The Health Benefit of Superfood Kale

Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables around and one way to be sure to enjoy the maximum nutrition and flavor from kale is to cook it properly.
Health-Food-Diet-Kale

Have you tried Kale? It is my go to greens for my smoothies, soup and my greens with my dinner.  This superfood is packed with more nutritional value than spinach. Even spinach cannot come close to the maximum nutritional value of kale. It is on the list of the world’s healthiest foods-superfood. It is one of the cruciferous vegetable you should eat regularly, to get the health benefits in your diet. A daily intake of 1 1/2 cup, 2-3 times per week of kale is beneficial for a healthy body, mind and soul.

The health benefit of superfood kale includes:

Improving blood glucose control in diabetics: The antioxidant known as  alpha-biopic acid which has been shown to lower glucose level in the aid of diabetes. Lowering the risk of cancer: These types includes, cancer of the bladder, breast, colon, and prostate. Isothiocyanate’s (ITCs) made from glucosinolates in kale, play a primary role in achieving these risk-lowering benefits. Heart disease: the fiber potassium, vitamin C and B6 content in kale, all support heart health. High potassium intakes are also associated with a reduced risk of stroke, protection against loss of muscle mass, preservation of bone density and reduction in the formation of kidney stones. The increase in potassium help in lowering blood pressure. It also helps to lower the risk of developing asthma. Kale is high in fiber and water, both helps to prevent constipation and promote regularity and a healthy digestive system. Kale is also a weight loss friendly food because it is very low in calories. Kale is high in vitamin A, a nutrient  to keep hair moisturized. Vitamin A, also necessary for the growth of all bodily tissues.  Kale also support the body’s detoxification process. Try a 3 day cleanse with kale to purify your body.

The different varieties of Kale includes, curly kale, ornamental kale, and dinosaur (Lacinato or Tuscan) kale, all have a different, taste, texture and appearance .  Curly kale has ruffled leaves and a fibrous stalk and is deep in color.  It has a pungent flavor with a bitter and peppery quality. Ornamental kale, the leaves may be green, white, purple, and has a more mellow flavor and tender texture. Dinosaur kale is the common name for the variety, lacinato or tuscan kale.  It features dark blue green leaves, and has a sweeter and more delicate taste than curly kale.  Store kale in a cool environment, for example a refrigerator, put it in a plastic bag removing most of the air. Store it in the refrigerator no more than 5 days.  If you keep it longer it will have more of a bitter flavor.

To get the maximum nutritional benefit, kale should be cooked properly. One recommendation is to steam kale for 5 minutes.  Cut the leaves into 1/2″ slices and the stems into 1/4″ lengths. Let them sit for at least 5 minutes to enhance the health qualities before you steam it.

Recipes:

Super Energy Kale Soup:

Ingredients:  1 med onion chopped  4 cloves garlic 5 cup chicken or veg broth 1 med carrot diced into 1/4 in cubes (1 cup)  1 cup diced celery 2 red potatoes 1/2 in cubes 3 cups kale rinsed, stems removed and chopped very fine 2 tsp dried thyme 2 tsp dried sage salt and pepper to taste. Chop garlic and onions and let sit for 5 min to bring out the hidden health benefits. Heat 1 tbs broth in a medium soup pot. Saute onion in broth over med heat for about 5 minutes stirring frequently. Add garlic and continue to saute’ for another minute. Add broth, carrots and celery and bring to a boil on high heat. Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook for another 5 minute. Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 15 more minutes.  Add kale and rest of the ingredients and cook another 5 minutes. If you want to simmer for a longer time for extra flavor and richness, you may need to add a little more broth.  Calories:93

Kale Chips:

Preheat oven to 350F

Remove the leaves from the stem and wash the leaves well in a few change of water. Spin the leaves dry in a salad spinner. Toss the dry leaves with avocado oil and distribute the oil evenly with your hands. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay some of the leaves on top in a single layer. Make sure the leaves are all flat and not folded over, or they won’t crisp properly. Pop the tray in the oven for 12 minutes. Once they are out of the oven, season the chips with your favorite seasoning salt. My favorite seasoning salt is Herbamare, a sea salt with organic herbs and vegetables, it is delicious. You can find this seasoning salt at Whole Foods Market or any organic food store.You can also experiment with cumin, turmeric, cracked black pepper, chile powder, garlic powder or add cheese. Kale chips is a great, crunchy, super healthy snack. It can be kept in an air tight container at room temperature for about a week. Calories 110

Also, add kale to your smoothies to boost its nutritional value.

At the end of the day, you want to have the most intake of nutrients in your body for your well-being, so consider loading up on kale.

Categories
Food & Nutrition

Sr. Contributor: Beverly is a graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition/SUNY Purchase as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. Beverly practices a holistic approach to health and wellness... Change your diet Change your life.

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