroke, cancer, and other chronic conditions. Consuming antioxidant-rich foods like kale may also help boost cognitive function and improve skin health.
So why not add some kale to your next meal? It’s delicious and good for you!
One thing though, antioxidants are heat-sensitive, therefore include your kale leaves in smoothies or salads to best preserve the antioxidant effect.
4. It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory
The human body is an intricate and complicated machine that is made up of various interconnected parts. All these parts work together to ensure that your body functions correctly and can heal itself when it needs to do so. Inflammation is a natural part of the healing process, but if the inflammation becomes chronic or lasts too long, then it can actually cause more problems than it solves. Thankfully, there are healthy options out there for reversing or fighting inflammation – like eating more kale!
One cup of Kale contains 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential in reducing inflammation in the body. Kale’s sulfur-containing phytochemicals (called glucosinolates) can also aid in the maintenance of the body’s natural inflammatory response. Read More.
5. Promotes cardiovascular health
One of the most important health benefits of kale is its effect on heart health. Kale contains a compound called lutein, which has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. Lutein is an antioxidant that helps protect against damage to blood vessels.
Studies have also shown that kale can help lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels.
So, if you are looking for a healthy food boost heart health, kale is a great option.
A study with male participants discovered that eating kale regularly dramatically decreased their coronary artery risk factors (possibly due to its anti-inflammatory characteristics). The participants drank kale juice but you can choose to enjoy it lightly cooked. Read More.
6. It’s a good source of vitamin K
Vitamin K is an essential nutrient needed for blood clotting processes. Kale is one of the greatest sources of vitamin K globally, with a single raw cup providing over 7 times the daily recommended amount.
Kale contains K1 type of vitamin K, which is not the same as vitamin K2. Fermented soy meals and certain animal products contain K2. It aids in the prevention of heart disease and osteoporosis!
7. Kale is a good source of vitamin C
Vitamin C deficiency can lead to an increase in the signs and symptoms of aging. Furthermore, people are incapable of producing considerable amounts of vitamin C on their own.
Easy bruising, low iron levels, and bleeding gums are all symptoms of a deficiency. Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant that performs numerous crucial functions in the cells of the body. For example, it is required to create collagen, the most abundant structural protein in the body.
The truth is that Kale is one of the best sources of vitamin C. A cup of raw Kale contains as much vitamin C as an orange.
8. Promotes bone health
Kale is a nutrient-rich leafy green vegetable that can be beneficial for bone health. It is a good source of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamin K, all of which are essential for maintaining strong bones. Vitamin K is especially important for bone health as it helps regulate calcium metabolism and prevent bone loss. Eating kale regularly can help keep bones healthy and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
9. Kale is good for your liver.
Kale is a nutrient-rich leafy green vegetable that offers many health benefits, including promoting liver health. The antioxidants in kale help protect the liver from damage, while the vitamins and minerals support various liver functions. Adding kale to your diet is an easy way to boost your liver health and enjoy all the other benefits that come with eating this healthy leafy green.
10. Promotes weight loss
Kale has various qualities that make it a healthy weight-loss food. It is low in calories while still providing sufficient bulk, which should help you feel full. Kale has a low energy density due to its low calorie and high water content.
Numerous studies have indicated that eating various foods with low energy density will help you lose weight. Kale contains trace levels of protein and fiber as well. When it comes to losing weight, they are two of the most crucial nutrients.
Although no studies have been conducted to assess the effects of Kale on weight loss specifically, it stands to reason that it could be a valuable addition to a weight loss diet.
11. Prevents cancer
Kale could potentially have cancer-fighting qualities. It and other cruciferous vegetables contain glucosinolates, which are natural sulphur compounds that give some foods a harsh flavor.
During digestion, these molecules degrade to create the active chemicals indoles and isothiocyanates. Both aid in detoxification and may slow cancer growth by acting as anti-inflammatory agents and shielding DNA cells from harm.
Kale contains vitamin C, which can help reduce inflammation, enhance the immune system, and oxidative battle stress, which can help prevent cancer and other ailments such as the common cold and flu. Adults should consume 60 milligrams of vitamin C per day, equivalent to around 3 cups of cooked kale.
12. Promotes eye health
Kale is an important leafy green vegetable for eye health. It is abundant in nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin, which are two powerful antioxidants that help protect the eyes against age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Kale also contains beta-carotene, another important nutrient for eye health. Eating a diet rich in these nutrients can help keep your eyes healthy as you age.
One study found that eating kale could help reduce the risk of cataracts. Another study found that lutein may help protect against age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is a leading cause of blindness in older adults.
It also provides antioxidant support and helps to reduce inflammation. Including kale in your diet is an easy way to boost your eye health and protect your vision.
Kale is a cool-weather and frost-resistant plant found from January to June and October to December.
It can be steamed, stir-fried, roasted, or eaten raw. You may also use it to make smoothies, kale chips, wilt it into soup, mash it with potatoes, or make pesto.
Always remove the middle rib since it is too tough and fibrous and adds a bitter taste when consumed. Remove the rib using your hands or kitchen shears.
How do you choose the best kale bunch?
Leaves that are withered or browning should be avoided. The leaves and stems should be dark green. It should be firm and dry rather than wilted and soggy.
Kale can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days if loosely wrapped. If it is maintained for a longer period, the leaves begin to toughen and change in color.
Recipes With Kale
- Vegan Zuppa Toscana
- Vegan kale Salad
- Thai Kale Salad
- Sauteed Kale Garlic And Onion
- Air Fryer Kale
- White Bean And Kale Soup
- African Style Braised Kale And Tomatoes
Kale is unquestionably one of the world’s healthiest and most nutritious foods. It can boost weight loss, improve the health and appearance of your skin, fight inflammation, and prevent cancer. Kale can also enhance liver function, promote a healthy heart, and strengthen bones.
It tastes fantastic and can make a nice crunchy, highly healthy meal. Many individuals add kale to their smoothies to increase their nutritional value, while others may toss it in salads, add to soups, make some kale chips, or eat it as a side dish. Whichever method you choose, consider adding kale to your regular diet.
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