Kale used to be relegated to the salad bar as decoration, but is now touted as one of the superfoods. How did that happen? It occurred because of all the health benefits of kale. I remember early in my grocery shopping days, there was always a small display of kale in Gloucester, ON, but it’s grown to take the space afforded to a popular vegetable that sells quickly. Kale has a lot to offer and since about 2012, has been coming on strong in popularity, with new kale recipes and treats appearing almost daily.
Eating kale is like taking a vitamin-mineral supplement.
This crucifer is a member of the cabbage family, so it offers many of the benefits other family members offer. It’s packed with nutrients. Whether you get the purple kale, green kale, curly kale or the kind with smooth leaves, there’s a ton of nutrition in just one cup. It offers over 200 percent of the daily value—DV—for vitamin A, almost 700 percent of the DV for vitamin K and well over 100 percent of the DV of vitamin C. It also contains vitamin B6, manganese, calcium, copper, magnesium, vitamin B1, B2, niacin, phosphorus and iron. This tasty little packet of nutrition also is low in calories—just 33, has just 6 grams of carbs, with a third of those from fiber and three grams of protein. That’s not all. It has the healthy fat, linolenic-acid.
Besides containing powerful antioxidants like vitamin C, it also contains other types.
Quercetin and kaempferol may not be as well known a vitamin C or vitamin A, but they are quite powerful and kale is loaded with them. It also has other ones, such as flavonoids and polyphenols. The antioxidants protect cells from oxidative damage. The more damage to cells, the faster you age and the more prone you are to serious illnesses like cancer. Antioxidants help keep blood pressure low, are anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and act as an antidepressant, while also protecting the heart. Put a smile on your face, while you’re warding off wrinkles by eating a kale salad.
Kale keeps your eyes healthy.
If you want to keep your peepers protected, munch on a bunch of kale. Most people expect to wear glasses or have poorer vision, the older they get. If you want to avoid the lenses longer, eating healthy can do that. Lutein and zeaxanthin are two nutrients that are found in kale that help you keep your eyes healthier and protect them from macular degeneration and cataracts, two very common senior eye disorders.
- Kale can help you lose weight. Considering that one cup is just 33 calories, it would take a lot to eat too much kale or consume too many calories.
- Kale is high in fiber, which fills you up, not out. It also has some protein. Both of these facts, combined with the high nutritional value, means it’s also great for losing weight.
- Not only is kale high in potassium to help lower blood pressure, it also has lots of calcium. Unlike spinach, which is loaded with calcium, it has low amounts of oxalate, which blocks calcium and other minerals from being absorbed, so there’s more bioavailability.
- You can find a lot of healthy kale recipes when you use our nutritional program. Isn’t time to try the three free workouts and see everything that 180 Fitness has to offer.