Our moms used to tell us to eat our greens. Some of us didn’t like it, I know I didn’t. But as I get older I begin to appreciate green leafy vegetables.
Now enter Kale, one of the most nutritious, health benefits packed vegetables there is (that I know of). If you don’t believe me. Below are 9 proven health benefits of this Superfood and see for yourself.
Oh and don’t forget the 5 quick and easy recipes to prepare Kale too!
#1 Kale is packed with nutrition!
It’s not called a superfood for nothing! Kale is one of the most nutritious food on the planet! And I am not even exaggerating. Below are just some of the nutrients it possesses. Warning, it’s a long list, so bear with me.
RDA by the way means Recommended Dietary Allowance just an FYI.
|Dietary Fiber||1.3 grams||5%|
|Vitamin A (Beta carotene)||1800 micrograms||206%|
|Vitamin C||80 milligrams||134%|
|Vitamin K||547 micrograms||684% (this is not a typo)|
|Vitamin B6||0.2 milligrams||9%|
And this is just for a SINGLE serving of this nutritious leafy vegetable. A single serving of this is about 2.4 ounces or 67 grams for one cup. How’s that for a superfood?
#2 Kale Helps You LOSE WEIGHT
Kale is a low calorie food, packed with water and has low energy density. It means you can eat a lot of it and makes you full right away. But this is just a small part of how Kale can help you lose weight.
Kale also has protein and fiber, these two are beneficial for weight loss. Protein intake helps boost metabolism, reduces appetite and of course promotes muscle building which in turn burn more fats. Fiber on the other hand helps remove unwanted toxins and promotes healthy digestive system and regular bowel movement.
#3 Kale is Packed with Antioxidants
Plenty of studies have shown the link between antioxidants and cancer prevention. Kale has plenty of antioxidants, but what does antioxidant do to our bodies you asked?
To understand this, we must first understand free radicals, essentially these are chemicals that can potentially harm cells and cause cancer.
Think of antioxidants as free radical pacman. They gobble up free radicals and neutralize them. As mentioned above they have tons of Vitamin C/beta carotene which are antioxidants in by themselves.
They also have polyphenols and flavonoids. These are a kind of antioxidants that are very powerful in suppressing and neutralizing antioxidants in our bodies and help reduce cancer risk.
#4 Kale can help reduce risk of heart disease
According to the CDC, 1 in every 4 deaths in America is caused by heart disease. Every year, close a quarter of a million people have a heart in the States. Another reason to cut back on bacon (sad!).
Fortunately, Kale can help. Kale contains a substance called bile acid sequestrants, may be let’s just call is BAS to keep it simple. These substances can lower cholesterol levels in the body. In one study, it was able to reduce risk of heart attack over time.
Another study published in the journal of Biomedical and Environmental Sciences, it was found out that drinking Kale juice (which I will tell you later how to make) everyday for 12 weeks increased the good cholesterol by 27% and lowered the bad cholesterol by 10%.
Now that’s a superfood!
#5 Kale Promotes Bone Health
A vegetable for the bones? Yes while researching, I was surprised as well. Apparently, this green, leafy vegetable is good for the bones. We now have a weapon especially that Osteoporosis is on the rise and the risk just goes up as you age.
How does Kale do it? As mentioned above, one cup/serving of Kale contains 10% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance for calcium. It’s like drinking ⅓ glass of milk with no additional fats or calories!
Kale also contains Magnesium which is needed for bone structure and growth. It also prevents the depletion of calcium by the blood stream.
So may be if you’re lactose intolerant or do not want to get the extra calories from milk, juicing Kale may be your best bet!
#6 It Prevents Anemia
Iron deficiency may not be as deadly as some of the diseases plaguing the US, but it is still a cause for concern. According to the CDC, there are more than 10 million people who are iron deficient and close to 200,000 people every year are hospitalized due to anemia.
Simply put, anemia is lacking healthy red bloods cells in the body. It can cause fatigue, headaches, insomnia and dizziness.
There are numerous causes of anemia, on of the most common is iron deficiency. The good news is, Kale contains two substances that can help prevent anemia. Kale contains iron, although not a lot but definitely a significant amount. It also contains an abundance of vitamin C which helps our body absorb iron.
