I'm always looking for ways to include essential nutrients in my diet and using kale is definitely one of my favorite. I love how versatile it is, you can make almost anything with it -- kale chips, salad, soup, green juice, and more! But what I really love about kale is how nutritious it is. Eating it for just one meal provides me with a significant amount of the vitamins and minerals I need each day.
Kale (borecole) is a cruciferous vegetable and belongs to the "cabbage" family, along with broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and cabbage.
This nutrient-dense, green superfood should be included in all of our diets. Check out the nutritional breakdown for 1 cup of kale. [DV = daily value]
HIGH IN VITAMINS A, C, & K.
Vitamin A (206% DV) - an essential vitamin for maintaining healthy skin, vision, and mucus membrane; also helps protect against lung and oral cancer.
Vitamin C (134% DV) - an anti-oxidant that helps the body resist infections and get rid of free-radicals. Kale has more vitamin C than an orange!
Vitamin K (684% DV) - boosts bone health by promoting the osteotrophic activity that affects bone formation and strengthening.
RICH IN ANTI-OXIDANTS.
Kale is rich in ß-carotene, lutein, and zea-xanthin; these flavenoids are anti-oxidants and also help to fight caner-causing agents. ß-carotene is converted into Vitamin A once digested.
GOOD SOURCE OF ESSENTIAL MINERALS.
Manganese (26% DV) - supports bone production, protects skin, provides blood sugar control, and acts a powerful anti-oxidant.
Copper (10% DV) - provides anti-oxidant protection, supports bone and tissue health, helps with energy production, and balances cholesterol.
Calcium (9% DV) - supports bone health, muscle function, and nerve function.
Potassium (9% DV) - helps maintain normal blood pressure and supports kidney health.
Iron (6%) - plays a key role in transporting oxygen to tissues in the body, supports energy production (metabolism) for muscles and organs. Low iron can cause anemia and fatigue.
LOW IN CHOLESTEROL, HIGH IN HEALTHY FATS.
Kale is low in cholesterol and a great source of healthy fats. 1 cup contains 121 mg of omega-3 fatty acids! Omega-3s promote brain health, reduce the risk of Type-2 diabetes, and boost heart health.
UNLOCK THE POWER OF KALE
While kale is great alone, eating it with other foods can boost its healthy properties. Vitamins A and K are fat-soluble vitamins - they can only be absorbed by fat. Eat kale with healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, and parmesan cheese to fully absorb Vitamins A and K. You can also squeeze lemon juice over your kale to make the iron it more bioavailable when you eat it.