If you have grown up consuming food from the Chinese or the Cantonese cuisines on a regular basis, you must have had Kai Lan many times already. Kai Lan is a vegetable that is very common to Singaporeans. In fact they eat it regularly. Not only that it is oozing with unique flavor, it is also packed with a number of nutrients. Not just that, the health benefits of Kai Lan are to look out for, as well. These health benefits that we are talking about are all astounding and are all for the betterment of the overall health. So, if you want to know these and more about this vegetable, feel free to give this article a read.
What is Kai Lan?
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Kai Lan is a vegetable that is actually the same species as the cauliflower or broccoli –Brassica oleracea. The vegetable has a flat, thick, and silky green leaves. Furthermore, it also has thick stems that have small flowers on it. Furthermore, the vegetable is also called Gai Lan, Chinese kale, or Chinese Broccoli.
In China, they commonly cook Kai Lan stir fried then they’ll mix it with wine, chicken, and ginger. The health benefits of Kai Lan are so wide-ranging and are present in various fruits, just like the foods from Canton or Tionghoa.
In spite of all its name, Kai Lan is nothing like the regular type of Kale, which is growing in popularity now in the whole wide world. For one, the stem of the Kai Lan is not that tough as the kale. Furthermore, the leaves of it are more delicate definitely.
Many people say that Kai Lan is one of the most flavorful vegetables in the Asian cuisines. The taste of it is a bit complex but not to the extent that it is so overwhelming, and has a slightly bitter taste. Furthermore, it does not have the same overpowering and distinct taste as well. This particular distinctive taste is what makes people turn off for the broccoli. When it is properly cooked and is grown organically, there will be a distinct sweetness to it.
Nutritional Facts of Kai Lan
Kai Lan is a vegetable that is rich in nutrients, in fact, the vegetable has high calcium, zeaxanthin, lutein, vitamin C, vitamin K, and beta-carotene. Because of that, it can be a natural antioxidant as well as an anti-inflammatory for the body.
Furthermore, Kai Lan also contains high levels of vitamin C, higher than orange actually. In actual fact, the vegetable may provide about 134% of vitamin C, whereas the orange can only provide 113%. Moreover, the vegetable also can provide greater amounts of vitamin A than any other green vegetables.
A hundred (100) grams of Kai Lan has:
|Vitamin K||817 µg|
|Vitamin E||0.85 milligrams|
|Vitamin C||41 milligrams|
|Folic acid||13 µg|
|Vitamin B6||0.138 milligrams|
|Vitamin A||681 µg|
How to Properly Choose Kai Lan?
In properly selecting your Kai Lan, you must first start looking at the end of the stalk, being crusty or dry is an indication that the vegetable is not safe to buy. Furthermore, you must also ensure that there are no white rings in the middle of the stalk of the vegetable. These stalks usually mean that it is already old and will be bitter.
If there are tiny florets in the bunch of Kai Lan you have, see to it that they’re still compact and are not open. An open flower is a sign that they are a bit older already and will taste bitter than the younger Kai Lan.
Health Benefits of Kai Lan
Here are some of the best health benefits of Kai Lan:
- Helps in preventing blood clot: the vitamin K content of the vegetable is beneficial in preventing possible blood clots.
- Helps in avoiding anemia: the zinc content of Kai Lan is higher than meats. Thus it helps in the production of enzyme and hemoglobin. Therefore, it may help in reducing the risk of anemia.
- Helps in avoiding constipation: the low carb, no fat, and high fiber content of the vegetable are good for averting constipation. This is because it helps in the digestion process as well as the defecation processes.
- Helps improve the brain health: the omega-3 fatty acid in Kai Lan is beneficial in taking care of the health of the brain.
- Helps reduce the risk of cancer: the anti-inflammatory and the antioxidant properties of Kai Lan is beneficial in reducing the risk of cancer. In fact, consumption of the vegetable is recommended by many.
Truly Kai Lan is not just a good addition to the cuisine, they are also oozing with so many health benefits.