Kale Health Benefits

June 14, 2017

kale health benefitsKale is king of all the healthy greens! Kale is loaded with all sorts of beneficial nutrients – some of which have powerful medicinal properties. It’s in the same veggie family as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower (the Brassica Family), which means it’s high in Vitamins A, C and K. It also has 3 grams of protein per serving and is high in fiber. And all this goodness in one cup of cooked kale only gives you 40 calories!

There are many types of kale. The leaves can be green or purple and have either a smooth or curly shape.

Kale Health Benefits

Kale is loaded with powerful anti-oxidants, which are needed to counteract the damage by free radicals in our bodies. Oxidative damage is believed to increase aging and cause many diseases. By ingesting kale, you will provide your body with quercetin and kaempferol which help to prevent many health problems.

Kale is an excellent source of Vitamin C, which is necessary to make collagen in our bodies and also to support our immune system.

Kale hails as one of the best sources of Vitamin K1, which is critical for blood clotting. A single raw cup of kale contains almost 7 times the recommended daily amount, so you’ll be sure to clot when you get a bleeding scrape or cut.

If your diet is lacking in minerals, kale is a good source of calcium and magnesium which are important for bone health and cell integrity. Potassium is also present in kale, which has been linked to reducing blood pressure and lowering your risk of heart disease.

One of the common symptoms of aging is a decrease in eyesight. Lutein and zeaxanthin are present in kale, which has been shown to lower your risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.

Healthy Kale Recipes

KALE CHIPS

Wash your kale and put on a towel to absorb the moisture. Use your hands to break the kale into pieces about the size of an egg. Put them in a bowl. Drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil. Sprinkle with garlic salt, cumin, curry powder, chili powder or pepper flakes. Bake in oven at 300°F for about 5-10 minutes until dry. Can broil the last 30 secs. to give them an extra crisp.

bean soup with kaleBEAN SOUP WITH KALE

Sauté 1 onion and 2 stalks of celery in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until tender. Add in 3-4 cups of vegetable broth, a large bunch of chopped kale, 4 chopped carrots, a can of cannelloni and black beans (or others you like). Add in 2 cloves of peeled garlic,  2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste and a splash of your favorite herbs (rosemary, thyme, basil, etc). Simmer for 20-30 minutes.    

 

 

kale saladKALE SALAD WITH GRAPEFRUIT AND TOASTED HAZELNUTS

Wash a bunch of kale and set on towel to absorb the moisture. Peel and segment a grapefruit. Add to kale.
Dressing: Mince a small onion. Add to ¼ cup lemon juice, ½ cup plain yogurt, 2 Tbls. extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Pour over kale and grapefruits and toss. Toast ½ cup of hazelnuts (or other nuts you enjoy) and sprinkle on top of the salad!

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REFERENCES


Peramaiyan, R., Natarajan, N., Thamaraiselvan, R.,  Rajendran, P.,  Edwinoliver, N.G.,  Uppalapati, L., Jacob, G.,  Ikuo, N.(2014). “Antioxidants and human diseases.”  Clinica Chimica Acta, Vol 436, Sept 25, 2014, pp.332-347.

Olsen, H., Aaby, K., and Borge, G.I. (2009). Characterization and quantification of flavonoids and hydroxycinnamic acids in curly kale.”  J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Apr 8;57(7):2816-25..

SELFNutritionData.com.  (8/13/2015). Nutrition facts of kale.

Spronk, H.M.H., Soute, B.A.M., Schurgers, L.J., Thijssen, H.H.W., DeMey, J.G.R., and Vermeer, C. (2003). “Tissue-specific utilization of menaquinone-4.” Journal of Vascular Research, Vol 40, No. 6.

Geiger, H. and Wanner, C. (2012). “Magnesium in disease.”  Clinical Kidney Journal, Vol 5, Issue Suppl 1, pp.125-138.

Cécile, D., Isabelle, C., Martine D., Pascale, B-G.  and Wolfgang,S. . (2006). “Plasma Lutein and Zeaxanthin and Other Carotenoids as ModifiableRisk Factors for Age-Related Maculopathy and Cataract: The POLA Study.” Clinical and Epidemiologic Research, June.

              

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