Everyone knows kale is good for you but does anyone really know what all the hype is about? Why is Kale a Nutrition Superfood? Well… Kale belongs to the same plant family as the vegetables broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, and collard greens and is considered a “superfood”. This means that it is full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and good fats. Superfoods help to fix the damage we do every day with diets, environmental stressors, chemical additives and physical stress. Kale contains organosulphur compounds, which have been proven to be highly effective against many cancers, including stomach cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer and ovarian cancer. When these vegetables are chopped or chewed, enzymes in the liver are triggered to produce enzymes that disable cancer-causing agents in the body. In addition to the powerful organosulphurs that help to protect against cancer, kale also protects the eyes against damage from the sun and ultraviolet light thereby reducing the occurrence of cataracts. Kale also ranks really high for its large amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, B6, manganese, calcium, copper, and potassium!
While one cup of kale only has 36 calories, it provides 192% of the daily value of vitamin A. That same cup of kale also provides almost 90% of your daily value of vitamin C, helping to reduce damage from inflammation (one of the primary causes of heart disease and autoimmune diseases). Vitamin C also helps to oxidize cholesterol, fight infections, and strengthen and renew collagen in our skin for a healthy youthful appearance. The calcium in kale is utilized by the body by working to reverse osteoporosis and strengthen bones. It is one of the best ways to keep your bones and teeth strong and also keep your blood vessels clean. Lastly, kale can slow mental decline that comes with age as well as promote urinary health. Hopefully you’re convinced of the nutritional value of kale by now, and the next step is to add more kale to your diet. Here are a few interesting facts about kale and tips on how you can maximize the health benefits of kale in your dishes:
- Kale is also known as borecole and cow cabbage, so if you cannot find kale in your local supermarket right away, you may want to check if borecole or cow cabbage is available.
- Kale is a dark, bluish-green leafy vegetable with curly leaves and firm stalks. Look for kale that is not limp or wilted.
- Different varieties of kale are available. These include dinosaur kale (also called black cabbage and cavolo nero), curly kale (Scots kale), and Red Russian kale.
- Kale has an Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) rating of 1,770. Just for comparison, raw spinach has an ORAC rating of 1,515, cauliflower has an ORAC of 839 and celery has an ORAC of 497.
- Good substitutes for kale in recipes include: rapini, collard greens, Swiss chard, mustard greens, napa cabbage, kohlrabi leaves and spinach.
- Young leaves of this green leafy vegetable can be eaten raw, for example in salads (baby kale).
- Kale can also be enjoyed as a warm dish by sautéing in olive oil in addition to other ingredients and spices to add flavor (lemon, garlic and onion work well).
Well there you have it. Now go make yourself a salad. What are you waiting for????
Powered by TG Facebook Comments