Kale is king of all super healthy vegetables.
It is definitely one of the healthiest and most nutritious plant foods out there.
Kale is full of all kinds of useful substances, some of which have powerful medicinal properties.
Here are 10 health benefits of kale that are supported by science.
Kale is a popular vegetable and a member of the cabbage family.
It is a cruciferous vegetable such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts.
There are many different types of kale. The leaves can be green or purple and have a smooth or curly shape.
The most common type of kale is called kale or coarse kale, with green and curled leaves and a hard, fibrous stalk.
A single cup of raw kale (approximately 67 grams) contains (1):
- Vitamin A: 206% of the DV (from beta-carotene)
- Vitamin K: 684% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 134% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 9% of the DV
- Manganese: 26% of the DV
- Calcium: 9% of the DV
- Copper: 10% of the DV
- Potassium: 9% of the DV
- Magnesium: 6% of the DV
- It also contains 3% or more of the DV for vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), iron and phosphorus
This comes with a total of 33 calories, 6 grams of carbohydrates (including 2 fibers) and 3 grams of protein.
Kale contains very little fat, but a large part of the fat in it is an omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid.
Given the incredibly low calorie content, kale is one of the most nutritious foods there are. Eating more kale is a great way to dramatically increase the total nutrient content in your diet.
Summary Kale contains a lot of nutrients and very few calories, making it one of the most nutritious foods on earth.
Kale, just like other leafy vegetables, contains many antioxidants.
These include beta-carotene and vitamin C, as well as various flavonoids and polyphenols (
Antioxidants are substances that counteract oxidative damage caused by free radicals in the body (
Oxidative damage is believed to be one of the major causes of aging and many diseases, including cancer (4).
But many substances that happen to be antioxidants also have other important functions.
This includes the flavonoids quercetin and kaempferol, which are found in relatively large quantities in kale (
These substances have been thoroughly studied in test tubes and animals.
They have powerful heart-protecting, anti-blood pressure, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-depressive and anti-cancer effects, to name just a few (
Summary Many powerful antioxidants can be found in kale, including quercetin and kaempferol, which have numerous beneficial health effects.
Vitamin C is an important water-soluble antioxidant that serves many vital functions in body cells.
For example, it is necessary for the synthesis of collagen, the most common structural protein in the body.
Kale contains much more vitamin C than most other vegetables and contains about 4.5 times as much as spinach (9).
The truth is that kale is actually one of & # 39; the world's best sources of vitamin C. A cup of raw kale even contains more vitamin C than a whole orange (10).
Summary Kale is extremely rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that has many important roles in the body. A cup of raw kale actually contains more vitamin C than an orange.
Cholesterol has many important functions in the body.
For example, it is used to make bile acids, these are substances that help the body digest fats.
The liver turns cholesterol into bile acids, which are then released into the digestive system when you eat a fatty meal.
When all the fat has been absorbed and the bile acids have served their purpose, they are re-absorbed into the bloodstream and reused.
Substances called bile acid-binding resins can bind bile acids in the digestive system and prevent them from being re-absorbed. This reduces the total amount of cholesterol in the body.
Kale actually contains bile acid-binding resins, which can lower cholesterol levels. This can lead to a reduced risk of heart disease over time (11).
A study found that drinking kale juice for 12 weeks every day increased HDL cholesterol (the & # 39; good & # 39;) cholesterol by 27% and lowered the LDL values by 10%, while also improving the antioxidant status (12).
According to a study, steaming kale dramatically increases the bile acid binding effect. Steamed kale is actually 43% as powerful as cholestyramine, a cholesterol-lowering drug that works in a similar way (13).
Summary Kale contains substances that bind bile acids and lower cholesterol levels in the body. Steamed kale is particularly effective.
Vitamin K is an important nutrient.
It is absolutely crucial for blood clotting and does this by "activating" certain proteins and giving them the ability to bind calcium.
The well-known anticoagulant Warfarin actually works by blocking the function of this vitamin.
Kale is one of & # 39; s the world's best sources of vitamin K, with a single raw head containing almost 7 times the recommended daily allowance.
The form of vitamin K in kale is K1, which is different from vitamin K2. K2 is found in fermented soy products and certain animal products. It helps to prevent heart disease and osteoporosis (14).
Summary Vitamin K is an important nutrient that is involved in blood clotting. A cup of kale contains 7 times the RDA for vitamin K.
Cancer is a terrible disease that is characterized by the uncontrolled growth of cells.
Kale is actually full of compounds that are believed to have protective effects against cancer.
One is sulforaphane, a substance that has been shown to help fight cancer formation at the molecular level (15,
It also contains an indol-3-carbinol, another substance that is thought to help prevent cancer (
Studies have shown that cruciferous vegetables (including kale) can significantly reduce the risk of various cancers, although the evidence in humans is mixed (
Summary Kale contains substances that have been shown to help fight cancer in test tube and animal studies, but human evidence is mixed.
Kale is often claimed to contain a lot of vitamin A, but this is not entirely accurate.
It actually contains a lot of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that the body can contain to become vitamin A (
For this reason, kale can be an effective way to increase the level of this very important vitamin (
Summary Kale is high in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that the body can turn into vitamin A.
Kale is rich in minerals, of which some people are deficient.
It is a good vegetable calcium source, a nutrient that is very important for bone health and plays a role in all kinds of cellular functions.
It is also a decent source of magnesium, an incredibly important mineral that most people cannot get enough of. Eating a lot of magnesium can be protective against type 2 diabetes and heart disease (24).
Kale also contains a lot of potassium, a mineral that helps maintain electrical gradients in the body's cells. Adequate potassium intake has been associated with lowered blood pressure and a lower risk of heart disease (
An advantage that kale has over leafy vegetables such as spinach is that it contains little oxalate, a substance that occurs in some plants and can prevent minerals from being absorbed (26).
Summary Many important minerals can be found in kale, some of which are generally lacking in the modern diet. These include calcium, potassium and magnesium.
One of the most common consequences of aging is that vision deteriorates.
Fortunately, there are various nutrients in the diet that can help prevent this from happening.
Two of the most important are lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoid antioxidants found in large quantities in kale and some other foods.
Many studies have shown that people who eat enough lutein and zeaxanthin have a much lower risk of macular degeneration and cataracts, two common eye conditions (
Summary Kale contains a lot of lutein and zeaxanthin, nutrients that are linked to a drastically reduced risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
Kale has different properties, making it a weight-loss-friendly food.
It contains very few calories, but still offers a significant volume that should help you feel full.
Due to the low calorie and high water content, kale has a low energy density. Many studies have shown that eating a lot of food with a low energy density helps with weight loss (
Kale also contains small amounts of protein and fiber. These are two of the most important nutrients when it comes to losing weight.
Although there is no study that directly tests the effects of kale on weight loss, it makes sense that it can be a useful addition to a weight loss diet.
Summary As a nutritious, low-calorie food, kale is an excellent addition to a weight loss diet.
Fortunately, adding kale to your diet is relatively easy. You can easily add it to your salads or use it in recipes.
A popular snack are kale chips, where you sprinkle some extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil on your kale, add some salt and then dry in an oven.
It tastes absolutely delicious and makes a great crispy, super healthy snack.
Many people also add kale to their smoothies to increase nutritional value.
Ultimately, kale is definitely one of the healthiest and most nutritious foods on earth.
If you want to dramatically increase the amount of nutrients you absorb, consider charging kale.