11 Amazing Health Benefits of Kale
Among all the superfoods, Kale which is a leafy green vegetable from the cabbage family is packed with nutrients.
Besides its infinite health benefits, it is also easy to prepare in less than five minutes.
The nutrients kale contains support healthy bones, skin, and hair.
The fiber content improves digestion and supports better cardiovascular health.
Kale may also help improve blood sugar control in diabetes, reduce blood pressure, lower the risk of cancer, and help avoid the development of asthma.
Here are top 11 benefits and reasons to eat kale.
1). Kale Is High In Nutrients
Kale is a member of cruciferous family and it’s related to other dark green leafy vegetables such as like collards and spinach.
It is also in the same family as broccoli, arugula, and Brussels sprouts.
The USDA recommends consumingup to two cups of dark green vegetables such as kale every week.
It also fills you up for practically no calories so it would actually help to add more of this superfood into your diet.
Kale is one of the most nutritious plant foods as it is loaded with all types of beneficial compounds.
2. Kale is rich in Vitamin A needed to protect the macular degeneration
Vitamin A is most commended for its ability to fortify our eyes, particularly our night vision, and kale happens to be rich in it.
According to American Optometric Association, age-related eyes degeneration is the main cause of blindness in individuals age 55 and above in the Western world and the rate is likely to triple by 2025.
Consuming kale may help this concern.
Aside from vitamin A, kale also has lutein and zeaxanthin.
Since the body does not synthesize the zeaxanthin and lutein, it needs to combat free radicals in the retinas.
We need to include 12 mg of zeaxanthin and lutein in our diets.
Kale contains 11 mg of zeaxanthin and lutein per serving.
Cook that equal serving of kale and you increase your zeaxanthin and lutein to 23.8 mg.
When the body gets sufficient zeaxanthin and lutein, they serve as antioxidants and protect the eyes from cataract development.
It also reduces the risk of developing age-related eyes degeneration.
Lutein and zeaxanthin, which are vital for eye health, can be found in kale. Kale’s Vitamin A content assists keep the eyes from macular ailments that come with age.
3. Kale is packed with vitamin C for healthy skin and immunity boost
A cup of this green vegetable has 134% of RDI of vitamin C.
Vitamin C helps repair cell and support healthy, strong skin.
Vitamin C can also boost skin collagen so it looks strong and supple.
Research shows that vitamin C may also work as natural sunblock, preventingthe skin from damage caused by harmful rays of the sun.
Vitamin C deficiencies may lead to a deteriorated immune system, which leaves the body susceptible to diseases.
Since kale contains no sugar, it may in fact be more helpful during cold season than drinking orange juice.
Concentration of major nutrients in kale gives the skin’s appearance and health a boost. Kale’s remarkable concentration of nutrients supports the immune system and combats viruses and bacteria.
4. Kale has Vitamin K good for cell growth and bone Health
Vitamin K stimulates proteins in the body to activate cell generation in the bones, lungs, and heart.
This vitamin is beneficial to the body because it prevents artery hardening and can also hinders certain cancers.
According to a study printed in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, vitamin K was discovered top revent the survival of certain pancreatic cancer cell lines.
While the body produces most of the vitamin K it requires, sufficient vitamin K intake is vital for good health. Kale is a great source of vitamin K. It assists modify bone matrix proteins, boosts calcium absorption, and may decrease the quantity of calcium excreted in urine.
5. Kale aids control diabetes
The antioxidants and fiber found in kale may provide protection against diabetes.
Studies have presented that a high consumption of fiber may actually lower blood sugar levels in individuals with type-1 diabetes.
People with type-2 diabetes may also see improved blood glucose, lipids, and insulinlevels.
A cup of chopped fresh, raw kale (about 16 grams), delivers 0.6 gram of fiber.
One cup of cooked kale (about 130 grams), offers 2.6 grams of fiber.
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020, people aged over 18 years are recommended to have fiber intake between 25 grams and 33.6 grams.
Kale is packed with an antioxidant called alpha-lipoic acid.
Studies show that alpha-lipoic acidcan help increase insulin sensitivity, lower sugar levels, and hinder oxidative stress-induced fluctuations in patients with diabetes.
This antioxidant may also reduce peripheral neuropathy as well as autonomic neuropathy in diabetic patients.
Most researches have used high amounts of alpha-lipoic acid, rather than dietary sources.
Nonetheless, kale can significantly contribute to a healthy daily consumption of this nutrient, which is likewise produced in the bodies naturally.
Some studies support that kale can be advantageous for individuals with diabetes. Kale has a cholesterol-lowering fiber that functions best in the body if kale is cooked.
6. Kale is high in magnesium and calcium
Magnesium isimportant for helping people de-stress, assists in digestion, and balances body’s calcium levels.
Magnesium also helps convert D vitamin so thebody can better absorb it as calcium.
Milk is frequently promoted for its rich calcium content.
However, kale contains more calcium than the regular cow’s milk.
One serving of this superfood has more absorbable calcium compared to a glass of milk.
According to a research, kale has exceptional absorbability for its calcium.
When cooked, on the other hand, kale does lose a considerable amount of calcium.
If you buy kale to gain the benefits of its calcium content, consuming it raw is best.
Moreover, some individuals don’t like milk or are lactose intolerant.
If you’re one of them, consume kale to meet your daily calcium needs.
Kale is a great, plant-based calcium source, a nutrient that is important for bone health and is significant for proper cellular function. It’s also a modest source of magnesium, a vital mineral that many people lack.
