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The Extraordinary Kale

The Extraordinary Kale

Kale is a popular vegetable, a family member of cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. There are many different types of kale: with green or purple in leaves, having either a smooth or curly shape. Kale is the king of all the super healthy greens. It is loaded with all kinds of beneficial compounds, some of which have medicinal properties. It is certainly one of the most nutritious greens in existence.

The following are the health benefits of kale:

1. Among the most nutrient dense foods on the planet: 1 cup of raw kale contains 33 calories, 6 g of carbs (2 of which are fiber), 3 g of protein and a very little fat, a large portion of which comes from the omega-3 fatty acid. It is a major source of  Vitamins A, K and C and  contains fair percentages of Vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B6, Manganese, Calcium, Copper, Potassium, Magnesium, Iron and Phosphorous. Being incredibly low in calories, kale is among the most nutrient dense foods on planet earth; it dramatically increases the total nutrient content of your diet.

2. Loaded with powerful antioxidants: Oxidative damage is among the chief causes of many diseases, including cancer. Antioxidants are substances that fight against oxidative damage. Just as other green leafy veggies, kale is also very high in antioxidants like Beta-Carotene, Vitamin C, as well as various Flavonoids and Polyphenols. Kale contains flavonoids in very large amounts and these have powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-depressant, anti-cancer, cardio-protective and blood pressure lowering effects.

3. Excellent source of Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant that has a crucial function in body’s cells. It is necessary in synthesizing collagen, body’s most abundant structural protein. Kale is actually the world’s best source of Vitamin C. It contains 4.5 times of Vitamin C found in spinach and a raw cup contains more Vitamin C than a whole orange.

4. One of the world’s best sources of Vitamin K: Vitamin K is completely important for clotting the blood, and does this by “activating” certain proteins and giving them the ability to bind calcium. A single cup of Kale provides more than what you need of Vitamin K per day.

5. Contains numerous cancer-fighting substances: Kale is full of compounds that are believed to have protective effects against cancer.These substances help fight the formation of cancer at the molecular level; thus, help prevent cancer.

6. Very high in Beta-Carotene: It is claimed that kale is high in Vitamin A, but that is false because it is actually high in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that the body can turn into Vitamin A. Therefore, kale can be a functional way to increase the body’s levels of this very important Vitamin.

7. A good source of minerals: It is high in Calcium, a mineral which is crucial for bone health and functions in all sorts of cellular activities. It is also rich in Magnesium, an incredibly important mineral which may be protective against Heart Disease and Type 2 Diabetes. Besides, kale contains Potassium, a mineral which reduces blood pressure and lowers the risk of Heart Disease.

8. Protects the eyes: Kale contains the antioxidants that prevent the worsening of the eyesight which is one of the most common consequences of ageing. Having enough of this antioxidants helps in lowering the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.

9. Helps you lose weight: The several properties of kale make it a weight loss friendly food. It provides a significant bulk that promotes feeling of fullness while getting minimum amount of calories. Kale’s low calorie and high water content makes it a ‘low energy density’ food. Kale also contains protein and fiber, the two of the most important nutrients for weight loss.

Unquestionably, kale is one of the healthiest and most nutritious foods on the planet. You can fiercely boost the amount of nutrients you take in when you load up on kale.

Christelle Bedrossian
Dietitian-Nutritionist
Beirut, Lebanon

 

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Christelle Bedrossian