Kale: What You Should Know


Kale is currently one of the biggest dietary trends around. How much truth is there to the hype? As it turns out, a lot. This leafy vegetable is one of the healthiest foods out there, and you should be finding ways to incorporate it into your diet for a variety of reasons:

It’s loaded with nutrients. One cup of kale has 700% of your recommended daily amount of vitamin K. Other nutrients kale is loaded with include vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, iron, manganese, copper, and phosphorus. It’s the most nutrient-rich of all vegetables.

It can prevent cancer. Many of kale’s nutrients, especially vitamin K, are antioxidants or anti-inflammatories that have cancer-preventing properties. Kale seems to be particular effective at lowering your risk of colon or breast cancer.

It has tons of fiber. Like all fruits and vegetables, kale contains a large amount of fiber, which is good for your digestive system.

It lowers blood cholesterol. The fiber in kale has another benefit: it binds to bile acids in your digestive system, causing them to be excreted. Bile acids contain cholesterol, so your body has to dip into its cholesterol stores to replace them. That means eating kale can lower your cholesterol levels. This property greatly increases when kale is steamed, so steam your kale if this particular benefit appeals to you.

It aids in detoxification. Certain molecules in kale improve the natural process by which our body removes toxins.

One warning: all that vitamin K can interfere with blood thinning medications, so be careful if you take anticoagulants. If you don’t, load up on the kale. Hardier, darker kale is the most nutrient rich, and it particularly thrives during the winter.

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