First it wasapple cider vinegar. Then it was LSA. And after that? It was chia seeds. However, these health industry buzzwords have currently taken a backseat when it comes to being the best at promoting optimal wellbeing – kale is now the superfood of choice.
Yet why all the fuss? Does this dark leafy green vegetable really live up to the hype? Yes, this new Queen of the Greens most certainly does. It’s a nutritional powerhouse, really, and its insane amount of healthy attributes make it a worthy addition to your diet.
7 HEALTH BENEFITS OF CONSUMING KALE
#1. Kale is very high in vitamin C
In fact, it has more vitamin C that your average orange. This means it’s fantastic for your immune system, as well as your metabolism and hydration levels, both of which are boosted by sufficient vitamin C intake.
#2. Kale contains a lot of vitamin A
Vitamin A is vital for healthy vision and skin, and it also helps prevent lung and oral cancers. That said, you’ll love this: one cup of chopped kale will give you not only a huge dose of the good stuff, but more than your entire daily recommended intake of vitamin A.
#3. Kale has more calcium than milk
All dark leafy vegetables are full of calcium, but when compared, kale has around 150mg of calcium per 100g, where as milk has 125mg. This is fantastic news for those wanting to avoid dairy products, but who are still concerned about bone strength and density.
#4. Kale acts as a detoxifier for the body
This vegetable is full of fibre, which is known for its ability to help bind food together in the stomach and encourage the elimination of waste. This essentially clears the body of toxins and even cholesterol, making way for a healthier heart and liver.
#5. Kale is full of antioxidants
Antioxidants are known for their cancer-fighting qualities, and the carotenoids and flavonoids (powerful antioxidants) in kale are great protectors against various cancers and coronary artery disease.
#6. Kale is jam-packed with iron
Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef. And considering iron is essential for transporting oxygen around the body, as well as cell growth and healthy liver function, kale makes upping your iron levels rather easy.
#7. Kale helps fight inflammation
This vegetable is very rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which is a wonderful nutrient that targets arthritis, joint pain, immune system disorders and asthma.
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO EAT THIS GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLE?
Want to get some kale into your system, like, right now? There’s a few ways to add this superb superfood to your diet. Mixing kale – alongside other fruits and green vegetables – into a smoothie or juice is one of the simplest ways to eat kale without really tasting it. Aim for one green drink each day and you’ll soon feel lighter and healthier. Jennifer Aniston is known for loving a kale chip, which is probably the tastiest way to eat this superfood. To make this snack as home, simply drizzle some olive oil over washed pieces of kale leaves and sprinkle some salt on top (and spices like cumin, chilli flakes if you wish), before placing in a moderate oven for five or so minutes until crisp. Otherwise, treat kale like any other green vegetable you currently eat. Finely chop the leaves and add them to your spaghetti bolognaise or stir-fry instead of broccoli, or toss the leaves into your lunchtime salad instead of rocket. It’s up to you to be adventurous, really.
WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PURCHASING KALE?
Kale thrives during the cooler months, so it’s likely you’ll find your supermarkets stocked with the fullest and freshest kale during the winter season. No matter what time of year, though, it’s wise to purchase a bunch of kale that looks – feels – crisp and crunchy, and has a dark green-blue hue. It does perish quite easily, so be sure to use it within a few days of purchasing, and store it in the refrigerator to help maintain the nutrients for longer.
Did you know kale had so many health benefits? Do you consume this dark green leafy vegetable on a regular basis? What are you favourite ways to eat kale?