Looking To Get More Greens? Top 10 Health Benefits Of Adding More Kale To Your Diet
Kale is frequently called “the new beef,” “the queen of greens,” and “a nutritional powerhouse.” It makes sense—one of the most popular leafy greens out there, kale is touted by many for its high nutrition content and beneficial vitamins. Here, we've outlined the top 10 health benefits of adding more kale to your diet:
1. Kale is great for digestion.
Kale is made from fibrous material, and thus, like most leafy greens, it's great for aiding in digestion and elimination. One big tip is to eat the stems, which contains a high-quantity of prebiotics, food for probiotics in your microbiome. While they're tough raw, sautéed in a bit of avocado or olive oil with some sea salt, they become a delicious, breadstick-like treat!
2. Kale is high in iron.
Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef. Iron is essential for good health, especially for women, as it helps with the formation of hemoglobin and enzymes, transports oxygen to various parts of the body, aids in cell growth, proper liver function, and more. Want to up the iron quantity of your kale even more? Cook it in a cast-iron pan!
3. Kale is high in Vitamin K.
Eating a diet high in Vitamin K can help protect against various cancers.
"Vitamin K1 has always been known as the "coagulation" vitamin because it helps keep the body’s blood-clotting mechanism functioning in a healthy manner. Vitamin K2, on the other hand, has been shown to activate 17 proteins. For example, vitamin K2 activates a protein called osteocalcin, which ensures that as much bone is built to replace the bone that is broken down. Vitamin K2 also encourages a protein called Matrix gla protein (MGP) to keep arteries healthy by discouraging calcium from sticking to the walls," explains Joel Kahn, M.D., a world-famous cardiologist. It's been shown to be protective against osteoporosis, cancer, and diabetes.
4. Kale is filled with powerful antioxidants.
Antioxidants are molecules that offer up one of their electrons to the free radicals, thereby neutralizing the free radicals and keeping them from stealing an electron from our cells. At its best, this strong network of warriors can stop up to 99 percent of free radicals from damaging our cells. Antioxidants, such as carotenoids and flavonoids help protect against various cancers.
5. Kale is a great anti-inflammatory food.
One cup of kale is filled with 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids, which help fight inflammation in the body by supporting the endocannabinoid system, fighting heart disease, helping the brain, and more. The sulfur-containing phytochemicals in kale (called glucosinolates) can also help maintain the body's normal inflammatory response.
6. Kale is great for cardiovascular support.
7. Kale is high in Vitamin A.
8. Kale is high in Vitamin C.
"Vitamin C deficiency can cause rapidly increasing signs and conditions of aging," Taz Bhatia, M.D., has previously told mbg. "Plus, humans cannot manufacture large amounts of vitamin C on their own. Signs of deficiency include easy bruising, low iron levels, and bleeding gums."
This important anti-aging nutrient exists in abundance in kale; although vitamin C is heat sensitive, so lightly sauté or blanch the leafy green to preserve it.
9. Kale is high in calcium.
Per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk. "Calcium is a mineral that’s important for building and maintaining strong bones and for carrying out a large number of body processes such as cell signaling involved in muscle and nerve function and helping blood vessels transport blood through the body," explains Jess Cording, R.D.
10. Kale is a great detox food.
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