7. Kale may help prevent cancer
Kale is popular superfood that can help fight cancer. Cruciferous vegetables such as kale has glucosinolate phytonutrients that are member of the isothiocyanates (ITCs) family.
The two isothiocyanates in kale most extensively studied are sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol.
Raw kale has more amount of isothiocyanates capable of body absorption than cooked kale.
According to the National Institute of Cancer, these important compounds may:
- Inactivate carcinogens
- Help safeguard cells from DNA damage
- Have antibacterial and antiviral benefits
- Encourage cancer cell death (apoptosis)
- Have anti-inflammatory properties
- Hinder tumor blood vessel development and tumor cell migration
Kale contains chlorophyll can aid avoid the body from absorbing chemicals called heterocyclic amines.
These chemicals are generated when grilling foods at a high temperature, and they’re connected with cancer.
Although the body can’t absorb much chemical, the chlorophyll binds to these carcinogens and inhibits the body from absorbing them.
This may help restrict the risk of cancer.
People who like a chargrilled steak must pair it with kale to help reduce the negative effect.
Kale is rich in cancer-preventative nutrients. These nutrients have been revealed to trigger apoptosis or cellular death in cancer cells and stop cancer formation.
8. Kale helps strengthen immune system
Kale’s remarkable concentration of nutrients reinforces the immune system and fights off viruses and bacteria.
Itcontains more iron compared to beef, making it an excellent source of this important mineral for vegetarians and vegans.
It assists more oxygen get to the blood and impressively helps people who are anemic.
Kale has the helpful compounds to aid the body from getting sick.
Another research found that curly kale has great source of antioxidants.
Not just does kale has a substantial source of vitamin A that can help improve immune function, kale also contains a great quantity of vitamin C. These essential vitamins are required to keep the defenses in the body’s immune system that ward off invading bacteria and viruses.
9. Kale has anti-inflammatory properties
Aside from being a great source of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, carotenoids and fiber, research has shown that kale has 45 various flavonoids with a range of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
A cup of kale also has 10% of Omega-3 fatty acids RDA, which assist fight against asthma, arthritis and autoimmune ailments.
The vitamin C content in kale helps relieve stiff joints.
Kale has anti-inflammatory properties, and inflammation is one of the toughestsymptoms of physical and mental aging. When people consume anti-inflammatory foods, they boost thebody’s defenses and hinder factors that contribute to fast aging.
10. Kale is excellent for depression
Kale has carotenoid, and Harvard University linked carotenoids to an uplifted mood.
Kale is rich in omega-3 acids that can be very beneficial for fighting the indications of depression.
The combination of folate, protein, iron, and vitamin B6, found in kale, can produce more dopamine and serotonin.
These two chemicals work together in the brain and can help elevate mood.
A psychiatrist at Columbia University states that the nutrients found in kale help people feel optimistic and fight off depression.
Kale is extremely nutrient-dense, healthy food that gives the body what it requires– regardless of your mental condition. Kale is packed with antioxidants and omega-3 acid, which support brain protection and function.
11.Kale assists in body detoxification
When glucosinolates taken through kale, they form isothiocyanates.
This compound is known to support appropriate detoxification centers within the body cells.
Kale also has sulfur, which is required in some stages of detoxification.
The course of detoxification is imperative for people who are aiming to lose weight, improve learning, and release toxic materials that may contribute to the development of cancer or other life threatening illnesses.
Kale supports elimination, digestion and detoxifying the body with its sulphur and high fiber content. Nutrients found in kale help to stimulate detoxifying enzymes that serve an important role in counterbalancing carcinogenic substances.
Nutritional Content of Kale
One cup of chopped, fresh kale, weighing around 16 grams contains:
- 1.4 g of carbohydrate
- 8 calories
- 0.68 g of protein
- 24 mg of calcium
- 0.6 g of fiber
- 0.24 mg of iron
- 15 mg of phosphorus
- 8 mg of magnesium
- 79 mg of potassium
- 19.2 mg of vitamin C
- 6 mg of sodium
- 80 mcg of vitamin A, RAE
- 112.8 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin K
- 23 mcg of folate DFE
Kale can be consumed raw in salads or on wraps or sandwiches, steamed, boiled, braised, sautéed or included to soups and casseroles.
• Serve as side dish: Sauté fresh onions and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add a cup of kale and continue to cook until preferred tenderness. Alternatively, steam for five minutes, drain and stir in small dash of tahini and soy sauce.
• Salads: When adding kale raw in salad, massage the kale leaves by crumpling them briefly. This starts the cellulose breakdown in the leaves and assist release the nutrients needed for easier absorption.
• Smoothies: Using a high-speed blender or a food processor, put a handful of kale to the smoothie. It will certainly add nutrients without changing the smoothie’s flavor so much.
• Kale chips: Take away the ribs from the kale and lightly spray some extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle a combination of curry powder, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder orroasted red pepper flakes. Bake at 275 degreesF for up to 30 minutes or to desired crispness.
Side Effects of Kale
Kale is safe when taken in food amounts.
There is not sufficient information regarding the safety of consuming kale in medicinal quantities during breast-feeding or pregnancy.
A side effect of kale juicing is intestinal distress symptoms.
While following a kale juice diet, you may feel stomach cramps, gas and even diarrhea.
The symptoms are linked to the ingestion of sorbitol, a kind of sugar from juices that can’t be digested.