Kale is perhaps one of the least known superfoods, but this vegetable is one that should be a regular part of your diet. It's a versatile food and can be served in stir fries, soups, juiced, blended as smoothies and even served as chips.
The vegetable has either green or purple leaves and the leaves are the part of Kale that should be eaten so before adding it to a meal, pick the leaves off the stems as these can be difficult to cook.
As well as being a tastier alternative to other green vegetables such as cabbage, Kale is full of vitamins and important antioxidants; it is also rich in minerals such as iron.
In the UK, there has been a huge increase in sales of Kale, which is thought to be partly down to some of the celebrity endorsements. The Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow is just one celebrity who swears by Kale and adds it to her green juice smoothies to help detox her body.
Skin and Eyes
Consuming vitamin A or beta carotene is well known to contribute to the good health of the skin and eyes. Kale has particularly high levels of vitamin A providing well in excess of the daily vitamin A requirements per each 100g serving.
Kale is an excellent source of vitamin C containing 200% of the recommended RDA per 100gs. Vitamin C helps the body to build collagen, which can enhance the elasticity of the skin.
Using Kale as a detox tool has become an increasingly popular idea since Gwyneth Paltrow said that she consumes Kale to detox. The benefits of detoxing include clearer skin, weight loss, and improved energy levels.
Due to the levels of sulforaphane in the Kale, scientists believe that Kale could be beneficial to heart health. Sulforaphane is a sulphur compound and has been shown to help suppress inflammation; Kale itself is high in anti-oxidants, which are thought to protect against heart disease and some cancers.
Sulforaphane has been shown to have anti-cancer properties. However, the research isn't complete and there is still more work to be done before it can be determined just how beneficial Kale could be in helping in the fight against heart problems and cancers.
Kale really is the dieter's best friend. Per a 28g serving, there are just nine calories. Kale is also low in fat and carbohydrates, but low in protein.
In addition, Kale is also high in fibre, which will make a person feel fuller sooner and help to curb the appetite.
For those that don't like to eat a lot of meat, Kale will help add to the daily iron intake. Like many of the green leafy vegetables, Kale is an important source of the mineral; a serving of Kale can provide 20% of the daily requirements. Iron is mineral that women are often deficient in, which can lead to the development of anaemia.
Kale is an excellent way to get more vitamin K in the diet. Vitamin K can be difficult to include in adequate amounts and Kale is one of the best sources for it. However, because of the high vitamin K content, the vegetable might not be suitable for people on anti-coagulant drugs due to vitamin K's blood thinning effects.
Many people often described Kale as being "power packed" with nutrients and this is indeed the case. Kale has good levels of essential minerals such as calcium, selenium, magnesium, manganese, copper and iron.
In addition to having a large amount of vitamin A and vitamin C, Kale also supplies B vitamins, which are essential for the health of the nervous system. Kale is also a good source of Folic acid.
High Fibre Content
There is plenty of dietary fibre to be found in a serving of Kale. Each serving has 2.0gs, providing 5% of the daily recommended amount of fibre.
Fibre plays an essential part in bowel health and experts suggest increasing the daily intake of dietary fibre to help prevent bowel problems and bowel cancer.
Its high fibre content is also useful for reducing the cholesterol levels in the blood stream and can help prevent a person putting on weight by helping them feel fuller.
Updated: April 24, 2018 CET