Don’t Kale My Vibe: The Real Benefits of Kale

Kale is like so trendy right now! But, why? What is it about this leafy green that all the hipsters are raving about? We take an inside look and give you the whole perspective as we explore the true benefits of Kale; along with a few favorite recipes, tips for picking, and more!

Low in calories, high in fiber, zero fat content, and so much more, Kale is probably the most nutritious vegetable you can find today. Let’s look at some of the nutritional facts, shall we!

 

Kale has…

36 calories in 1 cup (steamed)

0.6 grams of fiber in 1 cup (raw)

2.6 grams of fiber in 1 cup (steamed)

206% of the RDA for Vitamin A

648% of the RDA for Vitamin K

134% of the RDA for Vitamin C

9% of the RDA for Calcium

9% of the RDA for Potassium

6% of the RDA for Magnesium

Not many studies have been done on the benefits of kale yet, but what has been done has been astounding! Here are a few facts about this curly leafed cruciferous vegetable you must check out:

     

  1. Kale is full of antioxidants that help prevent “oxidative stress” which in turn leads to prevention of some forms of cancer; such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer. 
  2.  

  3. Kale can help lower cholesterol, which in turn can help prevent heart disease! The liver turns cholesterol into bile acids. Bile acids are used to help break down fats. When the fats have been absorbed and the bile has served its purpose, the bile is then reabsorbed into the bloodstream to be used again in the future. Kale has these cool things called Bile Acid Sequestrants which bind to the bile and are then eliminated, which brings the overall cholesterol total in the body down. Pretty cool, huh? That’s not all, though… 
  4.  

  5. The amount of substances that can fight cancer are outrageous. Cancer is a disease that makes cells in the body grow uncontrollably, it is terrible. Sulforaphane is a compound found in Kale and other cruciferous vegetables that is believed to fight cancer at the molecular level! What a cool science lesson, right? There haven’t been many tests on humans, so the evidence is mixed, but the tests done on animals and human cells in test tubes has been magnificent. 
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  7. Kale is great for inflammation! One cup of kale is full of omega-3 fatty acids that help to fight against arthritis, autoimmune diseases, and asthma. Talk about healing your body with the proper nutrition, THIS is a great example!

 

Tips, tricks, and recipes (oh my!)

  • When you are choosing kale, make sure to look for firm, deep green leaves. The stalks are moist and hardy.
  • When storing your kale, keep it in a cool environment so that the leaves do not wilt and the flavor stays rich.
  • My favorite way to eat kale would be Kale Chips! Here’s an easy recipe to make your own…

1Abbey’s Kale Chips!

  • Kale
  • Tsp of EVOO
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Parchment paper

{pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees}

Dry your kale as best you can (towel dry, blow dryer, whatever)


 
Take your kale and chop it up into pieces. I like mine about the size of a normal potato chip, they tend shrink a little while in the oven.

After you chop your kale, place on parchment paper on a baking sheet.

Brush the kale with your EVOO and then sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake for 10-15 minutes or until sides of kale are turning brown.

 

Resources:

  1. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=38
  2. https://authoritynutrition.com/10-proven-benefits-of-kale/
  3. http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4408/Top-10-Health-Benefits-of-Eating-Kale.html

 

 

Meet the Author:

Meet the Author - Abbey
Meet the Author – Abbey

This article was written by Abbey! Abbey is a mom of two who spends her days watching Scooby Doo with her toddler and breastfeeding her two month old. She writes on nutrition, fitness, and her crunchy life.

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