Why Kale Is A Superstar Leafy Green Vegetable

Why Kale Is A Superstar Leafy Green Vegetable

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.

 

If you like this article and would like to contribute to the conversation, please take a moment to leave a comment.

 

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References
  • The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods Authors- Michael Murray N.D., Joseph Pizzorno N.D., Lara Pizzorno M.A. L.M.T.

 

Paid Endorsement Disclosure: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

Comments

  1. Now, I have never tried kale, but I am pretty adventurous. I know my grandmother makes it sometimes and said “This is for your grandfather for his kidneys.”

    I never questioned further. I will be looking at your kale recipes definitely and maybe try some.
    Nile recently posted..Blogging Ain’t Perfect: Your Blog VoiceMy Profile

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Nile, You have to try kale it is so delicious and very versatile. Some easy ways to enjoy it is braised, in soups, in salads, as a pizza topping, in stews, and in green smoothies. I hope you try it.

  2. You know my dad was a produce manager for Safeway for 40 years and my mom was a vegetarian so I really thought we’d been “treated” to every vegie on the planet growing up, but now that I think about it I don’t ever remember trying Kale. I’ve definitely seen it at the local store so I’ll have to give it a try – thanks!
    marquita herald recently posted..What Would You Miss if You Could Not Read or Write?My Profile

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Hi Marquita, It must have been great having access to all the great fruits and veggies your Dad provided since he was a produce manager along with having a vegetarian Mom! You must have eaten very well. Kale is a fantastic and versatile vegetable so I hope you give it a try. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  3. Hello Shelley! Thanks for this very informative post about Kale and its nutrition. All this goodness in one of my favorite veggies that I didn’t even know.

    I’m a big fan of Kale, but only when it’s prepared a certain way. I like it best when I destem it, pan roast it etc. Sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds and it get’s mo’ better. When I forget to destem it, especially some varieties of Kale, I like it a little less. But then that’s my problem, not Kale’s. 🙂
    Srinivas Reddy recently posted..Healthy Skin NaturallyMy Profile

    • Shelley Alexander says:

      Hi Srinivas, I’m glad you liked the post on Kale. I also like it cooked just liked you described it, is wonderful that way. The stems are tough and hard to eat but are great to use in juices if you own a juicer. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. Hello Shelley
    What a wonderful post on such an important subject. Our health.
    I can share from my experiences that Kale does absolute wonders for our body. I use it in salads and in a bullet, which Ipurchased a couple of months ago.
    I do find that it does not keep too long in the refrigerator. Any ideas how to preserve it longer?

    Thank you again
    Gladys posted….Create a blueprint for your life…you still have time
    Gladys recently posted..Create a blueprint for life…You still have timeMy Profile

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