If this is the first you are hearing about kale, then permit me to introduce you to your new best friend for life: Kale, a leafy green cruciferous vegetable that is packed-full of essential vitamins that would nourish your body with the best!
When it comes to super healthy vegetables, kale has been scientifically proven to be the king of dark leafy greens! The nutritive value of Spinach cannot match the number and variety of nutrient kale contains. Yes! You read right!
Spinach cannot compare to Kale in terms of nutrients!
Generally, eating a diet high in dark leafy greens provides our bodies with protein, mineral, iron, numerous vitamins and is important for healthy bones, flawless skin and beautiful hair. Let’s take a closer look at all the goodness found in kale:
Nutritional value of kale
The king of the greens is low in calories (40 calories/cup) but very high in essential vitamins like Vit A (is key for good vision, a healthy immune system, and cell growth), Vit C (the cure for the common cold and fighting certain cancers) and Vit K (can lower the risk of coronary heart disease, cancer, type II diabetes, and metabolic syndrome) as well as minerals like copper, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus.
When compared with spinach, Kale is your to-go source for Vit C if you don’t have enough! One cup of cooked kale has over 1000% more vitamin C than a cup of cooked spinach. Would you have guessed? 🙄
Who can benefit from consuming kale?
Everyone can benefit from the nutritive goodness kale contains but particular groups of persons could benefit a great deal if they include this wonder food in the right proportions in their diet:
Diabetic patients: People suffering from type 1 diabetes can benefit from the high fiber content of kale because high-fiber foods have been shown to lower blood glucose levels1 meanwhile those suffering from type 2 diabetics , the alpha-lipoic acid2 present in kale could improve their blood sugar, lipids and insulin levels.
Patients with Heart diseases: Increasing the consumption of potassium-rich foods and a decrease in sodium-rich foods (salty food) has been scientifically proven3 to be the effective way of reducing the risks of heart diseases using nutrition. The fiber, potassium, vitamin C and B6 content in kale all support heart health.
Cancer patients: We Africans are known for grilling and roasting. If you are like me, you love charred food because the char gives it that extra smokey taste that we love. What we do not know is that grilling, roasting and cooking fried rice till it burns a little generates carcinogenes (cancer causing substance or agent) generated when cooking food at a high temperature. The good news is Kale and other green leafy vegetables that contain chlorophyll have been shown to be effective at blocking the carcinogens from our food to the body.4
Zee’s Health Tips: If you tend to like your grilled foods charred, make sure to pair them with green vegetables to help negate these effects.
How to incorporate more kale into your diet
Kale can be enjoyed sautéed, steamed, stewed or raw. Find a typical kale smoothie here! How do you include kale in your diet? Let us know in your comments below.
Take Note: If you have dysfunctional kidney or kidney problems DO NOT consume too much potassium. This could be fatal. Consult with your doctor to find out if your kidneys are healthy !
- Good Eats From Around the Globe, Bellati MS, Andy, Today’s Dietitian, Vol. 12 No. 4 P. 38, Accessed 10 Januar 2015.
- Increasing Dietary Potassium – Find Out Why Most People Need to Consume More of This Mineral, Bellati MS, Andy, Today’s Dietitian, Vol. 14 No. 12 P. 50, Accessed 11 January 2015.
- Alpha-Lipoic AcidNutrition 411, Last reviewed August 2012. Accessed 09 January 2015.
- Anticancer Compounds Found in FoodNutrition 411, Last reviewed February 2012. Accessed 10 January 2015.