Since the Greek and Roman times, the benefits of Kale have been known. Did you know that for its low price and easy accessibility kale was once called “poor people food”? Now the famous celebrities are consuming this green leafy vegetable to maintain their sleek figure.
This robust green vegetable belongs to the Brassica family and is grown across the U.S., Japan, and Europe. Its leaves are colored blue, purple, or white, wholly depending on the cultivar. Kale is available in over 50 varieties, with curly, dinosaur-like, and ornamental kale being the most common.
Nutritional Value of Kale
Because of its high nutritional value, Kale is called the “Queen of Greens.” This powerful nutritious food is extremely low in calories. Each cup yields only 33 calories. Kale’s loaded with vitamins and essential nutrients. It contains vitamins such as A, B, C, E, K, and vitamin A.
You can easily get your recommended daily amount of vitamin K and 90 percent of the daily value of vitamin C from a single serving of kale.
A one-cup kale serving provides 335 micrograms of vitamin A, 47 percent of the daily value. Kale also boosts your body ‘s value for calcium, phosphorus, and iron.
Every cup of kale provides 1004 milligrams of copper which is more than the daily value recommended. It is one of the few green leafy vegetables with a decent omega 3 fatty acid content.
Health Benefits of Kale:
Kale contains very little fat, most of it being the alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) called omega-3 fatty acid. In addition, kale has the properties of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, cardioprotective, antiviral, and antidepressant.
Health experts are recommending eating about 3 cups of vegetables a day, and adding kale to your diet is a great way to achieve that objective. The size suggested for the serving is 1⁄2 to 2 cups.
Kale is used for its amazing health benefits. Some health benefits of kale are listed here:
1. High Fiber Content
Kale is an excellent dietary fiber source. It improves the digestive system and prevents constipation and promotes the everyday movements of the intestine. Isothiocyanates in the kale break down into glucosinolates, which regulate body cell detoxification. It detoxifies the body and keeps the liver and the kidney perfectly.
2. Prevents Anemia
Iron is needed for blood hemoglobin production. This helps transport oxygen to other parts of the body. The routine body functions require healthy oxygen levels. Proper body iron levels help also to synthesize essential neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin.
As kale is a good source of iron, iron deficiency anemia can be prevented. It also contains vitamin C which contributes to improving iron absorption in the body.
Kale is also rich in vitamin B12 and folic acid, nutrients that boost the energy needed by the body to avoid anemia.
3. Immune System
Kale’s high antioxidant levels resist infectious agents and improve the body’s immune system. Body protection against free radical damage to vitamin C and sulforaphane. Regular kale intake also improves white blood cell production in the body, preventing viruses and bacteria from entering the body.
4. Improves Bone Strength
The high calcium and vitamin K levels in kale reinforce the bone and prevent bone loss. Vitamin K is required to put calcium into the bones and prevent calcium from being calcified out of the tissues. It also acts as a bone matrix protein modifier and reduces urinary excretion.
The vitamin B-complex is combined with homocysteine levels, thus preventing bone fracture. The omega-3 fatty acids in kale lubricate and maintain flexibility in the joints and encourage joints and cartilages.
5. Improves Eye Health
Kale is an ideal source of nutrients that protect the eyes from ultraviolet rays, such as carotenoids, zeaxanthin, lutein, and vitamin A.
The high concentrations of vitamin A in kale leaves prevent degeneration and cataracts in the elderly. It also promotes the production of rhodopsin, a vitamin-saving pigment in the retina. Zeaxanthin is absorbed into the retina for light filtering, which enhances the vision.
In addition, carotenoids help prevent damage to the eyes from excessive sun exposure to harmful UV rays.
6. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
In nature, Kale is alkaline. The high vitamin K levels enhance blood circulation and thus reduce chronic inflammation. Kale’s anti-inflammatory properties also thwart the free radical response in the body.
7. Control Diabetes
Kale contains manganese, a nutrient that encourages the regulation of healthy blood sugar. Studies have found that diabetics who eat a high-fiber diet have lower levels of blood sugar, better lipids, and insulin.
Kale also contains alpha-lipoic acid, a glucose-lowering antioxidant that prevents oxidative stress in diabetics. In diabetics, it also reduces peripheral neuropathy and autonomous neuropathy.
8. Aids in Weight Loss
Kale leaves contain approximately 80% water and no fat at all. It takes a room in your stomach and keeps you long. In kale, vitamin C moisturizes the body and increases metabolism, helping to reduce weight. It also stabilizes your body’s blood sugar levels, preventing spikes in insulin.
A stable level of blood sugar keeps the weight off. To melt the excess fat from the body, drink a glass of kale, lemon juice, and green apple juice.
Regularly eat kale to increase the volume of your meals without adding too many calories. You can make a green salad, a glass of vegetable juice, or a bowl of soup with kale.
9. May Fight Cancer
Kale also helps to prevent the formation of cancer in the body. Like any other green leafy vegetable, kale contains chlorophyll, which blocks the heterocyclic amines’ carcinogenic effects.
It contains indole 3 carbinol, which increases DNA and reduces the growth of cancer cells. It can prevent different cancers such as colon, prostate, ovarian, bladder, and breast cancer. The organosulfur compounds in kale break into the body’s isothiocyanates, which promote the production of enzymes that kill cancer. The growth of prostate cancer cells is also inhibited.
Kale also enhances the repair of healthy cells and prevents cancer cell growth.
10. Boost Heart Health
As already mentioned, kale is an excellent source of fiber that binds bile acids, reducing lipoprotein in the blood to a low density. It contains compounds that reduce the risk of heart disease.
