– How To Add More Kale to Your Diet and The Health Benefits of Kale –
According to the National Cancer Institute, kale is yet another valuable cruciferous vegetable that has promise in helping humans win the battle against cancer.
Kale is the king of the jungle when it comes to nutrient dense foods. Kale is loaded with vitamins, fiber and antioxidants that work to keep us healthy and active.
Kale is rich in important nutrients, such as lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamins C, E, and K; folate; and minerals. Kale also contains glucosinolates, or sulfur-containing chemicals. While the folate found in kale does not have a direct impact on cancer treatment, it does help to reduce the risk of complications from cancer and its treatment by lowering risks for heart disease.
The Tasty Health Benefits of Kale
One of the healthiest vegetables you can eat, kale is packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and nutrients that improve your body from skin to heart. Take a look at some of the health benefits you can look forward to the next time you serve up a plate of kale!
It’s Nearly Calorie Free
Since it’s nutritious, satisfying and low-calorie, kale is a great food to assist weight management. A cup of kale is loaded with nutrition but only has about 36 calories and 0 grams of fat, so you can add some to your plate to make meals more satisfying and nutritious without worrying about excess calories.
It’s Full of Vitamin A
Vitamin A maintains the health of your immune system and skin. Vitamin A promotes healthy cell growth, helps keep skin moist, and fights skin issues like zits and acne. Healthy, moist skin is more resistant to germs, giving a major boost to your immune system.
It’s Good for Your Eyes
Kale contains vitamin A, which helps protect the surface of the eye, preventing infections and dry eyes. The vegetable also offers vitamin C, which helps prevent the formation of cataracts, clouding of the eyes that can lead to blindness.
It’s Great for Your Skin
As previously mentioned, kale contains vitamin A, which helps promote healthy skin cell growth, plus keeps your skin moist and smooth. Also, vitamin A helps keep your skin free of issues like zits and acne. The vitamin C kale contains helps the body produce collagen, which is a protein that’s vital for healthy cell growth in your skin and blood vessels. Collagen repairs common skin damage like scratches, scraps, cuts, and bruises.
It’s High in Vitamin K
The high amount of Vitamin K in kale promotes healthy blood clotting, thus reducing the risk of internal bleeding. On the flip side, it’s been suggested that vitamin K can actually reduce the risk of unwanted blood clots, such as those related to heart disease. The nutrient also contributes to normal bone health; several studies have connected vitamin K deficiency to increased risk of bone fractures. To top it all off, some studies have shown that vitamin K can combat Alzheimer’s and even improve insulin resistance.
It’s a Good Source of Vitamin C
Vitamin C boosts your immune system and helps your body fight colds, infections and diseases. It also acts as a natural antihistamine, reducing the severity of cold symptoms.
It’s Filled With Antioxidants
Kale is filled with many antioxidants, including two of the most important: carotenoids and flavonoids. These powerful antioxidants help your immune system fight bacteria, viruses, infections, disease, and even cancer. In fact, studies have connected kale’s powerful antioxidants to reduced rates of cancer affecting the bladder, breasts, colon, ovaries, and prostate.
It Has Lots of Calcium
Calcium is essential for strong, healthy bones. It improves bone strength, bone mass, and helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Just as important, calcium is needed to keep muscles, including your heart, strong and functioning. Healthy amounts of calcium also help maintain your nervous system.
It Has a Ton of Fiber
One cup of kale offers 2.5 grams of fiber, which is about 10% of the daily recommended amount. Fiber regularizes the digestive system, lowers cholesterol, and helps control blood sugar levels. In addition, fiber-dense foods leave you feeling full longer, which makes kale a good choice for people watching their weight.
It Has Plenty of Omega-3
A cup of kale helps you get the daily recommended amount of Omega- 3 fatty acids, healthy oils that boost almost every aspect of your health. In addition to helping your heart, these fatty acids combat arthritis by alleviating joint pain and stiffness. They also alleviate the severity of depression, asthma, and ADHD, plus several studies have suggested that they help protect against Alzheimer’s and dementia in ageing adults.
It’s Good for Your Heart
Kale benefits your heart in several ways. By lowering triglyceride levels in your blood, kale’s Omega- 3 fatty acids reduce the risk of heart disease and deadly complications like heart attack and stroke. Kale’s robust amount of fiber can help lower cholesterol, while its calcium strengthens heart muscles and its antioxidants have anti-inflammatory properties that reduce inflammation in the arteries. In addition, the vitamin K found in kale may reduce the risk of dangerous blood clots.
How To Clean And Keep your Kale Fresh
This is the way we like to fix our kale as soon as we bring it home for the grocery store. This makes it quick and handy to saute kale in the morning for breakfast or throw it into your favorite soup or recipe. Also quickly add this kale to your smoothies.
1. Place kale into a colander in your kitchen sink and spray with water. Let drip dry for a few minutes, tapping the colander on the bottom of the sink to remove water.
2. Place kale on a cutting board; using a sharp knife, remove the tough rib that runs in the middle of the kale.
3. Once the tough rib is removed, cut kale into small pieces and lay on a paper towel. Let dry for about 5 minutes and then place into a large plastic container.
How to Add More Kale to Your Diet
- Add chopped kale to soups
- Add chopped kale to chili
- Toss into your favorite smoothie
- Sneak kale into all of your salads
- Add kale to your favorite meatball recipe
- Pizza topping
- Stuffed inside a bean burrito
Here are some recipe that we love that use fresh and healthy Kale: