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Here’s Why Everyone Is Freaking Out About Kale

kale-chips

Here’s Why Everyone Is Freaking Out About Kale

It may seem a little over the top to “freak out” over a leafy green vegetable, but quite frankly, in the case of kale, we should all be doing a Julie Andrews impersonation in the opening scene of The Sound of Music. It’s that good! And here’s why:

  • Kale is at the top of the superfood spectrum. It is part of the cruciferous family, which also includes cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli, to name a few. Kale is brimming with vitamins and minerals which incorporate all kinds of health-benefits. And when it comes to cruciferous vegetables, kale is king. It has the widest variety of anti-oxidants and in some cases, the highest levels. Ideally, we should include cruciferous vegetables (including kale) in our diet 4-5 times a week.
  • Kale is low in calories but high in nutrition. A one cup serving has 33 calories, and contains generous amounts of vitamins K, A and C, and minerals manganese and copper.
  • It is high in fiber which makes it a great digestive aid and detoxifier, helping to keep you feeling vibrant and full of energy.
  • It has high levels of the carotenoids, lutein and beta-carotene, two exceptional anti-oxidants, which are effective in warding off oxidative stress. Since oxidative stress can lead to cancer formation in the body, this makes kale an effective anti-carcinogen.
    • Kale is one vegetable that may be healthier steamed rather than raw, at least when it comes to its cholesterol-lowering benefits. (Yes it does that too). The fiber in kale binds to the cholesterol and bile acids in our intestines and eliminates them from the body. Since bile acids are made from cholesterol in our blood, the liver draws on our existing supply of cholesterol to replenish the lost bile acids, thus lowering our cholesterol levels. A recent study showed that eating cooked kale was actually more effective in this process than eating raw kale.
  • Vitamin K is a powerful anti-oxidant and is extremely abundant in kale. (One serving contains a whopping daily value of 684%). It is known to reduce the risk of several types of cancer including bladder, breast, colon, ovary and prostate. However, due to its blood clotting properties, too much vitamin K can pose a problem for anyone on blood thinners such as warfarin. In such cases it should be used with caution and under a physician’s supervision.
  • Inflammation in the body is the number one cause of heart disease, arthritis, and some auto-immune diseases. Kale has anti-inflammatory properties and is very effective in preventing such diseases.
  • If you are fretting over the fact that your vegetarian daughter might not be getting enough iron, have no fear. Kale contains more iron than beef. Iron is an important nutrient in the formation of hemoglobin in the red blood cells, which transport oxygen around the body from the lungs to the organs. So being vegetarian is not an excuse for being anemic.
  • Kale is rich in calcium. Per serving, it contains more calcium than milk, and the body can absorb it more easily than in dairy form. Let healthy bones prevail!
  • It is important to note that in its raw form, kale can suppress thyroid function in certain people. (This is also true with other cruciferous vegetables). So if you are prone to hypothyroidism, it is recommended that you cook your kale, and also discuss its use with your physician.
  • The recommended way to cook kale is to steam it for five minutes. Adding other healthy ingredients, such as chopped garlic, olive oil, and a little sea salt and pepper, adds flavor and keeps it interesting.
  • Due to the high levels of pesticides found on kale, it is recommended that you buy the organically grown variety.

So, it would seem there are lots of reasons to be enthusiastic about kale, maybe even to the point of “freaking out!”
At Viance, we are passionate about helping you achieve a healthier you. Together with our products, our nutrition tips and tasty recipes, you can reach the goals you’ve set for yourself. We’re sure of it.

How to make your own Kale chips.

 

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About the author

Viance Nutrition

Hi! I'm Walt Landi the founder and CEO of Viance Nutrition. Welcome to our Blog. I maintain this Blog as a free resource for anyone wishing to improve their health. Your comments and feedback are always welcomed and you can email me direct at walt@viance.com if you have any suggestions. Thanks. Ps. Spread the word and check out our products at viance.com. :)

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