Kale has definitely seemed to become more popular recently – which is a-ok with me! It has SO many healthy benefits, is easy to prepare (pro-tip: massage it by hand with lemon juice for a bit to soften it before eating raw!), and is one of the easiest vegetables to grow yourself (ours even survives outside through the west coast Canadian winters!).
Kale is great for digestion as it contains an abundance of fiber. It is also high in iron, which is especially important for women during the menstruation stage of life. To make the most of the iron content in kale, try cooking it in a cast-iron pan and pair it with a food high in vitamin C (which helps your body absorb the iron).
It also contains vitamin K, which helps with blood clotting, and antioxidants such as carotenoids and flavonoids that help protect against cancer. Kale is high in vitamin C, which helps protect you from the common cold. Both antioxidants and vitamin C are heat sensitive, so try lightly sauteeing or blanching them if cooking, and also incorporate kale into smoothies and salads to benefit from their positive effects.
Kale is anti-inflammatory, with 1 cup of kale containing 10% of the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for fighting inflammation in the body. Kale is great for cardiovascular support and is high in vitamin A (which is important for your vision and skin). Just 1 cup of kale contains 206% of our daily vitamin A requirement!
It is high in calcium (in fact, per calories, it’s actually higher in calcium than dairy milk!). Calcium is great for your bones and teeth, as well as helping to alleviate some PMS symptoms. Kale also promotes a healthy liver, as it’s filled with fiber and sulfur, both of which are great for supporting your body’s natural detox process and keeping your liver healthy.
Kale protects against Diabetes, and is great for pregnant women as it’s so nutrient dense (great for baby and Mama!). It helps keep your brain healthy, as it contains at least 45 different flavonoids, each of which prevent inflammation in the brain. Kale contains magnesium, which can help prevent migraine headaches by releasing pain-relieving hormones and also constrict blood vessels to increase blood pressure. It can also help boost your mood by increasing levels of the neurotransmitter GABA and cortisol hormone levels.
I’m still working on perfecting crunchy, yummy, kale chips myself. Have you mastered it yet? If so, please share your recipe and tips below! 🙂