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What Are the Health Benefits Of Kale? – 8 Main Health Benefits of Kale

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A lot of us have heard about the health benefits of kale or have seen that green leafy vegetable on the shelves at the stores.

So what are the health benefits of kale that makes it so popular among people supporting a healthy lifestyle?

Kale is a leafy vegetable that is related to the vegetable family of cruciferous. Kale comes in different varieties: for the most part, it has curly and green leaves, however, the leaves may be smooth, bluish or even purple.

It was known since Roman times and was cultivated in China and Europe for many years.

Nowadays it gains back its popularity, especially among people who support a healthy lifestyle, or would like to lose extra weight.

So what are the health benefits of kale?

1. Rich On Nutrients

What Are The Health Benefits Of KaleKale is rich in nutrients. Some main nutrients it contains include the following (1):

Vitamin A – This is a retinoid that is important for the optimal operation of the body’s immune system, vision, the reproductive system and the nervous system

Vitamin K – It is important for assisting the blood to properly clot and supports bone health.

Furthermore, it decreases the risk for both coronary heart disease and osteoporosis

Vitamin C – Kale contains a lot of vitamin C that is a potent antioxidant. This nutrient helps with some cancers, cardiovascular disease, and autoimmune disease.

This is in addition to the production of collagen that maintains healthy skin

Vitamin B6 – This is required by the body to metabolize fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.

It has also been proven to decrease the risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease

Calcium – It is rich in calcium that supports the function and structure of the teeth and bones.

This nutrient is also required for nerve transmission, dilation and contraction of blood vessels, muscle function, cellular communication and hormone secretion

Magnesium – It assists to control all biochemical reactions that are related to protein synthesis, blood sugar regulation, blood pressure management as well as muscle and nerve function.

Magnesium can significantly decrease the risk of stroke and heart disease

Folate – The concentration of folate in kale is high. This makes it ideal for pregnant women and those who need it for various health reasons.

Folate helps in preventing birth defects and promotes proper brain development especially in infants

2. A Good Source of Antioxidants

Kale has very high quantities of antioxidants such as Polyphenols, Flavonoids, Vitamin C and Beta-carotene. This helps in keeping oxidation in check.

Kale has 2 flavonoids in abundance i.e. kaempferol and quercetin. This also plays an important role in lowering the risk of cancer, improving mood, fighting viruses, reducing inflammation, lowering blood pressure and protecting the cardiovascular system.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Kale3. Helps Managing Your Cholesterol Level

Consuming kale can help in managing cholesterol.

Kale has bile acid sequestrants thus making it effective in binding bile acids. It binds at least 25% of bile acids (2).

In this way, this vegetable helps to manage cholesterol.

4. May Decrease The Risk Of Cancer

Cancer is the overgrowth of cells.

Kale has certain substances that help in lowering the risk of cancer. It has a protective enzyme called sulforaphane that has anticarcinogenic effects. Indole-3-carbinol found in kale also protects against the effects of cancer.

5. May Prevent From Heart Disease And Diabetes

Kale has most minerals that people are deficient in, such as magnesium that offers protection against heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Potassium found in kale decreases the risk of hypertension and heart disease.

Calcium in kale lowers the body’s ability to absorb fat and lowers cholesterol thus decreasing the risk of heart disease.

6. Help With Weight Loss

What Are The Health Benefits Of KaleThe water and fiber in kale help people to feel full thus helping in weight loss. It delivers a substantial amount of protein and complex fibrous carbohydrates that also help the consumer to feel full (3).

It is a low-density food, and these promote weight loss in general.

The human body is exposed to numerous toxins found all the environment.

A routine cleansing is important to restore both balances as well as health.

Eating kale can help to achieve this as it has isothiocyanates derived from glucosinolates. These are associated with powerful detoxification properties.

7. Has Anti-inflammatory Properties

Inflammation may be important for health but is also associated with chronic health issues, discomfort, and pain.