#7 Kale is Good for a Healthy Pregnancy
Eating Kale is good for expecting mommies too! Aside from the numerous abundance of vitamins such as Vitamin C, Vitamin K and minerals to help nourish both mommies and babies, Kale contains folate too.
Folate helps prevent miscarriages and birth defects in babies. It also helps babies grow rapidly and healthily.
Interestingly, in a recent study conducted at the McGill university, it was found out that folate intake of fathers (but here I am talking about studies done in mice) before conception are also crucial in the development of the babies and prevention of birth defects.
#8 Kale is a Champion in Healing Wounds
From time to time, our bodies get wounds. Scratches and cuts here and there. It’s inevitable especially to clumsy people like me! Wounds from recent surgeries for some more unfortunate individuals.
Kale is one of the best foods in helping our bodies heal in terms of having open wounds. Kale is one of the world’s best sources of vitamin K. What is vitamin K for you asked? It is one of the most important vitamins there is. It is absolutely critical for blood clotting.
Just a single serving or cup of Kale has 7 times the amount of Vitamin K recommended daily. Talk about healing wounds. But there isn’t enough Vitamin K in the world to heal a broken heart.
#9 Kale is our Eyes’ Best Friend
As we age, one of the things that takes a toll in our bodies is our eyesight. For some very unfortunate people, even in their younger years their eyesight degrades a lot faster.
Kale is abundant in vitamin A, a single serving has more than 200% of what is recommended daily. Don’t the excess is easily passed through your body.
Vitamin A is essential for healthy eyes. It help cataracts and macular degeneration which is the leading cause of severe, irreversible loss of eyesight especially among people over 60 years old.
As bonus, Kale also contains lutein and zeaxanthin which again reduces the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration according to a journal published on the National Institute of Health website.
5 Quick and Easy Kale Recipes
Now we learned how awesome this superfood is for our body. For the even better part, below are some recipes to enjoy this incredible superfood.
Recipe 1: Kale Veggie Juice
Now this recipe is quite straightforward. The ingredients include 1 – 2 cups of Kale about 2 ounces or 67 grams, one whole ripe mango and one whole red apple.
Preferably use juicer for this and you’re all set. But if you need to use a blender it’s fine too but be sure to prep and chop up the ingredients first.
Serve with ice and chill (I meant you).
Recipe 2: Greek Kale Salad
This is an awesome appetizer especially during summer and spring. It’s green, filled with veggies and of course taste awesome!
Ingredients are as follows:
large bunch about 10 ounces or 3-4 cups kale leaves, finely chopped
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes halved
1 cucumber seeded and diced
1/2 red onion thinly sliced
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
LEMON DRESSING INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 garlic clove minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
For the dressing, just mix olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper to taste.
For the salad, do I even need to do this? You’re a master of this. Simple chop the ingredients to desired size and probably shape. Toss it with the dressing and sprinkle feta cheese on top.
Now that’s a salad!
Recipe 3: Quick Stir Fried Garlic Kale
Now this is a good and an easy side dish. Ingredients include 1 bunch of Kale, 1 minced garlic and a tablespoon of olive oil.
Just heat a pan with olive oil over medium heat. Cook and stir Kale (make sure it’s washed by the way) for about a minute or two. Cover then cook for 5 more minutes while stirring occasionally. Serves about 4 people unless you’re me.
Recipe 4: Kale Crisps
Now this recipe is simple as it gets. Wash and clean the Kale. Pre-heat oven to 390℉ or 200℃ place the kale in a single layer and splash with olive oil. Season to taste!
Recipe 5: Kale Omelette
Do I even need to write this up? You’re probably a better cook than I am! Ingredients include 2 eggs, one chopped tomato, one chopped onion, one chopped red or green bell pepper and one bunch of chopped kale. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Cook in a pan with olive oil. Season to taste!
Wrapping It Up (in Kale)
Kale is a very nutritious and beneficial vegetable. One of the most nutritious if not the most nutritious green vegetable around, it is also very versatile in terms of how it can be prepared.
Now for the shameless plug in but really highly recommended product… If you’re too lazy to cook Kale even if the recipes are too damn easy, I recommend this Kale Supplement, the Nubeleaf Kale Powder, a natural non-GMO powder that can either be taken as it is or mixed with your favorite smoothie or even your daily meals.
This superfood is just too good to be true. It is cheap, readily available and I don’t see any reason not to eat Kale on a regular basis. I know I would!