Health benefits of Kale
Kale has become one of the most popular vegetables, with some of its health benefits earning it the title of superfood.
Kale is a cornerstone of a balanced diet as one of the healthiest sources of fiber.
What is kale?
Kale is a cruciferous vegetable, like cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, and has large, edible leaves with a tough central stem. Typically dark green in colour, kale is available in a variety of colours, including purple. The edges of the leaves are either flat or curly. When you buy kale, you’ll normally find it sold whole or pre-chopped, and it can be eaten raw or lightly cooked.
A single cup of raw kale (about 67 grams or 2.4 ounces) contains::
- Vitamin A: 206% of the DV (from beta-carotene)
- Vitamin K: 684% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 134% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 9% of the DV
- Manganese: 26% of the DV
- Calcium: 9% of the DV
- Copper: 10% of the DV
- Potassium: 9% of the DV
- Magnesium: 6% of the DV
- It also contains 3% or more of the DV for vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), iron and phosphorus
Immunity may be boosted.
Kale has four times the vitamin C level of spinach and double the selenium concentration, as well as vitamins E and beta-carotene. All of these are essential for maintaining a healthy immune system.
It might help with bone health.
Many of the minerals that our modern diets lack are found in kale. It’s a rich source of plant-based calcium, which is important for strong bones and teeth, and it has low levels of oxalate, a natural chemical that makes calcium more absorbable. Kale is also high in vitamin K, which, according to research, works in tandem with vitamin D to support healthy bone metabolism.
Kale Can Help Lower Cholesterol, Which May Reduce The Risk of Heart Disease
Cholesterol has many important functions in the body.
For instance, it is used to make bile acids, which are substances that help the body digest fats.
The liver turns cholesterol into bile acids, which are then released into the digestive system whenever you eat a fatty meal.
When all the fat has been absorbed and the bile acids have served their purpose, they are reabsorbed into the bloodstream and used again.
Substances called bile acid sequestrants can bind bile acids in the digestive system and prevent them from being reabsorbed. This reduces the total amount of cholesterol in the body.
Kale actually contains bile acid sequestrants, which can lower cholesterol levels. This might lead to a reduced risk of heart disease over time.
One study found that drinking kale juice every day for 12 weeks increased HDL (the “good”) cholesterol by 27% and lowered LDL levels by 10%, while also improving antioxidant status.
According to one study, steaming kale dramatically increases the bile acid binding effect. Steamed kale is actually 43% as potent as cholestyramine, a cholesterol-lowering drug that functions in a similar way.
Skin and hair
Kale is a good source of beta-carotene, the carotenoid that the body converts into vitamin A as it needs it.
Beta-carotene and vitamin A are necessary for the growth and maintenance of all body tissues, including the skin and hair.
The body uses vitamin C to build and maintain collagen, a protein that provides structure for skin, hair, and bones. Vitamin C is also present in kale.
A cup of cooked kale provides at least 20% of a person’s daily need for vitamin A and over 23% of the daily requirement for vitamin C.
May support eye health
Kale is rich in two phytonutrients, lutein and zeaxanthin, that support the health of our eyes and vision. Consuming sufficient quantities of these nutrients lowers the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
Is it safe to consume kale for everyone?
Because kale is high in vitamin K, persons using anticoagulant medications (also known as blood thinners) should limit their intake. When using this drug, it’s usually recommended that you try to maintain a similar dietary intake. Before making any major dietary changes, consult your doctor.
Consumption of cruciferous vegetables like kale should be avoided by those with thyroid problems or who are taking thyroid medication. This is due to the fact that they may interfere with the thyroid’s capacity to absorb iodine. Kale, on the other hand, has a decreased danger because of its low quantities of goitrogenic chemicals.
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