Kale is a vegetable of the cruciferous family. It is the first to be cultivated, well before cabbage. Well known in the Roman cuisine, this healthy plant was a staple in the middle Ages. The English imported it to America in the seventeenth century. Now, kale is considered one of the most nutritious food worldwide, with potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Kale Nutritional Benefits
Kale is rich in beta carotene, vitamin K, lutein as well as zeaxanthin, an important nutrient found in green leafy vegetables which as many health benefits including protecting the eye. This cruciferous vegetable also contains high levels of vitamins and minerals. A cup of raw kale (about 67 grams) contains: Vitamin C, 134% of the RDA; Vitamin B6, 9% of the RDA; manganese, 26% of the RDA; calcium, 9% of the RDA; Copper, 10% of the RDA; potassium, 684% of the RDA; Magnesium, 6% of the RDA; and Manganese, 26% of the RDA.
That is, one serving of kale contains only 36 calories and provides 192% of the daily requirement of vitamin A and 134% vitamin C. Since it is a plant source of vitamin A, you cannot overdose. Vitamin C is an excellent anti-radical, preventing damage to the inside and outside of the cells in the body. It helps reduce damage from inflammation, one of the main causes of development of cancer, heart disease, and autoimmune diseases. Vitamin C also helps oxidize cholesterol, fight infection, strengthen and renew the collagen in your skin to a healthy and youthful appearance. Therefore, consuming kale regularly is not only healthy but also antiaging.
Manganese is an important trace element for the synthesis of fatty acids necessary for sex hormones and the nervous system. It also helps to metabolize and use the energy from protein and carbohydrates, making it a perfect fat burner. The calcium in kale may also help to reverse osteoporosis and strengthen bones. Eating kale is one of the best ways to keep your bones and teeth strong and also protect your own blood vessels.
How Kale Fighting Cancer?
As the case of most cruciferous vegetables, such as watercress, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts, kale is a powerful anticancer food. In fact, regular consumption of the cruciferous family is the perfect natural way to prevent most cancers. They all contain glucosinolates which, once consumed, are transformed into solid anticancer agents, when not cooked too much.
Kale regulates metabolism of sugar and fat. It also contains sulforaphane, glucosinolates and indole-3 carbinoles, which are powerful anti-cancer molecules. They prevent the development of pre-cancerous cells in malignant tumors.
Kale and Breast Cancer
Kale is perfect to protect your health in general by providing your body with vitamins and minerals. Ten to fifteen organosulfur compounds (organic compounds that contain sulfur) that make up this super food are proven to be very effective against many cancers, including stomach cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and others.
When kale is chopped or chewed, enzymes are activated in the liver to produce enzymes that deactivate carcinogens in the body. Studies have shown that animals with cancer that ate these sulfur compounds found in kale (as well as other cruciferous vegetables) had tumors considerably decreased in size.
Other Interesting Health Benefits of Kale
- Kale is rich in fibers that regulate intestinal transit.
- Kale is rich in vitamins, minerals and chlorophyll. It promotes red blood cell production and is therefore anti-anemic.
- The raw leaves are effective in the treatment of bronchial and benign lung diseases and to relieve osteoarthritis pain.
- It contains the famous Vitamin U (enzyme S methylmethionine) that promotes mucosal healing especially in case of gastric ulcer.
Some Delicious Ways to Eat More Kale
Kale can be chopped and added raw to salads in a small amount, or lightly sautéed with olive oil, organic butter, and a squeeze of lemon juice and garlic. You can toast chopped kale with chopped apple tarts. Drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar and serve sprinkled with nuts on top. You can also drink the juice (using a juicer) mixed with juice of carrot, beet, or other vegetables or fruits you like.
Kale is simply a complete super vegetable you cannot ignore if you want to fight cancer or prevent it from developing in your body. Next time you see it adorning your plate as a garnish, eat it; this is probably one of the most nutritious elements on your plate.