Eating green vegetables is beneficial for health- as the doctors keep advising always. However, the term green vegetables make most people think of options like spinach, broccoli and cabbage. While these vegetables are replete with nutritional benefits and can be cooked in numerous ways- you should not overlook Kale. This leafy green is a type of cruciferous vegetable that grows easily and it is quite inexpensive as well. This vegetable is rich with vital nutrients and you may consume it in so many ways. Both kids and adults can eat this vegetable without much worry.
Nutritional benefits of Kale
It is not without reasons diet experts and nutritionists call Kale the new super food! In Kale, you get vitamins C and K, beta-carotene. It also has essential minerals like manganese, iron, potassium and phosphorus. It makes spinach pale away in comparison. Its low oxalate content means you will not have much hardship in digesting Kale.
How to include Kale in your diet
You can include Kale in your diet in so many ways. You may cook it with many other vegetables in soups and curries. You may also use it in chopped form in various salads. Using it to make smoothies is also an option you can think of. Kale can be used with other vegetables in sandwiches. Younger Kale leaves tend to be less bitter in taste. There are several variants and you will find Curly kale more often than others. In some markets, you can get dinosaur kale which has dark blue-green hue and a scaly texture. Then there is also the Red Russian kale. This type has sweeter leaves and ideal for use in salad.
Top health benefits offered by Kale
1. Diabetes Fighting
Modern studies have shown increased fiber intake may diminish blood glucose levels. A cup of steamed Kale contains plenty of fiber. This can be ideal for those who want to stave off diabetes. Health expert are also of the view that the sulfur quotient of Kale may help cope with diabetes. Studies have also indicated people afflicted with type 1 diabetes benefit from eating high-fiber foods. Kale also contains alpha-lipoic acid, an antioxidant which helps lower glucose levels and improves insulin sensitivity.
2. Cardiac Health
Heart diseases claim millions of lives worldwide and people are always worried about finding the best food to boost heart health. If you want to boost heart health, ensure there is kale in your diet. The vegetable is replete with both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids two compounds that boost cardiac health. It also contains a fair amount of potassium. Potassium intake is also required to keep heart functioning well.
3. Cancer Fighting
Various forms of cancer remain incurable and several thousand women and men fall to this killer disease every year. Including Kale in diet may help you fight better against cancer and keep certain forms at bay. The chlorophyll found in kale helps prevent absorption of carcinogenic compounds in human body. Its sulfur content helps thwart tumor development, shows studies.
[ Read: How Cruciferous Veggies Prevent Cancer ]
4. Obesity Fighting
Obesity has become a major health hazard nowadays and children and elderly- simply no one is outside its grasp! Along with walking on treadmills and resorting to other forms of exercise, you may add Kale to your meals to shed excess flab quickly. It is low in calorie and high in fiber. This makes it ideal for enhancing digestive capabilities and eliminating toxins from body. A cup of cooked Kale gives you about only 33 calories. So, eating it helps in weight management.
5. Brain Health
Eating Kale can be good for brain health too, as several study findings indicate. It has several flavonoids that help brain cells function well. Its iron content helps formation of hemoglobin which plays a key role in brain functioning. Even the omega-3 fatty acids help in enhancing memory and regular brain functions.
6. Cholesterol Control
Kale’s high fiber content helps clear toxins and fats from body. Thus, it helps in lowering level of cholesterol. The fiber soaks excess Cholesterol in guts and helps discard them from body. Study shows eating steamed version of Kale is more advantageous in this respect. Keeping cholesterol in check is necessary from various health perspectives.
[ Read: How To Do “Good Fats” Lower Cholesterol? ]
7. Bone Health
As you grow old, your bone density reduces and women suffer more than men in this regard. Eating calcium rich foods is helpful for this purpose. It helps prevent brittle bone diseases and Osteoporosis. If you lactose intolerant and can’t eat diary products which are calcium rich, try Kale. It has a good amount of calcium. Kale is no less beneficial than cow milk in this regard, say the diet experts.
8. Skin and Hair
Just applying expensive skincare creams and lotions do not enhance skin and hair health much. You have to eat foods rich in nutrients for inner nourishment of skin cells. Eating Kale does help improve skin and hair texture and health. It contains beta carotene which enhances skin condition. Its vitamin C boosts collagen production, thus keeping skin tighter.
9. Other Benefits
Kale also has other important health benefits. For example, its Vitamin K content helps in blood clotting. The high level of antioxidants in it helps your body fight oxidative stress and thus helps you avoid many ailments in long run.
Including kale will help in improving skin, hair and bone health, as well as improved digestion and a reduced risk of heart ailments!