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7 Health benefits of kale for you and your family

Health benefits of Kale by Kelway Health

7 health benefits of kale – what you need to know for your family about this bitter green super food.  Why is Kale featured so much in recipes, restaurants, healthy food blogs, and by health professionals these days?

It has become the most favored cruciferous vegetable to feature. 

Perhaps because it remains one of the most nutritious powerhouse bitter greens available today. 

What comes to mind when you think about kale?  Be honest, unless you are a serious health warrior, you are probably thinking “bitter” and your nose is screwing up with thoughts of yuk, revolting and so forth.

This is because we have overloaded our sweet taste buds and eliminated most bitter foods from our diet.   

Bitter foods are no longer in most family weekly grocery baskets

Bitter foods have almost been eradicated from the average US family food plan.  There is one exception to the bitter food story and that is coffee which is drunk by most Americans today.  And often more than once a day.  But coffee is usually accompanied by caramel, sugar, cream or ice cream or a combination of these to mask the bitter taste.  More on coffee another day! 

Our taste buds have become programmed for sweet foods.  Most processed foods contain an array of sweet additives such as corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, sugar beet, honey, and dehydrated cane juice or rice syrup.

What issues result from “lack of bitter” foods?

A lack of bitter foods results in symptoms like poor digestion, fatigue and constipation.  And we all know that these symptoms are epidemic in our society today.  These symptoms make us tired and low in energy. And then we go seeking more stimulating drinks such as coffee and soda pop. Eating few bitter foods has had a dramatically negative impact on our metabolism.

So if you want more energy, better digestion and feel younger – keep reading. Your cells want you to love bitter foods.  So let’s get back to kale. 

What is kale?

Kale is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family including broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage and collard greens. It has a bitter, earthy taste and is the most green of all the vegetables and it has tough fiberous stems. 

 

Where does kale come from?

Kale is grown as a crop across America and Europe and it grows in many climates.  it is really easy to grow. It is thought to have originated from Asia and brought to Europe about 600 years ago.  it was used in Roman and Greek times. I am not sure how they cooked it but it was known as a cure for drunkenness.

Kale is a very resilient crop.  And while it doesn’t feature in 2017 on the dirty dozen vegetable and fruit list  you want to only purchase organic kale if you can afford to. Kale is susceptible to certain bugs and therefore traditional farming sprays the kale crop. Most commercial kale is high in pesticides.  

So if you are wondering whether you ought to pick up a bunch of kale next time you are in your grocery store, here are seven major health benefits of kale.  Kale has a lot of nutrition and you can check this out at Nutritiondata

 

 7 major health benefits of kale

A   Organ and liver cleanser

The bitter taste of kale has a really positive effect on your digestive system, especially the liver.  The liver’s role is to produce bile required for proper and complete digestion, as well as to rid your system of dangerous toxins. Kale is a great organ and liver cleanser

Even if you eat a good natural diet, artificial ingredients and chemical residues can find their way into your system. It’s so important to cleanse your body of these unwanted substances as soon as possible. Two aspects of kale help with detoxification – sulfur and the fiber content.

When Kale is chopped, or chewed, it forms a substance called sulforaphane. This substance causes the liver to make special enzymes that detox the chemicals that cause cancer.

And chlorophyll will pick up those toxins such as heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, and other toxins, and usher them right out of the body via the colon.

B         Metabolism stabilizer

Our liver helps to keep our metabolism stable.   The kale helps the liver to produce bile which in turn helps our digestion and our metabolism. The calcium content of kale helps to maintain a healthy metabolism too.

C          Cellular health protection

How does kale deliver cellular health protection? Kale is a rich source of organosulfur compounds, which have been shown to reduce the risk of many cellular health issues, especially with regards colon cellular health issues. 

Kale’s cancer preventive benefits have been clearly linked to its unusual concentration of two types of antioxidants, namely, carotenoids including beta-carotene, lutein and flavonoids. Antioxidants are beneficial to the body because they prevent the buildup of a harmful bi-product of your metabolic processes, namely oxidative stress.

Kale contains at least 45 different antioxidant flavonoids, including kaempferol and quercetin. Kale’s flavonoids have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.  

D         Immune support

Kale is high in Vitamin C. This is very helpful for your immune system, your metabolism and your hydration.

 E          Anti-inflammatory properties

One cup of kale is filled with 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids, which help fight against arthritic issues, asthmatic conditions and autoimmune disorders.   Kale is also very high in Vitamin K which has great benefits including helping protect against various cancers. It is also necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions including normal bone health and the prevention of blood clotting.

F          Vitamin and mineral content that helps so many organs and systems

1 cup of Kale has more calcium than a cup of milk. Calcium aids in bone loss prevention, osteoporosis prevention and maintaining a healthy metabolism.

Kale has a high content of vitamin A which is great for your vision and can help to protect you against macular degeneration.  Vitamin A is also great for skin.

Kale has more iron per calorie than beef which is quite amazing.  Iron is essential for good health, such as the formation of hemoglobin and enzymes, transporting oxygen to various parts of the body, cell growth, proper liver function and more.

G         Weight loss

Kale has very few calories, consuming 1 cup in your smoothie only adds about 36 calories to your daily intake but at the same time delivers all these nutritional benefits mentioned here.  It is also high in fiber which is great for your digestion.    Fiber helps with weight loss too.

There you have 7 health benefits of kale.  Now let’s find out who shouldn’t be eating kale. 

Who shouldn’t eat kale?

Too much vitamin K can pose problems for some people. Anyone taking anticoagulants such as warfarin possibly should avoid kale because the high level of vitamin K may interfere with the drugs. Consult your doctor before adding kale to your diet.

Kale might be a powerhouse of nutrients but is also contains oxalates, naturally occurring substances that can interfere with the absorption of calcium. Avoid eating calcium-rich foods like dairy at the same time as kale to prevent any problems.  However don’t allow these potential issues to stop you eating this amazing food. there is also some suggestions that if you have thyroid issues, you shouldn’t eat kale.  Check with your health professional. 

How much kale to eat?

Adding a cupful of kale to your smoothie will give you the benefits I am writing about here. As I recommend, ring the changes through the week by rotating spinach, collard greens and kale in your smoothies.   You can also cook kale and include it as a vegetable in your dishes.  I don’t write about this simply because this is not how I serve kale in my family!

 

Your turn to comment about the health benefits of kale

Do you eat kale and how?  What other health benefits of kale have you come across?  

What other green, bitter foods do you include in your diet and why? Put your comments below.