8 Reasons You Should Be Eating More Kale
Kale is a popular vegetable that is known for being rich in nutrients. As a powerhouse of nutrition, kale has come to be popularly known as the “queen of greens”.
This popular vegetable belongs to the cabbage family. Kale is categorised as a cruciferous vegetable like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. Kale comes in different colours (white, red, yellow-green, and purple) so when you see one that is not green, remember I told you so.
Kale contains powerful antioxidants like flavonoids, quercetin and kaempferol. These substances have powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-depressant, and anti-cancer effects. Kale contains roughly 4.5 times more vitamin C than spinach. Again, it is also one of the best sources of vitamin K that will help sort out clotting issues, support bone development, and support the cardiovascular system.
Here are more reasons than one, why you should jump into the nutrient pool of kale.
Supports Weight Loss
A cup of raw kale contains nearly seven times the recommended daily amount. Kale is a nutrient-dense, low-calorie food, implying that kale is a great addition to your diet if you are trying to lose weight. The high water content of kale and the low-calorie content helps in weight loss since it has low energy density with protein and fibre which, therefore, keeps one feeling full for a long period.
Aids in Digestion
This nutrient-dense food is an awesome veggie to have especially if you are one to have problems with digestion. Sauteed together with the stems that are rich in prebiotics, they are a great treat with your meal.
Rich in Iron
For women who go through the bleeding process every month, kale should be your best friend because of the iron it willingly offers. Kale assists in building up the haemoglobin and enzymes that send oxygen to various parts of the body. Cooking your kale will increase the iron quantity of this green and added with a rich dose of vitamin C, this will help the body absorb the iron in kale.
Rich in Vitamin K1, K2, and Calcium
This leafy dense vegetable is filled with vitamin K1 and K2 as they activate certain proteins with the ability used to bind calcium. This means that it is a coagulation vitamin that helps the blood clot with ease and in a healthy manner to stop excess bleeding. Vitamin K2 supports bone development ensuring that the bone is built to replace the bone that is broken down. It can achieve this because vitamin K2 activates a protein known as osteocalcin that ensures sufficient build-up of bone to replace that which is broken down. It also helps another protein “matrix gla” to encourage artery health. It discourages calcium from holding on to the wall. Do you know that this leafy green has more calcium than milk? Again for support, it builds strong bones, and blood vessels transport blood through the body.
A Pool of Antioxidants
Kale is a rich source of antioxidants that stops up to 99% of free radicals. As a fighter for good health, kale has carotenoids, flavonoids, and more that help protects against various cancer cell growth. One of such fighting properties is sulforaphane which fights cancer at the molecular level. Indole-3-carbinol is believed to prevent cancer. Studies have shown that cruciferous vegetables like kale may significantly lower the risk of several cancers, though this evidence in humans is not sure. These antioxidants are heat sensitive. To better preserve their functions, they can be incorporated in smoothies and salads.
Kale’s function in the body is multiple. When eaten, kale produces bile acid sequestrants that help the body to successfully digest fat. So as the body uses the bile acid to clear off cholesterol, the bile acid is reabsorbed into the bloodstream and comes out again when needed to perform the same function. So over time, this reduces the risk of heart disease. A study reveals that increased drinking of kale juice every day for 12 weeks, increased the good cholesterol (HDL) by a 27% chance thus lowering the bad cholesterol (LDL) by 10%, and just as steaming kale give a higher dose of iron, steamed kale increases the bile acid-binding effect. The same study still showed that steamed Kale is 43% potent as cholestyramine, a drug used to lower cholesterol.
Beta Carotene Richness
Like other vegetables that are rich in beta-carotene, kale is too. The beta carotene then turns into vitamin A which is great to enhance support of the normal vision, boost the immune system and reproduction. It also aids the proper functioning of the heart, lungs, kidney, and other organs.
Kale cares for the eyes with its richness in lutein, carotenoid, and zeaxanthin. This nutrient helps slow down the degenerating eyesight that comes with aging. These nutrients help to keep away the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
Kale is immensely filled with minerals and nutrients required for daily living and the healthy functioning of the body. As a plant-based vegetable, it supports bone health and cellular functions. It gives magnesium that protects against heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Potassium is found in kale which maintains the electrical gradient cells in the body and is connected to reduced blood pressure and lowers the risk of heart disease. Over other greens, kale is low in oxalate, a substance that prevents minerals from being absorbed.
Now you know why kale is the “queen of greens”.