I was always one of those strange kids that loved vegetables: brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots and broccoli, I couldn’t get enough! But it’s only been in the last few years that kale has come on my veggie radar. Suddenly everyone was raving about this strange looking superfood.
What’s the big deal about kale?
You can’t get much more nutritious than kale! It is packed full of antioxidants, fibre, vitamins, omega 3 fats, calcium, iron and other beneficial micronutrients. It has a significant anti-inflammatory effect, improves lipid profiles and helps keep blood and skin healthy. Kale is at it’s most nutritious when eaten raw or blanched.
6 scientifically proven health benefits of kale
Improves cardiovascular health: by improving cholesterol profile and health of blood vessels, thus reducing heart attack and stroke risk.
Reduces Cancer risk: including prostate, colon, lung congestion, stomach and liver.
Boosts immune system: helping ward off infection and reducing the risk of inflammatory diseases such as fibromyalgia, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
Balances blood sugar: due to it’s low glycaemic index and high fibre content.
Good for your bones and muscles: Popeye had it all wrong! Kale, not spinach is one of the best vegetable sources of bioavailable calcium.
Reduces the risk of macular degeneration: a common cause of vision loss in people over 50.
Ways to eat kale
If you don’t fancy chomping on steamed kale, as a side with your dinner or raw in salad, try adding baby kale to smoothies, frittata, soup, stew, chilli or pasta sauce. Last summer I ventured for the first time into the world of growing food. The easiest of all the things I grew was kale. It grew incredibly quickly and sprouted new leaves when picked: great to eat straight out of the garden.
Who shouldn’t eat kale?
Sadly kale is not good for everyone. Anyone with gout, kidney, gallbladder or thyroid disease should check with their doctor before eating significant amounts of kale.
So go crazy, experiment with kale: your body will love you for it.
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Kim, Soo Yeon, Sun Yoon, Soo Mi Kwon, Kye Sook Park, and Yang Cha Lee-Kim. “Kale Juice Improves Coronary Artery Disease Risk Factors in Hypercholesterolemic Men.” Biomedical and Environmental Sciences 21.2 (2008): 91-97.
Sikora, E., and I. Bodziarczyk. “Composition and Antioxidant Activity of Kale (Brassica Oleracea L. Var. Acephala) Raw and Cooked.” Acta Sci Pol Technol Aliment. (3):239-48. E1, 11.3 (2012): 239-48.