An unsung hero in the world of vegetables has recently become quite a trend, especially among health & fitness enthusiasts. Incredibly enough, this veggie has been grown for over 2000 years! This leafy green vegetable is none other than kale! It belongs to the family known as Brassica, where delicious members like cabbage, collards and brussel sprouts reside. Kale is simply one of the most valuable vegetables around and the key to getting the most when it comes to both nutrition and flavor is cooking it properly. Consider steaming kale as one technique to maximize health benefits. Another easy way to get your daily dosage is kale chips.
Kale is actually not as well researched as other cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage. Of course, health experts still recognize its considerable beneficial properties with evidence to support this. The cruciferous green veggie is now recognized as providing comprehensive support for the body’s detoxification system. New research has shown that the ITCs (isothiocyanate) made from kale’s glucosinolates can help regulate detox at a genetic level. This detoxification of our cells is done in a two step process. The ITC’s made from kale have shown to have a positive effect on both steps!
It only gets better as more research is released. Just like other leafy greens kale is full of powerful antioxidants. This includes large amounts of quercetin and kaempferol. These substances have been studied intensely in test tubes and animal studies. They have displayed powerful cardioprotective, blood pressure lowering, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-depressant and anti-cancer effects.
As a matter a fact, when consuming whole kale there can be a wide array of healthy improvements that happen as a result.
- Full of Antioxidants!
It is the best green in terms of antioxidants on the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) chart—scoring 1,770 units while spinach clocks in at less than 1,500, says Ruth Frechman, R.D. He is a Burbank-based spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
- Great for Removing Waste From Your Body!
Kale has tons of fiber —one cup of this vegetable packs 90 mg into only 36 calories—while also helping to regulate enzymes that assist in detoxing your liver. Not only does the fiber help remove waste, but it can also lower cholesterol.
- Helps With Weight Loss!
With 80.5 mg of vitamin C per cup, the leafy green vegetable actually possesses more than a medium size orange. This can be a great asset to weight loss by keeping you hydrated and increasing your metabolism. As an added bonus the vitamin C also helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
- Keeps the Body Beautiful!
Kale isn’t particularly abundant in fats, but those that is does contain can be very beneficial. Being high in both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids helps keep your body strong and balanced. In fact, this super food is so nutrient dense it gives your skin’s health and appearance a boost.
- Protects Vision and Bones!
Kale is high in vitamin A, vitamin K, and calcium! Vitamin A content helps keep the eyes from optical disorders that come with age. It also helps store vitamins in the retina. The calcium and vitamin K keep your bones strong.
So the next time you’re at the supermarket, keep in mind that these are just a few of the ways that kale works to protect your body and keep it healthy! The Roman Empire and early Europeans were on to the right idea by cherishing this dark leafy green. It’s time to get on the bandwagon with all the “health nuts” who celebrate kale, and recognize it for the super food that it is. By working to find the most creative and healthy ways to cook this amazing vegetable you can turn taking charge of your diet into a fun task!