12 Things to Know about Kale
Move over Popeye- Kale is the Queen of greens
1.Kale is a superfood: Kale is extremely rich in nutrients and phyochemicals. Kale has a high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K, which help protect the body from disease. So eat a little kale on the regular and take advantage of kales amazing benefits.
2.Good for weight loss: Kale is high in fiber which keeps you feeling full longer, keeps digestion flowing and it helps to reduce bloating and water retention. Kale is a very versatile vegetable so you can add it to many dishes as it mingles with other foods very well.
3.Member of the Brassica family: The Brassica family that includes cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, collards, broccoli, and brussels sprouts. Kale grown best during the winter months. This family of vegetables is one of the healthiest on the planet; they are good sources of available calcium, required for building and maintaining bones and teeth, muscle contractions and nerve conduction, blood pressure control, along with blood clotting.
4.Helps to ease lung congestion, protect from colon cancer and prostate cancer: As I stated before Kale is full of photochemical that help to reduce free radicals in the body and due to its high fiber content it keeps your colon happy and healthy.
5.Excellent source of Iron and Calcium: Per calorie kale has more iron that a steak. A higher percentage of calcium is absorbed from kale than milk. Kale contains 197 mg calcium/cup raw x 42% absorbed = 83 mg absorbed. This can aid in the reduction of osteoporosis.
6.Excellent source of Vitamin A and C: Rich in Vitamin A which helps to maintain healthy mucus membranes, healthy eyes and skin. Vitamin A also helps protect against lung and oral cavity cancers. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body fight off infectious agents and reduce the levels of free radicals within the body.
7.Rich in Vitamin K: Vitamin K is necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions, including normal blood clotting, antioxidant activity, and bone health. Too much vitamin K can be harmful for those on blood thinners such as Warfarin and Coumadin, so if you are taking those and get a constant level of vitamin K per week than no worries, if you are on those medications you should speak with your doctor and dietitian about it before you start to increase the levels of vitamin K in your diet.
8.High mineral content: copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus. These minerals are necessary for many functions in the body. For example, the manganese in kale helps your body’s own antioxidant defense system, which protects you from damaging free radicals. Teams up with B vitamins in Kale to keep homocysteine levels down, which may help prevent heart disease, dementia, and osteoporosis bone fractures.
9.There are a few different types of Kale: The different types of Kale are classified by the shape and color of the leaf. For more information on the different types of kale, check out this out.
10.Choose Kale Wisely: Look for kale with firm, deeply colored leaves and moist hardy stems Kale should be displayed in a cool environment since warm temperatures will cause it to wilt and will negatively affect its flavor. The leaves should look fresh, be un-wilted, and be free from signs of browning, yellowing, and small holes. Choose kale with smaller-sized leaves since these will be tender and will have a milder flavor than larger leaves of kale.
11.Its available YEAR ROUND: Kale is available throughout the year, although it is more widely available, and at its peak, from the middle of winter through the beginning of spring.
12. Storage is key: Put kale in a plastic storage bag and remove as much of the air as possible. Store in the refrigerator where it will keep for 5 days. The longer it is stored the more bitter its flavor becomes. Do not wash kale before storing because exposure to water encourages spoilage.