Kale is a phenomenal leafy green vegetable to include in your diet for energy, strength, and immunity. If you have never eaten kale, I hope that when I finish telling you about all of its great health benefits you’ll be ready to go to the store and get some immediately!
Kale is a leafy vegetable superfood full of nutrients for healing and rejuvenation of your body. Kale is a Brassica vegetable and a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables and it contains a tremendous amount of phytochemicals. Many of these phytochemicals have anticancer properties.
The key anticancer phytochemicals in kale is glucosinolates. Glucosinolates are compounds that function as antioxidants and detoxifiers. The top cancers kale protects us from include breast cancer, colon cancer, bladder cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer.
Kale is also a fantastic source of carotenoids and flavonoids. The top carotenoids and flavonoids are beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, kaempferol, and quercetin. These important antioxidants protect our body from environmental toxins and degenerative diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Antioxidants also reduce inflammation and protect our cells from free radical damage.
Kale has an extensive array of vitamins and minerals including vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, B vitamins, vitamin E, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and copper. Vitamin K is a key vitamin for regulating our body’s inflammatory process.
Kale is also rich in ALA omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids, chlorophyll, and fiber which are all important for maintaining vibrant health.
My favorite varieties of kale are curly kale, dinosaur kale, and purple kale.
Curly Kale has bright green curly leaves and an earthy flavor with slightly peppery undertones.
Dinosaur Kale aka Lacinato or Tuscan has dark green to almost black patterned leaves with a sweeter more delicate flavor than curly kale.
Purple kale aka ornamental kale has tender curly purple leaves that grow in heads with a mild flavor similar to cabbage.
Kale is available year round with a peak season from winter to early spring. Store fresh kale in the refrigerator for up to one week wrapped in a paper towel or in a produce storage bag.
Some of the best methods for cooking kale include steaming, lightly sautéing, and baking.
Kale does have goitrogenic compounds. If you have a history of thyroid disease eating raw kale in large amounts may affect thyroid function. Cooking kale will inactivate these goitrogenic compounds.
Kale also contains oxalates so if you have a history of kidney or gallbladder issues you may want to check with your healthcare provider before eating kale.
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The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods Authors- Michael Murray N.D., Joseph Pizzorno N.D., Lara Pizzorno M.A. L.M.T.