Kale a Super Food?

Kale is known as a super food, but is it?
Well, let’s look at the daily nutrient values of Kale based on a 2000 calorie diet and for 100 grams of kale (which is about 1 1/2 cups of kale)
  • calories 49
  • Total Fat 0.9 g
  • Potassium 491 mg = 14%
  • Total Carbohydrate 9 g = 3%
  • Protein 4.3 g = 8%

Vitamins and minerals will amount to

  • Vitamin A 199%
  • Vitamin C 200%
  • Vitamin B6 15%
  • Iron 8%
  • Magnesium 11%

That is not bad for starters, is it?

It is high in high in chlorophyll, vitamin K,  manganese, has about 2.5 grams of fiber, has a decent amount of omega 3′s and if you leave the stem of the kale in (if you have a good blender you can easily do that) you enhance the amount of fiber that is available to you.

Cutting kale into thin slices helps break down cell walls, which enhances the activation of an enzyme called myrosinase that slowly converts some of the plant nutrients into their active form. Vitamin C and Kale go well together, because vitamin C increases myrosinase activity.  The way you can add some extra vitamin C is to add a little lemon juice to the kale and let it sit for a few minutes (about 5) to enhance the beneficial photonutrient concentration*

Smoothies are a great place to add your kale to and enhance the benefits of these nutrients as your blender chops the kale very fine and if you add some lemon juice you win even more. They support the liver, with it’s detoxifying duties and protect the lens of the eye.

Kale is part of the cruciferous vegetables which are known for their health promoting sulfur compounds, but if you are not used to have a lot of these in your diet, start slow as they may be gass forming.

Kale is available throughout the year and if you have a little bit of a garden it is really easy to grow yourself.

Smaller leaves are more tender than the larger ones, but if you use your kale in a smoothie it does not matter that much. Having a mild frost go over your kale will sweeten the flavour and that is great if you use it in a stir fry or a salad.

If I plan to use the kale within the next few days I keep it in my refrigerator, but if I have a lot ready-to-be-picked in my garden I freeze it (just wash the kale, put it in a bag, squeeze out the air and put it into the freezer. This works fine whether you are going to use the kale in a smoothie or any way cooked, stirfried or in used in a soup).

Kale is a green I like to either buy organic or grow myself, because of the amount of pesticides used to grow it. There are different kinds of kale, including curly kale, lacinato (or dino or black) kale and ornamental kale (which is also edible, so grow for the looks and your health)

So, what do you think; Is Kale a super food? I think it is.

Add kale to your diet on a regular basis as you try to add variety to the leafy greens you include.

*(The World’s Healthiest Foods)

(Since kale is a concentrated source of goitrogens and oxalates it may be a concern for some people. Steaming the kale may help inactivate the goitrogens, but will not do much to limit the amount of oxalates. So if you have a problem with these foods, keep track of the amounts you consume.)

 

 

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