Eat Your Greens: Kale

Posted on Posted in Healthy Recipes

Kale is a super food with staying power.

The dark, leafy green has been on dinner plates since Roman times and has long been common across much of Europe. The vegetable hails from the cabbage family, which also includes broccoli, cauliflower, and collards.  Kale freezes well and tastes sweeter and more flavourful after being exposed to a frost. Tender kale greens can provide an intense addition to salads, particularly when combined with other such strongly flavoured ingredients as dry-roasted peanuts, soy sauce-roasted almonds, red capsicum flakes, or a sesame-based dressing. When combined with oils or lemon juice, kale’s flavor is noticeably reduced. When baked or dehydrated, kale takes on a consistency similar to that of a potato chip.

The Benefits of Kale

At just 33 calories, one cup of raw kale has:

  • Nearly 3 grams of protein
  • 2.5 grams of fiber (which helps manage blood sugar and makes you feel full)
  • Vitamins A, C, and K
  • Folate, a B vitamin that’s key for brain development
  • Alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid. (While kale has far less omega-3 than fish, it is another way to get some of this healthy fat into your diet.)
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin, nutrients that give kale its deep, dark green coloring and protect against macular degeneration and cataracts Minerals including phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and zinc

Kale is filled with powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants, such as carotenoids and flavonoids, help protect against various cancers.

Kale is a great anti-inflammatory food. One cup of kale is filled with 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids, which help, fight against arthritis, asthma and autoimmune disorders.

Kale is great for cardiovascular support. Eating more kale can help lower cholesterol levels.

Kale is high in calcium. Per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk, which aids in preventing bone loss, preventing osteoporosis and maintaining a healthy metabolism.

Check out these great kale recipes from Cooking Light for ideas on how to add kale to your diet.

Bon appetit!

Source: WebMD on Kale, Mind Body Green

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