Super Greens Part 2: Kale

Kale – A Star is Born!

Kale: Nature’s Broom

Usaually in public when I start speaking “Kale” the crowd starts thinning out, noses turn up, and brows furrow. Kale has a bad reputation of being bitter, tough, and unappetizing, fit only for the sidelines of the salad bar as decoration, not center stage. Well I’m here to put Kale into the spotlight of your diet. This powerhouse of nutrients is truly a star!

 

Kale Walk of Fame

Kale comes from a long line of cruciferous vegetables known for their cancer fighting abilites such as broccoli, cabbage, collards, and brussel sprouts. One cup contains a whopping 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of your daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6. Kale is high in Magnesium and an excellent source of antioxidant Vitamins  A, C, and K.

Vitamin K is a key nutrient in reducing inflammation in the body, and Kale has more vitamin K than any other healthy food! 45 different antioxidant flavanoids also help Kale prevent and even reverse inflammatory diseases such as: arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, chron’s disease, and diverticulitis. Inflamation in the body is caused by oxidative stress. Poor nutirition is a major cause of this stress, with  sugar consumption as the number one culprit!  Less cellular inflamation means less disease and less risks of cancer.

I affectionately refer to kale as “nature’s broom”. The high fiber content keeps your daily appointment with the ladies room and helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels. How does it lower your cholesterol you ask? Our liver uses cholesterol to produce bile acids which are stored in our gal bladder. Bile aids in the digestion and absorbtion of fats. When we eat a meal containing fat, the bile acids are released into our intestines. The fiber in kale binds to the bile acids in our intestines, which then gets removed from the body during our bowel movement. The liver then has to replace the bile acids by pulling it from our existing supply of cholesterol, thus lowering our cholesterol levels.

Here are other star qualities of Kale:

  • Like it’s close friend spinach, kale is high in lutein and zeaxanthin, compounds that promote eye-health.
  • Kale contains more calciumm than milk and is easier to digest than conventional dairy products.
  • Kale has more iron than beef per calorie intake, so load up when you’re feeling a little anemic, especially during that time of the month for you ladies!
  • Kale, like meat, has all 9 essential amino acids and 9 non-essential amino acids necessary to form a complete protein in the body.

Now that I’ve convinced you kale is good for you, allow me to entice your taste buds with delicious and creative ways to add kale to your diet!

  • Saute with garlic and olive oil.
  • Make a unique salad out of it, or chop up and add to your favorite existing salad.
  • Replace your regular chips with kale chips. They are a delicious snack replacement!
  • Add to your favorite green smoothie.
  • Add to a soup
  • Add to a pasta dish
  • Super Green Mocha Frappuccino (refer to my favorites page!)
Now be a dear and eat your kale!
The Healthy-Diva

 

 

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