We all know that greens are good – but are some better than others? Certainly. The more nutrition you can get out of your greens, the better. This is why kale is the darling of the kitchen; chock full of nutrients and pretty great tasting, it may be time to make the switch to kale.
Amazing Nutritional Value
Kale offers a huge amount of nutritional benefits. In just a single cup of kale you’ll find calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Additionally, kale can provide you with important minerals including copper, iron, and phosphorus.
The high concentration of vitamins A, C, and K found in kale, as well as phytonutrients, help to promote health throughout the body and can significantly reduce the risk of diseases including heart disease and cancer. Vitamin K – of which 1 cup of kale contains over 600% of your daily recommended value – is vital for healthy bodily function and promotes bone health and healthy blood clotting. However, anyone on anticoagulants should consult their physician before introducing kale to their diets.
Iron, Calcium and Fiber
Kale offers more iron per calorie than beef – making it a perfect source of iron for vegetarians and vegans. Ensuring your body receives regular iron helps to ensure healthy cell growth and optimal liver function. Kale also offers more calcium than milk for bone health and to prevent osteoporosis. With 5 grams of fiber per cup, kale also helps aid in digestion and manages blood-sugar levels.
Awesome for Detox
Feeling a bit tired, or trying to make a fresh start? The combination of sulfur and fiber in kale help to detox the body and cleanse the liver.
Kale is a perfect winter vegetable, particularly if you are sticking to a more-local diet. Look for firm, dark-colored leaves. Kale comes in a variety of colors, from dark greens to reds and purples so you can use it to add a splash of color to salads, soups, or even throw into a smoothie to increase nutritional value.
Kale is pretty flexible; it can be eaten raw or cooked. If you do want to cook kale, ideally you want to cook it lightly to maintain the nutrients, color and texture. After rinsing and chopping finely, you can use kale in salads, braise slightly, include with pasta, or even make kale chips by tossing with olive oil and salt and cook for 10 minutes on 350°F for a delicious snack. Enjoy! photo credit: B*2 via photopin cc