Kale is renowned worldwide for its outstanding health benefits. Also known as leaf cabbage, this veggie dates as far back to the fourth century BC. The most popular varieties are plain leaf kale, curly leaf kale, and black cabbage. Packed with vitamins A, C, and K, it supports healthy eyesight, keeps your skin young, and improves circulation. Cooking destroys most nutrients in kale, which is why this vegetable should be consumed raw.
Let’s take a quick look at the top health benefits of kale:
- Prevents Nutrient Deficiencies
One cup of kale provides over 684 percent of the RDA of vitamin K, 206 percent of the RDA of vitamin A, and 134 percent of the RDA of vitamin C. This cruciferous veggie is also a great source of copper, iron, zinc, magnesium, folate, and selenium. The essential fatty acids in kale lower inflammation and prevent heart disease.
- Boasts Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Kale boasts a perfect ratio of omega-3s and omega-6s. These healthy fats display anti-inflammatory properties and help relieve the symptoms of asthma, arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and chronic pain. There are over 350 milligrams of omega-3s in 100 calories of kale, making this veggie ideal for those on a diet.
- Reduces the Risk of Cancer
The chlorophyll in kale helps inhibit the absorption of heterocyclic amines into your body. These harmful compounds are produced when grilling meat and fish, leading to cell damage. Chlorophyll binds to these toxins and keeps them from entering your system. To reap its benefits, serve kale with meat and other animal-derived foods.
- Fights Free Radicals
This superfood is loaded with vitamin C, polyphenols, flavonoids, and other antioxidants that fight oxidative damage. It also contains large amounts of kaempferol and quercetin, which have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-depressant, and cardio-protective effects. Due to its ability to scavenge free radicals, kale slows the aging process and guards your cells from the harmful effects of toxins.
- Keeps Your Eyes Healthy
Lutein and zeaxanthin, two of the key nutrients in kale, promote healthy vision. These antioxidants lower your risk of age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and other eye diseases. They also slow the progression of macular degeneration in those who already have this disorder.
- Protects Against Diabetes
A study published in The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine indicates that high-fiber diets may lower blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes. One cup of kale delivers over 10 percent of the recommended daily intake of fiber. This veggie can balance your blood glucose levels and prevent insulin spikes, which in turn, lowers diabetes risk. Due to its high sulphur content, it supports glutathione production and boosts glucose metabolism.
- Aids in Weight Management
With just 33 calories per serving, kale is your best ally in the battle against the bulge. This vegetable fills you up quickly, keeps hunger at bay, and maintains healthy blood sugar levels. Additionally, it’s rich in magnesium, a mineral that lifts your mood and assists with digestion. High in fiber, kale is also an excellent detox food.
Regular consumption of kale can help you achieve a healthy weight and stay disease-free. This superfood goes well in salad, smoothies, soups, sauces, and green juices. When eaten raw, its benefits are even greater.