Preparing salads and some other dishes with various green leafy vegetables seems to be the new trend now. In fact, the green leafy vegetables are now popular as food staples in many nations all over the world. One of these amazingly delicious and healthy leafy vegetables is the kale. Though it is not as widely loved by many unlike spinach and lettuce, the health benefits of kale are undeniably stunning and staggering. Furthermore, these health benefits are all for the betterment of the overall health. If you wan to know more about this amazingly good vegetable, feel free to give this article a read.
This is a green leafy cultivar that comes from the Brassica oleracea species of plant. It is a close relative of cauliflower, broccoli, collard greens, cabbage, as well as Brussels sprouts. Even though many people think that kale is of different species, with the different culinary applications and flavors, kale is actually of the same species, and is broken down into various major groups. Basing on these grouping, kale is believed to be most closely related to the collard greens.
Kale brags either purple or green leaves, which tend to appear curly and wrinkled, and a bit stiff and dense. This is so unlike any other Brassica oleracea species of plant, which forms a tight head at the center of the plant and is bounded by flimsier, thinner leaves.
Moreover, kale has been a part of the culinary tradition dating back to the ancient Greek. Furthermore, because the plant is hard, and it has the ability to grow even in hostile conditions, kale has been one of the best staple foods for various cultures. In fact, it is one of the last vegetables that is being harvested before the hungry and heavy winters. Kale furthermore, is capable of growing in compact, tight plants like the cabbage as well.
There are actually five main groups of kale. These are denoted by the size and the shape of the leaves, and these are:
- Bumpy leaf
- Curly leaf
- Leaf and spear
- Rape kale
- Plain leaf
The disparity within the cultivars of the kale is quite impressive. However, most of them possess similar nutritional benefits and may be important in delivering the same health benefits when added to the diet.
Kale: Nutrition Facts
Adding kale to your diet may give you a lot of health benefits. These nutrition facts of kale actually include a large amount of vitamin K, which is actually more than the 1100% of the recommended daily value of kale. Furthermore, it also has significant amounts of manganese, copper, vitamin C, and vitamin A. in addition, it also has a relative amount of phosphorus, folate, niacin, thiamin, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acid, vitamin B6, dietary fiber, iron, calcium, as well as potassium. Some powerful antioxidants are also present in kale, these include zeaxanthin and lutein.
Furthermore, one single cup of kale has only 36 calories. However, it also provides a notable amount of protein. Overall, the nutritional density of kale is amazingly beneficial for a healthy diet.
Health benefits of Kale
Here are some of the most surprising health benefits of kale:
- Helps in lowering the risk of diabetes: the alpha-lipolic acid in the kale is beneficial in lowering the levels of blood sugar in the body. Furthermore, it is also beneficial in improving the insulin sensitivity of the body.
- Helps in improving the vision: the carotenoids in kale makes it very ideal for the boost in eyesight. Moreover, the zeaxanthin and lutein content of the vegetable is also beneficial in reducing the levels of the macular degeneration.
- Helps in preventing cancer: the active ingredients present in kale are beneficial in lowering the risk of cancer. This is one of the best health benefits of kale.
- Helps in preventing heart disease: the good amount of omega-3 fatty acids in kale are beneficial in lowering the levels of bad cholesterol and increase the levels of the good cholesterol.
- Helps in improving digestion: the rich levels of dietary fiber in kale are beneficial in bulking up the stool and stimulating the peristaltic movement in the gut. This is beneficial in reducing the signs of constipation, diarrhea, as well as cramping and bloating.
Uses of Kale
There are various ways of preparing kale. However, some of the most popular methods are in the preparation of salads, juices, pizza, as well as in chips.
- Salad: kale as an addition to a salad may help in improving the overall flavor of the salad. This is especially when the salad dressing has a strong base to counter the taste of the leaves.
- Juice: juicing kale may help in a lot of health conditions. Furthermore, you can make it more nutritious just by adding fruits to
- Pizza: replacing some ingredients in your pizza like spinach or rocket gives more nutritious burst into your pizza.
- Chips: cooking kale as chips makes it even more mouthwatering. Not only that, it is also much easier to eat this way.