Kale has quickly become on of the more popular “superfoods” as of late and is recognized as one of the healthiest leafy vegetables available. Whether you juice it or eat it, adding kale to your regular diet can have a positive impact to your overall health and well-being. It is packed with various essential nutrients that can provide tremendous benefits for the human body. The nutritional data of kale will give you a better understanding of why so many people have jumped on the bandwagon of this powerhouse of a veggie.
What is Kale?
Kale is a leafy vegetable with purple or green leaves and is a close relative wild cabbage. It is a hardy grower and it can thrive well into winter.
It is high in a wide array of essential vitamins and minerals and it a great source of Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Manganese, Vitamin C, beta carotene and iron. It also contains Zinc, Potassium, Vitamins B1, B2, B3, Vitamin E, folate and calcium.
Kale is rich in antioxidants: flavonoids and carotenoids. Out of these almost 45 variant flavonoids are provided by kale. Antioxidants are very essential for our body in neutralizing the effects of free radicals that lead to oxidation. Thus, they avoid oxidative damage or stress created in the metabolism of the body. These can lead to a potential growth of cancer, cataracts, COPD and atherosclerosis.
Kale tops the charts in Vitamin K content when compared to other healthy food. The inflammatory action is regulated in the body by reducing the chronic inflammation. This can help lower risk of certain cancer; Alzheimer’s and also provides good bone health. It aids in formation and growth of bone. About 700 percent the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of Vitamin K is provided by 100 grams of Kale.
It is rich in Glucosinolates, which are powerful compounds that can boost the production of detoxifying enzymes in the body and help protect DNA damage of cells that can lead to cancer growth. Kale has indole-3-carbinol, phytochemicals and sulforaphane that provides protection from colon and prostrate cancers.
It is high in B-complex: Vitamin B6, niacin, pantothenic acid and thiamine fall into B-complex which is essential for the body’s substrate metabolism. It lowers cholesterol and aids cardiovascular health both in raw and cooked form. This aids in bile acids formation which help in fat absorption and good digestion. This occurs with combination of nutrients rich in fiber provided by kale binding with bile acids.
Kale is high in Vitamin A: About 512 per cent of RDA is provided by 100g of leafy kale. It is essential for vibrant skin and vision. It is also rich in beta-carotene: this is an anti-cancerous and an anti-oxidant agent which is converted in the body as Vitamin A.
It also contains Zeaxanthin: This is a carotenoid , like beta carotene, which is effectively absorbed by retina of the eyes. It provides protection from light and is also an antioxidant. It can help prevent macular degeneration due to age in some individuals.
It is high in Minerals: calcium, copper, sodium, iron, potassium, phosphorous and manganese are essential minerals which are amply provided by kale. Manganese is an antioxidant, Potassium for heart rate control and BP control whereas iron is essential as an oxygen carrier and RBC formation.
Juicing Your Kale?
Since we are not farm animals, grazing on kale all day long will probably not sound all that appealing. This is why a lot of people turn to using a juicer to get their daily dose of this leafy green vegetable. While centrifugal juice extractors are designed for a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, masticating juicers are recommended for those who plan on juicing leafy greens on a regular basis. The slower speeds and the mechanics of masticating juicing machines tend to get the most juice out of kale and have a dryer pulp that is extracted.
It is also important to remember that while this veggie is a wonderful addition to your diet and it is a great way to improve your overall health, there is no need to overdo your kale consumption. A little bit can go a long way.
Give Kale A Shot
Kale is indeed one of the more nutrient dense vegetables available and a little shot of kale juice on a regular basis can provide some serious health benefits to those looking to improve their diet. Below is a quick and easy juicing recipe that includes kale, carrots and ginger.