If you’ve grown up eating Chinese or Cantonese food on a regular basis, then you must have had Kai Lan already. This vegetable is common to Singaporeans, who eat it regularly. Not only does it have a unique flavour, but it’s also packed with nutrients. Its health benefits are really something to look out for. If you want to learn more, keep reading this article!
What is Kai Lan?
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Kai Lan is actually part of the same species as cauliflower and broccoli – Brassica oleracea. The vegetable has flat, thick and silky green leaves, as well as thick stems with small flowers on them. Also called Gai Lan, Chinese kale or Chinese broccoli, it is commonly used in China for stir fries, where it is mixed with wine, chicken a ginger.
In spite of its name, Kai Lan is nothing like the kale we know around the world. For one, its stem isn’t as tough, and its leaves are much more delicate. Many people say it’s one of the most flavourful vegetables in Asian cuisines, offering a slightly cimplex taste that isn’t too overwhelming. Raw, it can be a bit much, but once you cook it, the sweetness will come out.
Nutritional Facts of Kai Lan
Kai Lan is rich in nutrients. In fact, the vegetable has high levels of calcium, zeaxanthin, lutein, vitamin C, vitamin K and beta-carotene. Because of this, it is a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory substance for the body.
Kai Lan has higher levels of vitamin C than oranges, providing about 134% of your daily intake (as opposed to oranges’ 113%). It also offers greater amounts of vitamin A than any other green vegetable. One 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
When selecting your , you must first look at the end of the stalk. If it’s crusty or dry, it is an indication that the vegetable is not safe to buy. You must also ensure that there are no white rings in the middle of the stalk of the vegetable, because this usually means it’s old and will taste bitter.
If there are tiny florets in the bunch of Kai Lan you have, see to it that they’re still compact and closed. An open flower is another sign that the leaves are a little older.
Health Benefits of Kai Lan
Here are some of the best health benefits of :
- Helps prevent blood clots: the vitamin K content of the vegetable is beneficial in preventing possible blood clots.
- Helps prevent anemia: the zinc content of Kai Lan is higher than that of meats. Thus, it helps in the production of enzymes and hemoglobin and may help reduce the risk of anemia.
- Helps prevent constipation: the low carb, no fat and high fiber content of the vegetable helps avert constipation because it helps the digestion process.
- Helps improve brain health: the omega-3 fatty acid in Kai Lan is beneficial in taking care of the brain.
- Helps reduce the risk of cancer: the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of Kai Lan help reduce the risk of cancer. In fact, eating Kai Lan is highly recommended.
As you can see, is not just a good addition to your diet. It’s also oozing with health benefits.