Let’s take a closer look at kale and see how is kale good for you, what it is and why?
As we get older, we know that we need to eat healthier foods, even more so than when we were younger as we are more prone to getting diseases. Kale is one of those super foods that you should try and incorporate into your diet.
Did you know that kale is one of the most nutritious and healthy plants in existence? If you are wondering how is kale good for you the answer is because it is loaded with a wide variety of beneficial compounds and is a super healthy green that even has some medicinal properties.
Kale has gained tremendous popularity as a superfood in recent years as it has a high vitamin C and K content, as well as beta-carotene, calcium, carotenoids, and sulforaphane, which are known for their cancer-fighting properties.
How Do We Eat Kale?
Kale can be eaten raw or cooked and lends itself well to any dish calling for greens.
If you want to prepare a salad or other dish with raw kale, first remove the coarse center stems, sprinkle with salt, and massage the leaves. This is a practice that essentially wilts and tenderizes the leaves. Adding lemon juice or vinegar will further promote the softening of the leaves.
Kale can be steamed, boiled, sautéed, or mixed into soups or stews. It is also a popular ingredient in juices and smoothies.
While some find kale unpalatable because of its coarse texture and somewhat bitter taste, many have embraced it as a sturdy, versatile ingredient, especially during winter months.
Try this easy recipe:
- Chop the kale leaves into 1-inch pieces.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Cook and stir some chopped garlic until is sizzling.
- Add kale to the skillet and place a cover over the top.
- Cook and stir occasionally with tongs until the kale is bright green and slight tender – 5 – 7 minutes.
Serve as a side vegetable with your meal.
How Is Kale Good For You?
Let’s look at the five key reasons you should start integrating more kale into your diet every day.
Reason Number 1:
Kale Has Healing Benefits
Kale is loaded with strong and powerful antioxidants which help to counteract oxidative damage. This helps us to counteract aging and diseases related to aging.
But what is oxidative damage?
To put it simply, oxidative damage is the leading cause of aging and several other diseases, even cancer.
That’s not all antioxidants can do; certain antioxidants, like flavonoids kaempferol and quercetin, have the power to have heart-protective, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, blood pressure-lowering, anti-viral, and anti-depressant effects.
Reason Number 2:
Kale Is Incredibly Healthy And Non Fattening
To start with, kale only has 33 calories, three grams of protein, and six grams of carbs (two of those six are fiber) in one serving (one cup). Let’s breakdown what else is in that small cup of kale:
- 9% of your daily value of calcium
- 10% of your daily value of copper
- 9% of your daily value of potassium
- 6% of your daily value of magnesium
- 206% of your daily value of vitamin A
- 9% of your daily value of vitamin B6
- 134% of your daily value of vitamin C
- 684% of your daily value of vitamin K
- It also contains 3% or more of your daily value of vitamins B1, B2, and B3 as well as iron and phosphorous
There’s also very little fat in kale. A large portion of the fat that is in it is alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid.
All of this makes kale one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. The more kale you eat, the more nutrients will be in your diet.
Reason Number Three
Kale Lowers Cholesterol
Kale contains bile acid sequestrants, which are known to lower cholesterol. Due to the reduction of cholesterol levels, this could lead to a lower risk of heart disease over time. This is especially important as we get older.
According to Healthline, “One study found that drinking kale juice every day for 12 weeks increased HDL (the ‘good’) cholesterol by 27% and lowered LDL levels by 10%, while also improving antioxidant status.”
Reason Number Four
Kale Helps Ward Off Cancer
Kale is full of compounds that are thought to ward off cancer. Sulforaphane, for example, has been proven to help fight the formation of cancer cells.
Indole-3-carbinol is another compound found in kale that is also known to help prevent cancer.
Several studies have shown that cruciferous vegetables, like kale, can significantly lower your risk of getting multiple cancers. However, it’s important to note that the evidence with humans is mixed.
Reason Number Five
Kale Provides Us With Much Needed Minerals
Kale is high in some of the most common minerals in which people are deficient. Kale is rich in calcium, magnesium, and potassium and low in oxalate.
These help with bone health, protect you against type 2 diabetes and heart disease and can help reduce blood pressure. Regular kale eaters have a lower risk of heart disease. The lower oxalate levels help with nutrient absorption, as oxalate can work to prevent this.
So if you are still wondering how is kale good for you there it is. Kale is a nutrient-rich plant that should be a healthy part of everyone’s diet.
This dark green vegetable is rich in many minerals, vitamins, and nutrients that we humans need to be healthy. It’s a very diverse plant and can be cooked a number of ways and can work to prevent many diseases, even cancer.
So, what are you waiting for? Head on down to your local farmers’ market or grocery store and snag yourself some kale today to start down a path to a healthier you.