It’s never too late to talk about kale. After all, it is one of the health world’s most-talked-about ingredients, for good reason. There are incredible benefits in other greens such as collard greens, mustard greens, bok choy, arugula and swiss chard, so they are not to be forgotten – but science has deemed kale as the most nutritious cruciferous vegetable around. Kale stands out in three particular areas, 1) antioxidant nutrients, 2) anti-inflammatory nutrients and 3) anti-cancer nutrients. Kale is chock-full of the following nutritional properties:[row] [column size=’1/4′]Vitamin K[/column] [column size=’1/4′]Vitamin C[/column] [column size=’1/4′]Vitamin A[/column] [column size=’1/4′]Manganese[/column] [/row] [row] [column size=’1/4′]Fiber[/column] [column size=’1/4′]Vitamin B6[/column] [column size=’1/4′]Calcium[/column] [column size=’1/4′]Potassium[/column] [/row] [row] [column size=’1/4′]Iron[/column] [column size=’1/4′]Vitamin E[/column] [column size=’1/4′]Copper[/column] [column size=’1/4′]Magnesium[/column] [/row]
In fact, one cup of cooked kale has over 100% more Vitamin C than that of spinach.
Kale’s cancer preventative benefits are linked to two antioxidants: carotenoids and flavonoids. Research has found over 45 different types of flavonoids in kale–what does this mean? The antioxidant value is so high that when consumed regularly, it assists our oxygen metabolism by relieving oxidative stress and providing oxygen to the blood while treating inflammation. There are studies that represent the intake of kale on 5 forms of cancer (bladder, breast, colon, ovarian and prostate) resulting in treatment and preventative benefits. Kale also plays a major role in detoxifying the body because of a little thing called isothiocyanates (ITC’s) — most toxins that pose risk to our body must be detoxified in a 2-step process, ITC’s actually assist in both steps.
All-in-all, kale is an amazing vegetable that should be consumed regularly. As mentioned previously, do not neglect all of the other green veggies that we know and love, just be sure to not skip over the almighty kale.
- There are different variations of kale: Curly Kale (most common type, mild), Lacinato Kale (aka Dinosaur or Tuscan Kale, tall and narrow), Premier Kale (thin, flat and hardy) and Redbor Kale (beautiful purple color and curly).
- The healthiest way to consume kale is slightly steamed, keep the nutrients locked in but allow it to soften. If you want to enjoy raw in a salad, remove the fibrous stems and pulse in a food processor to soften the leaves, then drizzle lemon juice and massage–let sit for about 10 minutes (this helps the digestion process).
What’s your favorite way to enjoy kale? Dish in the comments below or tweet @allgoodhealth_!