Kale is a true powerhouse of the leafy green vegetable
group. If you have seen it or even better, eaten it, you’ll know it’s a dark
green, thick, and dense leaf. It hangs out in the produce section with the
lettuce, but it is actually a part of the cabbage family, along with broccoli,
brussel sprouts, and collard greens. This group of veggies is touted not only
for it immense nutrient value, but cancer-fighting abilities, antioxidants, and
anti-inflammatory properties. There are several varieties, which differ
slightly in look, texture, and taste and it can be tossed into a bunch of
different recipes to substantially increase the total nutrient value of your
meal. In just a 100 calories of kale,
there is 25-35% of the National Academy of Sciences' public health
recommendation of the omega-3 fatty acid (alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA). Kale
is also a spectacular source of vitamin K, which is another key nutrient in
helping to simmer down our body's inflammatory process.
The dark green color is a giveaway that kale is chocked full
of good stuff. The Caratonoids beta-carotene and Lutein lead the way, with
vitamin K, vitamin C, Zeaxanthin. It’s also reasonably rich in calcium.
Boiling does seep out much of the nutrients so steaming,
microwaving, broiling, or stir-frying reduces significant nutrient loss.
Kale Chips: tear leaves apart, sprinkle on some olive
oil, pepper, a pinch of salt, and broil for 4 min or so.
In Shakes: tear off a few strands and chuck them in
your morning shake. Trust me, you will not taste it, but your body will thank
you for the added nutrients.
In Salads: I like to change my leaves up and usually
avoid the ever popular, nutrient deficient iceberg and romaine and lettuces.
Spinach, kale, cabbage, and other wild greens are far better choices.
In Soups or
Add some strips of kale to a chicken stew or even your Caveman Chili.
Anti-Cancer - Antioxidant - Anti-Inflammatory
Almost all experts in the medical research field agree that
the brassica group of vegetables reduces the likelihood of acquiring
cancer-inflicted cells. Kale’s sources are sulforaphane,
with the addition of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA
repair in cells. Both appear to block the growth of cancer cells. It contains
at least four different glucosinolates, and once kale is eaten and digested,
these glucosinolates can be converted by the body into cancer preventive
There have been over 45 different flavonoids in identify
kale, with kaempferol and quercetin heading the list. These flavonoids combine
both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits in way that gives kale a
leading dietary role with respect to avoidance of chronic inflammation and
oxidative stress. Oxidative stress and chronic or systemic inflammation are the
leading risk factors for development of cancer and other artery-heart-circulatory
Like broccoli, cauliflower, and collards, kale is a
descendent of the wild cabbage, a plant thought to have originated in Asia
Minor and to have been brought to Europe around 600 B.C. by groups of Celtic
wanderers. Curly kale played an important role in early European foodways,
having been a significant crop during ancient Roman times and a popular
vegetable eaten by peasants in the Middle Ages. English settlers brought kale
to the United States in the 17th century.
Kale...your new best friend!