What are the Health Benefits of Kale
You have probably heard a lot about kale, the superfood that's full of benefits - but what exactly is it?
Kale or collard greens have lots of dedicated admirers who swear by its benefits. Kale's various properties make this an ideal alternative to satiate our appetite and provide vitamins - and with few calories. If you want to discover health benefits of kale, keep reading. OneHOWTO are here to help.
Why is kale so popular?
Kale or collard greens are well known in Europe, and used in many traditional dishes. However, America was late to the game. When celebrities and American nutritionists discovered its nutritional properties they were eager to launch it to stardom. So they did so under the name of kale.
It became a popular choice among those seeking to maximize its benefits without exceeding calories.
Touted as a concentrated form of anti-carcinogenic vitamins and minerals, kale is a nutritional powerhouse. As well as its cancer-fighting properties, it offers a wealth of other benefits that we'll list below
Calcium and iron
A cup of juiced kale contains more calcium in milk and more iron than in meat. Its high iron content makes it essential for vegetarians and vegans. Iron prevents anemia, protects the liver, promotes the production of red blood cells and helps maintain energy throughout the day. This mineral also allows haemoglobin to transport oxygen to all cells of the body, including the brain.
Kale is an excellent choice for strong bones and for preventing conditions such as osteoporosis or bone problems.
Vitamins and antioxidants
Kale offers a wealth of different vitamins. Some of the vitamins it contains are:
- Vitamin K: helps with bone health and prevents calcium build-up (preventing arteriosclerosis and strokes). Helps prevent blood clotting, and studies also show that it helps people with Alzheimer's.
- Vitamin A: strengthens bones and teeth, and protects the immune system. It is good for skin, hair and nails and the prevention of oral cancer and lung cancer. It also prevents vision problems such as glaucoma or cataracts.
- Vitamin C: an excellent antioxidant that lowers blood pressure and prevents eye diseases related to aging (cataracts, macular degeneration). It is an ideal food to boost the immune system and prevent viral and bacterial diseases.
Also, kale is very rich in minerals (potassium, magnesium, calcium and selenium). It contains manganese, a trace mineral that helps in the synthesis of fatty acids, necessary for the nervous system and sex hormones (oestrogen).
Because it contains carotenoids and flavonoids, kale is considered an antioxidant. some of which stop the growth of cancer cells. On oneHOWTO discover other foods rich in antioxidants.
On account of its omega-3 content, kale is also considered anti-inflammatory; helping to prevent asthma and arthritis.
Great for digestion and weightloss
Kale is part of the broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage family. Like these vegetables, kale provides large amounts of fiber and vitamin C. In fact, it offers 10 times more of this nutrient than spinach.
Due to its high fiber content, another benefit of kale is its ability to regulate intestinal transit and promote digestion. It also helps with nutrient absorption.
In diets for weight loss kale is a true star. It is completely fat free and very low in calories, with only 33 calories per cup (chopped) and 5 grams of fiber. It aids in digestion and contains a compound that fights harmful bacteria in the stomach. It also reduces appetite and prevents constipation.
How to eat it
You can eat raw kale salads, one of the most popular forms, eat it cooked or steamed, add it to your stews and soups and also add it to a smoothie.
Our favorite way to prepare kale however is roasted in the oven with a bit of olive oil and salt. These kale chips are crunchy and such a treat! And with all those options for eating it we invite you to incorporate into your diet and enjoy all its benefits.
To give you an idea of how nutritious it is, we'll explain the amounts (approximate) of some of the vitamins and minerals in kale found in just one glass of it juiced (70 grams) and how much they contribute to our recommended daily amount.
- Vitamin K: 600% of the recommended daily amount.
- Vitamin A: 190-200% of the recommended daily amount.
- Vitamin C: 130% of the recommended daily amount.
- Manganese: 25% of the recommended daily amount.
- Calcium: 9% of the recommended daily amount.
- Potassium: 9% of the recommended daily amount.
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
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