Kale is in the same cruciferous family as the gassy cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. The vegetable is a nutrient powerhouse. Only 36 calories per cup but delivering almost 200% of vitamin A and C, 1000% of vitamin K, 40% of magnesium and 5 grams of fiber. Kale is a nutritional superfood.
This produce is also filled with glucosinolates, lutein, and zeaxanthine. These antioxidants serve in so many ways to help prevent diseases including cancer.
“Foxy Lady” Kale Showing Off Her Delicate Crevices
Caution to those patients taking blood thinners like warfarin or aspirin. The high amount of vitamin K in kale may antagonize the effect of your medication. Vitamin K induces coagulation whereas blood thinners work completely in the opposite direction. Consult your doctor or nutritionist before indulging on this green.
For those individuals at risk for kidney stones, watch out because this leafy produce contains oxalates. Three-quarters of these patients have stones made of calcium oxalate. Be careful.
There are three different major varieties of kale. Green curly kale which the picture shown above as the “foxy lady”.
Next, Dinosaur or Tuscon (Lacinato) kale which has large leaves not as creased and sweeter than the “foxy lady.”
Lastly, red kale which is sweeter and more tender than the other two. It also has more lutein and zeaxanthine. These two antioxidants help in preventing the disease called macular degeneration. Kale has more of these two protective ingredients than most produce.
Bile acids contain cholesterol and allow the emulsification of fats in the body. Kale’s high fiber content binds to bile acids forcing the liver to make more. This process lowers cholesterol levels. So kale encourages the exit of fats by taking them out of the body through the feces. Works best if the green is lightly steamed.
Try to get any of cruciferous members in your diet 3-5 times per week. Serving size 1-2 cups.
- If possible, purchase organic kale. Pesticide remnants are found on the regular varieties.
- For the best, healthiest kale, look for solid colors with no yellow spots or wilting.
- Do not wash. Store in the refrigerator in an air-locked plastic bag.
- Use within 3-5 days because it loses nutrients the longer it sits.
- Steam kale for best results from 4-5 minutes. Nutrients are better absorbed and cholesterol binding is at a maximum for lowering fats.
- Use for soups, pizza topping, in a salad with other greens, roasted, with pasta, with beans and can dry to make kale chips.
For recipes click on: