What is all the fuss about this Queen of the super greens?
Kale is a member of the cabbage family, and related to cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens and brussel sprouts. It is packed to max with nutritional benefits and is very low in calories, making it one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet, and a great way to dramatically increase the total nutrient content of your diet.
Where to begin with this high achiever?
It's low in calories, high in fibre and has zero fat. Not a bad start.
All together, this little super hero delivers health benefits that range from bone health to blood clotting, protection from various cancers, protection from oxidative damage leading to ageing and disease, blood pressure lowering, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties, aiding digestion and elimination, and the list goes on.
Kale is among the world's best sources of Vitamin C. A cup of raw kale contains more vitamin C than a whole orange. One cup of cooked kale has more than 1000% more vitamin C than a cup of cooked spinach. Vitamin C is helpful in maintaining cartilage and joint flexibility, vision, skin. detoxify your body and keeping your liver healthy.
Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef, helping with the formation of haemoglobin and enzymes, transporting oxygen through the body, and cellular growth. Per calorie, it also has more calcium than milk, which is highly absorbable, aiding in preventing bone loss and osteoporosis and maintaining a healthy metabolism.
It offers up antioxidants, protein, Vitamins A and K, Omega 3 fatty acids as well as minerals such as copper, potassium, manganese and phosphorus. Because of kale's low calorie and high water content, and its small amounts of protein and fibre, and low energy density, kale is also a great ally in weight loss.
Adding it to your daily diet
Kale can be enjoyed raw in salads or wraps, or added to stir fries, soups, casseroles, sauteed as a vegetable accompaniment to meat, in green smoothies or as a snack - kale chips are a delicious, crunchy and healthy way to snack. You'll find it at your local greengrocer, and most likely at your local supermarket too.