Kale contains anti-inflammatory properties that fight excessive inflammation i.e. it mitigates the symptoms and even the progression of such inflammatory diseases.

The omega-3, as well as omega-6 fatty acids in kale, are credited for this.

8. Helps To maintain Brain Health

Kale has over 45 flavonoids that significantly assist in decreasing the risk of a stroke (4).

Its high content of omega-3 fatty acid is important for brain health, protecting and improving memory performance and function.

The anti-inflammatory effects of kale’s antioxidants can boost cognitive function, particularly after a traumatic injury to the brain.

Consumption and Storage

What Are The Health Benefits Of KaleKale is available in two varieties i.e. organic kale and regular kale.

It is recommended that you buy organic kale.

This is because it has been grown in environments that are safe, is not treated with chemicals and is grown on healthy soil.

Purchase kale that is strong and possesses a deep color.

Look for the ones with moist stems.

At home, thoroughly wash the kale and get rid of all dirt by rinsing.

Dry it off, cut off its hard stems and bundle the leaves up in a dry paper towel.

Place the kale in a plastic bag but do not close.

Store the kale, paper towel and the bag in the crisper drawer of a fridge. It can be stored for 4 days or even frozen for longer periods.

Kale can be added to soup, smoothies or pasta sauce. Popular kale recipes include:

  • Baked kale chips
  • Garlic Kale
  • Kale and strawberry smoothie

Boost Your Health By Eating Kale

The insightful information above clearly outlines the health benefits that kale has to offer.

This versatile food can be enjoyed in different ways but still benefit from its nourishing properties.

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8 thoughts on “What Are the Health Benefits Of Kale? – 8 Main Health Benefits of Kale

  1. I ate this as a kid but never knew all the benefits. You really laid out the pros of Kale in this article and I may have to include this in my diet. I like eating vegetables but mostly stick to carrots, lettuce and bell peppers and onions. I’m like a rabbit when I get on a health kick. Well written and informative!

    • Hi Dave,
      Thank you for your comment.
      When I started my healthy lifestyle journey cucumbers, bell peppers, lettuce and tomatoes were probably my only vegetables. But you can eat the same stuff over and over again for so long. So I started to include different types of vegetables in my diet and now my grocery cart mostly contains a different variety of vegetables and fruits. Do not afraid to buy vegetables that you are not familiar with, there is a lot of information online and there are a lot of different recipes that will guide you 😉

  2. Hi Anna, I never ate kale when I was a child, not because I didn’t like it but just because I was never introduced to it. As an adult I love it, but I had no idea there was such variety and health benefits are also a new one on me.

    I learned something here today! Wonderful help and tips…thank you.

    • Hi Nick,
      Thank you for your feedback.
      Yes, unfortunately, most of us were not familiar with certain vegetables, because it was not something we got used to having on the table when we were kids. Now the healthy eating habits are getting more and more popular and people start making their research on certain foods and it is always great to see.
      I am very happy that you have incorporated kale into your diet! What is your favorite recipe for kale?

  3. Hi Anna,

    Thank you for your great post! There are so many things about kale I didn’t know…. till now. I knew that kale was very beneficial for our health, and now I know why. You explained it very well & analytically. I usually eat broccoli and cauliflower from the same group of vegetables. Maybe, because it’s a little bit easier to find them on market here, where I live (they’re more common than kale).

    Thanks again,
    Vesna

    • Hi Vesna,
      Thank you for your comment.
      May I ask you where do you live? I know that in North America, kale is widely used and can be found in pretty much every grocery store. However, in Europe, it is not that much common and it is harder to find.

  4. green stuck…. ughh… as we get older, the green stuff becomes more important… I’ve certainly gotten used to eating green things like kale on a daily basis. It’s good to know it’s not all for nothing.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Hi,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Green vegetables are extremely beneficial for our health for a multiple of reasons. First of all, they are a very low calorie. So if your primary goal is weight loss, green vegetables will be the way to go. And secondly, green vegetables contain the most nutrients and vitamins.

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