KALE:- (Kale Benefits)
It is also known as New beef and The queen of greens. It is also known as leaf cabbage. It belongs to the species known as Brassica oleracea. The plant of kale contains green/purple leaves. Kale consumption is good as it is low in calories content and contains rich amount of fiber. It is enriched with most of the beneficial compounds that contain medicinal properties. (Kale Benefits)
TYPES OF KALE:-
There are mainly four types of kale:-
- Curly kale, which is a common variety available. It possesses peppery flavor and is pleasant.
- Lacinato kale, which is also known as the Tuscan kale/Tuscan cabbage/Dinosaur kale. It contains dark green and narrow leaves.
- Redbor kale, which contains ruffled leaves and the color ranging from deep red to purple.
- Russian kale, also known as The Siberian kale, which contains flat and fringed leaves, and this is the hardest variety to find.
NUTRITIONAL VALUE OF KALE:- (Kale Benefits)
Kale is rich in many of the nutrients and is very healthy for an individual. They are:-
- Rich in Energy
- Low in Fat and Cholesterol
- Rich in Dietary Fiber
- Pantothenic acid
- Vitamin A, C & K
FACTS ABOUT KALE:-
- Most of the kale in the US is produced in California.
- In Spanish, kale is known as col rizada.
- Cooking kale doesn’t destroy its nutrients.
- Kale farming grew by around 57% from 2007-2012.
- Celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Katy Perry, and Jessica Alba consume kale to maintain their physiques.
- After frost, the kale becomes sweeter.
KALE HEALTH BENEFITS:- (Kale Benefits)
The chlorophyll present in kale prevents the body from absorbing compounds known as heterocyclic amines. These are chemicals directly linked to cancer, which are produced during the grilling of animal-derived foods at high temperatures.
Kale contains substances known as glucosinolates, which play an important role in cancer prevention.
Promotes Heart Health (Kale Benefits)
Kale contains bile acid sequestrants, which are well known to lower the blood cholesterol levels. Kale is rich in vitamins C & K and contains omega-3 fatty acids. All of these are healthy for the heart. They lower the bad cholesterol and increases the levels of good cholesterol.
The lutein present in kale protects the human body against disease like atherosclerosis. It also contains glucoraphanin, which activates Nrf2, which is a special reactive protein. This protein produces a coating in the arteries and prevents the plaque accumulation.
The potassium and magnesium present in it help lowers the blood pressure levels.
A single cup of fresh kale contains around 0.6 gms of fiber, a nutrient that helps lower the blood glucose levels in patients with Type-1 Diabetes. Regular intake of kale can suppress the increase in postprandial blood glucose levels.
Kale enhances and maintains the balance between omega-3 & omega-6 fatty acids in the body in a 1:1 ratio. This anti-inflammatory property of kale help cure the symptoms of arthritis.
Antioxidant Property (Kale Benefits)
The antioxidants present in kale include vitamin C, beta-carotene, flavonoids, and polyphenols. Other important antioxidants are quercetin and kaempferol. All of these neutralize the harmful free radicals, which can accelerate aging and might lead to diseases like cancer and heart disease. The antioxidants also boost the mood and help fight depression.
This is because of the fiber present in kale. It enhances regularity and helps the body in detoxification and help improve the health of the Liver.
Improves Bone Health
Kale is rich in potassium which promotes the preservation of bone mineral density. It is also rich in vitamin K, which help improve the bone health. Kale contains beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A. The body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential in promoting bone health.
Aids Digestion (Kale Benefits)
Kale is rich in fiber and water, and both of these aids proper digestion. They also prevent constipation and increase the health of the digestive tract. Vitamin B & C present in kale promotes iron absorption.
This is because of lutein and zeaxanthin present in kale. These are powerful antioxidants that improve the vision health. These antioxidants prevent severe eye disorders such as age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
Promotes Brain Health
Omega-3s present in kale lower the blood sugar levels, which is increased in the body ages the brain cells and decreases neural health.
Vitamin K present in kale is required for the manufacturing of sphingolipids, which are specialized fats required for the structure of brain cells.
Vitamin B6, iron, and folate present in kale are important for the production of dopamine and serotonin which help the body fight depression. Consumption of kale prevents birth defects.
Activation of Nrf2 help generates mitochondria, a part of the human cells that converts glucose into ATP. The better the muscles work, the less fatigued a person feels.
Improves Immune Health
The rich amount of vitamin C help boost the immunity levels of the body. The folate present in it also acts as an immune booster.
Aids Weight Loss
Kale is low in calories, thus consumption of kale promotes weight loss. The dietary fiber present in kale suppresses the appetite and thereby preventing overeating.
Take around 1 sliced banana, 2 cups of chopped kale leaves, half cup of almond milk, honey, and ice cubes. Put all of them in a blender and then serve. The fiber present in banana and kale promotes weight loss.
Healthy Pregnancy (Kale Benefits)
Vitamin K present in kale keeps the blood vessels strong, which is important during pregnancy. The vitamin C present in kale enhances the immunity. The nutrient nourishes the baby inside the mother.
The calcium present in kale also ensures the baby to develop strong bones and teeth. The folate content in kale is important during pregnancy. It ensures the baby born is healthy and doesn’t have any defects.
Improves Urinary Health
Calcium present in kale prevent the development of kidney stones and supports the urinary health. The calcium binds to the oxalates present in the digestive tract and prevents its absorption. Kale is rich in iron, another nutrient important for the kidney health.
Improves Skin and Hair Health/Kale Benefits for Skin
The vitamin C present in kale boost the skin health. The collagen fibers in the skin need vitamin C for its strength. Low level of vitamin C weaken the collagen fibers and thus affect the skin health. Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant and protects the skin from the effect of harmful UV radiation.
It is rich in Vitamin A, the deficiency of which can have a negative effect on the oil and sweat glands. The juice of kale acts as a skin cleanser and also detoxifies the skin from within and keeps the skin healthy.
The iron present in kale enhances the health and elasticity of the hair. It strengthens the hair while the other nutrients and antioxidants present in it help fight dandruff and dry scalp. Omega-3 fatty acids present in kale nourish the hair and provides a healthy texture.
KALE HOW TO COOK/HOW TO EAT KALE:-
It is a winter vegetable and tastes even more delicious after the first frost. Some of the tips of consuming kale are:-
- Young kale leaves have a good taste while the old ones are tough and bitter.
- Harvest kale while the leaves are young and tender.
- It should be washed thoroughly before cooking, and the leaves should be gently shaken after washing.
- One can also use it as a salad spinner.
- One could stir-fry young and tender kale leaves, while the mature ones should be boiled for a few minutes. This softens the stringent cellulose structure of the leaves.
- After cooking, season the kale with some virgin olive oil, salt, lime juice, and pepper.
- It can also be used as a pizza topping, or one can finely chop the leaves of kale and prepare a delicious and nutritious soup.
IS KALE BAD FOR YOU:- (Kale Benefits)
Due to the high amount of potassium present in kale, consuming it in excess can lead to hyperkalemia. This can lead to chest pain, muscle weakness, and even diarrhea.
Kale contains goitrogens that interfere with the thyroid medication. Hence, if a person is having any thyroid issues then avoid the consumption of kale.
- Problems During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Consumption of kale in moderate amounts provides great benefits during pregnancy and breastfeeding. But if it is consumed in excess then there might be some side and adverse effects.
Hence, wash the kale produced thoroughly before consumption. Cooking kale is the best, as this destroys most of the pesticides.