Kale is actually a descendent of the wild cabbage, brought to Europe in 600 B.C. from Asia Minor by Celtic explorers. It was a common food in ancient Rome. English settlers brought it with them to the new world in the 17th century. In every nutrition-related food article the author mentions the importance of eating dark leafy vegetables because of the highly nutritious qualities. Well, they are speaking directly about Kale. Kale is the very definition of health food. It is low-calorie, high fiber and contains a concentrated amount of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that can lower your chance for chronic disease if eaten regularly.
- Cancer Prevention
- Heart Healthy
Antioxidants– Kale has over 45 different flavonoids that scientists have discovered recently. The most pronounced is kaempferol and quercitin. They have been found to reduce oxidative stress, and equipping your body to defend against cancer. Another well documented group of antioxidants in kale are carotenoids. Lutein and beta-carotene are found in high concentrations and have been shown to raise the level of carotenoids in the blood stream. This is exciting because reducing oxidative stress in the blood reduces the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cataracts, and atherosclerosis to name a few.
Cancer Prevention– Kale has been proven to lower the risk of at least 5 kinds of cancer. Scientific research has verified the concentration of Isothiocyanates (ITCs) in kale that prevents cancer of the prostate, ovary, breast, bladder, and colon. And the list grows with new research. Kale has one of the highest concentrations of cancer fighting antioxidants of all researched vegetables.
Heart Healthy– Kale has cholesterol lowering qualities that rival even pharmaceutical alternatives and without the harsh side effects. In fact, the heart healthy fiber in kale binds with bile acids that carry cholesterol out of the body and prevent fat from absorbing into the body. In short, it allows the body to expel cholesterol in a bowel movement, which lowers our total cholesterol level.
High Fiber– The Western diet lacks significant fiber. Eating enough cruciferous vegetables is crucial to G.I. health. The body cannot function properly without adequate fiber and many complications can arise including colon cancer, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Don’t reach for fiber supplements and skip all the other benefits that kale brings. High fiber food is always the best way to reach your daily requirement of fiber.
Anti-Inflammatory– Kale is high in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin K. Omega 3’s ((alpha-linolenic acid) are recognized in scientific research as a powerful anti-inflammatory. It only takes 100 calories of kale to reach 30% of your daily recommended omega-3 intake. Kale has the highest amount of vitamin K than any other vegetable tested. Vitamin K helps the body regulate the inflammatory process. No other food gives you a higher dose of anti-inflammatory nutrients.
Detoxification– The isothiocyanates (ITCs) in kale support the body’s detoxification process on a cellular level. Toxins in the body are neutralized with the help of ITC’s. Kale also has a high concentration of sulfur, which also helps the body detoxify the gastrointestinal tract.
Did You know?
Kale is healthy raw or cooked, but steaming it actually enhances the health related qualities. It’s recommended that you steam kale for 5 minutes to reach the ideal nutrient density.
Smaller sized leaves tend to be more tender and have a milder flavor. It’s available all year around, but kale is in season mid-winter thru spring.