I’m sure by now you ALL have heard of this super food ingredient. Whether it be on the menu of your favorite farm to table restaurant or even a trendy sweatshirt sported by Beyoncé herself…kale is everywhere.
I can remember a couple years ago when kale first made it’s big splash into the foodie world and was touted as the next big superfood. Like all other hyped up foods of this type I didn’t pay too much attention. Remember Gogi berries? They were supposed to revolutionize your health in a single salad topping. Nothing against those little red berries, but like many new and hip health foods, they kind of fell off the map. Kale, however, has been a different story. It just doesn’t seem to want to take an exit, and after a little research on my part I have to say it’s for good reason. So, let’s just dive a little deeper into the vast benefits kale can bring to your health.
1. Nutritional Breakdown:
In just one small cup, raw kale only contains 33 calories, but packs almost 3 grams of protein, which is rare in a leafy green considering most forms of lettuce and cabbage are primarily water. In the fiber department you are going to get 2.5 grams which will aid in digestion, and keep you fuller and satisfied longer.
Now, where kale REALLY shines is in the vitamin department. I don’t know about you, but I struggle to get enough balanced vitamins in my body through my food. It’s just so easy to take a multi-vitamin and call it a day. It’s good to know that in that small cup of kale you are going to get a ton of vitamins A, K, and C. I was also thrilled to learn that kale is a great source of iron and folate. So, for those of you moms-to-be (like me), this dark green should be your go to for salads and the like. Even if you’re not expecting, folate is a vitamin that supports brain development and function for all ages!
A little fun fact: did you know that one cup of cooked kale has over 1000% more Vitamin C than the same amount of cooked spinach? It’s true! As well, kale’s oxalate levels are low which allow the body to easily absorb calcium and iron, both of which tend to pass through the digestive system with little absorption.
2. Disease Prevention:
That’s right this superman of the food realm is also very gifted in warding off and controlling many serious diseases. A growing concern in the U.S. is diabetes, both type I & type II. A major key in keeping diabetes under control is a low glycemic index diet. By adding foods which are high in fiber, this keeps insulin in check which in turn allows blood sugar to remain stable. We already know kale packs a big punch in the fiber department, so by adding this into your daily diet whether you are a diabetic or not can be a huge benefit.
Now, on to heart disease. Many doctors suggest that by increasing potassium and decreasing sodium is one of the most helpful dietary changes a person can make in the fight against heart disease. Once again kale fits the bill for both of those changes adding 330 mg of potassium and trace amounts of sodium. Lastly, this hearty green has been known to aid in cancer prevention. No, no I’m not suggesting that kale can cure cancer or anything, but it wouldn’t surprise me if down the road we find out that it can!
Ok, so with summer around the corner I know we are all excited to fire up that grill…ahhhh, BBQ! Well, when foods are cooked at extreme high temperatures (aka a grill) you get that delicious black char on the outside of your meats and veggies. Although, this char tastes incredible studies have shown that it is possible all that black goodness could contain carcinogenic properties. Never fear kale is here! kale contains tons of chlorophyll which has been shown to be a natural “blocker” of these said carcinogenic effects. So, at your next BBQ just pair your steak with a yummy kale salad and you’re golden!
You KNEW I couldn’t leave this section out. Don’t worry, I’ll keep it short and sweet. Out of all the many beauty benefits kale provides (hair, skin, and nails), I was the most blown away by it’s collagen building properties. I KNOW…it does that too! See, take a moment and think about all your skincare products and think about how many of them are full of Vitamin C. I know I have 3 products on my shelf right now that are from and entire line of “Vitamin C” boosting skincare products. We all know as we age collagen is one of the first things we lose especially in our faces. Hello, fine lines. This loss of collagen leads to wrinkles and more of a “sallow” look to the cheeks and jawline. One of the leading fighters in, not only in the loss of collagen, but the maintenance of collagen levels is Vitamin C. The more you can get in your body the better your skin will look. Just for a quick comparison, typically one session of botox can be well over $1,000. One bunch of kale packed with Vitamin C and collagen boosting properties is going to run you around $2.99. Yep, I think I’ll stick to the green stuff and spend the rest on shoes!
So, there you have it, a little breakdown of this incredible superfood. I don’t know about you, but now I want a kale salad! Haha! Let us know in the comments below your favorite way to nosh on kale. I’m always looking for new and fun recipes to try!! Also, if you would like to see some recipes including kale that could be really fun let us know. Now, go put on your kale shirt and have an awesome day!
Stay Happy and Healthy!
Do you know why this superfood is so good for you?