Potassium in kale regulates blood pressure and heart rate by counteracting sodium adverse effects. Steamed kale is best used to lower the body’s cholesterol.
11. Boosts Mental Health
The neural damage in the brain is limited by vitamin K in kale, preventing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. It synthesizes sphingolipids, the fats forming the nerve sheath, which contribute to a healthy nervous system. Omega 3 fatty acids prevent brain cell damage due to high levels of sugar.
In addition, carotenoids guard the brain against the oxidative stage and reduce the chance of cognitive decline in elderly people.
12. Helps in Detoxification
Kale supports the body’s detoxification system extensively. It can help support the organ which is natural to detoxify the body, including the liver and kidneys. The detoxification process is assisted by fiber and sulfur in kale.
Fiber promotes a healthier intestine that is better to prevent your body’s absorption and disposal of unwanted substances as waste products. This in turn supports the functions of the kidney and liver.
Furthermore, the glucosinolate isothiocyanates in kale may play a beneficial role in protecting the body against environmental toxins.
Benefits of Kale on Skin
Making kale a part of your diet every day not only promotes well-being but also keeps the skin healthy. It is an abundant source of vitamin A, C, K, and phytonutrients which make a healthy and beautiful skin.
13. Vitamin C
Kale contains high levels of vitamin C, which is of great benefit to the health of the skin. It helps make collagen necessary for strength and elasticity of the skin. Low vitamin C levels in the body slow the production of collagen, which weaken the skin and cause tears.
The high levels of antioxidants in kale leaves offer natural protection against the sun, thus preventing skin damage from sun exposure. Lutein, beta-carotene and carotenoids enhance elasticity and skin strength.
Copper in kale enhances melanin synthesis, a pigment which protects your skin against sun damage. Kale’s anti-inflammatory properties also help to heal the wound.
16. Vitamin A
Vitamin A in kale stimulates healthy dermis and skin epidermis cell growth. Low vitamin A levels can adversely affect the skin’s oil and sweat glands, resulting in slender and dry skin.
It also replaces healthy skin with skin cells. Vitamin A repairs the skin under the skin and prevents damage caused by free radicals.
Vitamin C and antioxidants prevent premature aging and help you get younger for a longer period of time. Kale juice detoxifies your body efficiently, flushes out the toxins, and gives you beautiful and glowing skin.
Benefits of Kale on Hair
Healthy hair is a healthy sign. Strong and healthy hair depends on the ability of the body to build the right hair shaft and follicles. The best environment for building strong and lustrous hair is good nutrition.
Kale is a nutritious powerhouse, as mentioned above. It contains several essential nutrients needed for proper hair health. Some of the Benefits of kale on hair include:
18. Hair Growth
Drinking kale juice every day could largely prevent hair breakage. Vitamin B complex help in creating red blood cells that help transport scalp follicles with oxygen and other nutrients. Vitamin B deficiency can cause hair loss.
Kale also contains biotin, which is an extremely important mineral for hair health. It helps the growth of hair and promotes overall scalp health.
An iron deficiency can cause anemia, which can lead to serious hair loss. Kale contains high iron levels, preventing hair loss, and encouraging hair growth.
20. Vitamin C
For proper hair health, vitamin C is extremely important. It provides oxygen to the hair follicles and promotes hair growth. Collagen, a structural fiber required for optimal hair growth, is also necessary. Vitamin C deficiency can lead to fragile hair.
Kale contains high levels of zinc, a tissue growth mineral, and scalp repair. It keeps the oil drums around the hair follicle functioning correctly to prevent hair loss. Low zinc levels can lead to slow growth of hair, pelvis, and hair loss.
Tips for eating kale
- Eat raw, tender, tender kale leaves to add to your salad.
- Enjoy a healthy snack with kale chips.
- Add kale to smoothies to enhance their diet.
- To make a healthy glass of vegetable juice, use kale with other green vegetables.
- The best ways to cook kale are steaming, microwaving, and frying. Do not boil it, which reduces its nutritional properties.
- Since kale can contain residual pesticides, choose organic kale, or grow it in the garden.
Selection and Storage
Make sure that the leaves are dark green in color with small to medium leaves when you buy kale. Do not buy kale with brown to yellow leaves. In a plastic bag, place the leaves and store them in the refrigerator.
Sometimes small aphids such as spiders and bugs cling because of their curly texture to the base of the kale leaves. If you find aphids after you buy the kale leaves, soak them 10 minutes in vinegar and sea salt. Then wash the leaves and wipe them in the running water with a towel.
Risks and Precautions with Kale
Although Kale has many health benefits, it is not completely safe for consumption.
It contains a small number of oxalates and people with gallbladder and kidney stones should avoid them.
Higher levels of vitamin K in kale may interfere with the thinning of blood and anticoagulant medicines. Before increasing your consumption, make sure you consult your doctor.
Excessive intake of kale and kale juice can cause intestinal discomforts such as diarrhea, gastritis, and stomach cramps.
Some people may also have fatigue, chest pain, and weakness in their muscles. This is known as the kale juice “healing reaction.” Kale juice detoxifies all the toxins in the body, resulting in temporary weakness.
Kale Smoothie Recipe
- 1 cup of fresh kale, washed and chopped
- A cup of frozen strawberries, chopped
- 1 cup of low-fat yogurt
- a cup of crushed ice
Method of Preparation:
In a blender combine kale, strawberries, and yogurt and mix it up. Add some water and ice and mix until it becomes smooth. Enjoy your smoothie cold vitamins and minerals.
These green veggies may be included in your diet. Take the benefits of kale that it offers. If you know any more benefits, don’t hesitate to share them with us. We ‘d be happy to see your comments.