When it comes to choosing healthy vegetables, kale is one of the best ones that you can get. It’s because this vegetable can benefit your entire body, from your bones to your heart to your digestive system. Aside from that, this vegetable is also easy to prepare, and it’s delicious, too. Kale belongs to the Brassica family, which is a group of cruciferous vegetables, together with cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. It is a native vegetable in Asia and Europe.
There are many types of kale with colors ranging from dark green to pink. But the most common ones that you will see in markets are curly, Salad Savoy, Red Russian, and Lacinato. Kale is a very healthy vegetable. In fact, a cup of it contains 33 calories, 7 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fiber, 29 mg of sodium, and 2 grams of protein. And each serving also includes enough sources of vitamins A, C, K, and as well as iron and calcium.
If you want to know more about the reasons why kale is considered to be a raw superfood, you’re in the right place. It’s because today, we are going to give you the many benefits that you can get from eating kale.
Kale Can Help Lower Cholesterol
The vegetables that belong to the Brassica family contains more than 40 phenolic compounds that help fight lots of serious conditions, including high cholesterol. Based on a study among male patients with high cholesterol, there was a 10% reduction in LDL levels after they drank kale juice. It is because kale has the ability to bind bile acids that are produced by the liver. This way, bile acids are expelled by the body instead of being reabsorbed. As a result, the body utilizes stored cholesterol instead to replace the excreted bile acids, thus reducing cholesterol.
Kale is Good for the Bones
Kale is also an excellent source of vitamin K, which helps the body in bone mineralization and in maintaining calcium balance. When you eat a cup of kale, it includes more than 600% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin K. Therefore, if you are suffering from bone-related conditions, such as osteopenia and osteoporosis, eating kale might help you.
Kale Can Be Beneficial for Those Suffering from Diabetes
Aside from being rich in fiber, which is good for people with diabetes, kale is also filled with beta carotene and lutein, which can support eye health that usually suffers damage when you have diabetes. In addition, kale is also rich in potassium, which can lower your blood pressure, and as well as manganese, which can help in controlling blood sugar levels.
Kale Can Fight Against Inflammation
Aside from protecting your bones, the vitamin K that you can get from kale is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties. In addition to that, it is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids and as well as the antioxidant sulforaphane, which can both reduce inflammation.
Kale Can Aid in Detoxifying the Body
Kale is rich in potassium, which is known to have alkalinizing properties. When your urine contains more alkaline than acid, then your body will be able to eliminate more toxins. To be able to balance your body’s pH naturally, a lot of nutrition experts recommend using broths and soups, and kale is usually one of the main ingredients for them.
Kale is a Good Source of Antioxidants
Kale is rich in antioxidants that can neutralize free radicals or the unstable chemicals produced in the body that are thought to contribute to diseases like diabetes and cancer. It also contains quercetin, which is an antioxidant that has antiviral properties that can treat the common cold. And it also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which can prevent optic conditions such as cataract and macular degeneration.
Kale is a Natural Appetite Suppressant
Kale, and as well as other dark leafy green vegetables, contain thylakoids naturally. According to the discovery of scientists in the early 1990s, thylakoids can be used as an appetite suppressant. Based on studies, meals that are rich in thylakoids can help reduce insulin levels, which, when raised, can cause reactive hypoglycemia followed by hunger a short time late. Aside from that, studies also found out that thylakoids can decrease levels of ghrelin, which is the hunger hormone, and it increases the levels of leptin, which is the hormone that signals your brain that you’re full.
Adding Kale to Your Diet
Just like many other dark leafy greens, you can eat kale raw by mixing in in a salad. Kale can also be sautéed, blanched, steamed, roasted, and braised as a nutritious side dish for a healthy lunch or dinner. Aside from that, you can also blend it into a healthy smoothie, along with fruits, or add it to soups. Others also turn kale in chips for a healthy and delicious snack.
When cooking kale, remember that it is sturdier compared to other vegetables. It means that it may take longer to cook. It also has a bit of bitterness, which some people might not be accustomed to right away. When using kale as an ingredient, remember to remove the stems and ribs before cooking them. When storing kale, keep them cool and dry in your refrigerator. Avoid washing it until you are ready to prepare it.
If you want some crispy kale, then you can bake it in your oven on low heat for 20 to 25 minutes. And if you find its taste too bitter, then you can massage some avocado to it before eating.
Kale, indeed, has a lot of health benefits that are fantastic. No wonder a lot of people are adding it to every meal they prepare or cook. Therefore, if you are looking for ways on how to make your meals healthier, why not try adding kale to your ingredients? We hope the information we shared was able to help you better understand why kale is considered a raw superfood.