Kale - Nutritional Powerhouse

Majority of people do not know about this powerful green food called Kale. It is similar in appearance to that of cabbage and belongs to the family Brassica. Other vegetables of this group include collard greens and Brussels sprouts. The leaves of this vegetable are ruff and deep green in colour. You may find it in orange, purple to even black in colour. The other subtypes of kale include ornamental kale, dinosaur kale and curly kale. Each of this subtype has a distinct flavor and nutritional properties. Kale has become an important part of food as it has extremely astonishing health benefits.

Kale has more iron than beef, which is necessary for red pigment present in the blood known as haemoglobin due to which Kale is referred as “the new beef” and a nutritional powerhouse. Kale is low in calorie and has zero fat. If you eat one cup of kale in your diet, it provides only 36 calories, 5 grams of fibre and zero grams of fat. Kale can be cooked in any way but its benefits remain the same. It is an excellent food to aid in digestion and elimination of waste products from your body.

Some amazing health benefits of kale are discussed below. I’m sure after knowing the health benefits of this green leafy vegetable you will surely add this in your diet.

Kale is a source of 45 different flavonoids including kaempferol and quercetin which are found to be best substances for preventing inflammation. Eating kale will help you to reverse signs of inflammation in auto-immune diseases such as arthritis.

Cancer protection:
Kale consists of organosulfur compounds that help to reduce the risk of many cancers.  Scientists have discovered that sulforaphane, a glucosinolate formed when kale is chewed or chopped, works by altering gene expression and help to clear carcinogenic substances from body quickly. Kale’s cancer preventive benefits are linked to the presence of carotenoids and flavonoids, within the carotenoids. Lutein and beta-carotenoids have been linked to cutting the overall risk of formation of cancerous cells in the body.

For Immune system:
Kale is an excellent source of vitamin A, which acts as an anti-oxidant. It helps to enhance the natural immunity of body and provides protection against chronic diseases. Studies have also found that long-term consumption of beta-carotene has cognitive benefits.

For bones:
Kale is a good source of calcium and magnesium. Both minerals are important for maintaining good bone health and protect against osteoporosis. In addition, research has shown that the vitamin K in kale also contributes to bone health by improving bone density.

For heart:
Kale is high in antioxidants which are good for heart health says the ClevelandClinic. Kale is also rich in magnesium and potassium that help to control blood pressure, and is rich in fiber content that helps to lower cholesterol.

For eyes:
Macular degeneration and cataract are two common eye problems associated with ageing for which nutritional experts suggest eating ample foods rich in carotenoids. According to Dr. Johanna M. Seddon, eating 6 mg of lutein per day helps to reduce one's chances of MD by 43%. To meet this requirement, you need to eat only 1/3 cup of kale. Kale is also rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, phytochemicals found in the retina, which could help reduce the risk of macular degeneration.