11 Health Benefits of Kale
Kale is good for you. In fact, it’s so good for you that many have started calling it a “superfood,” a highly coveted distinction among popular health cuisines.
But just why is kale so great? What has it got that most other vegetables don’t? Here are eleven reasons you might want to put more kale on your plate:
Health Benefits of Kale
1. It’s high in fiber – really high.
Like other fruits and vegetables, kale is an excellent source of fiber. You’ll actually find 5 grams of fiber in just one cup of kale. So if it’s a fiber fix you’re looking for, look no further.
Diets rich in fiber are known to lessen the risk of diabetes and heart disease, so be sure you’re getting enough of it every day.
2. Kale is a great vitamin C source.
You need vitamin C to control infections. It also helps you build healthy bones, teeth, and blood vessels. Kale is a great way to get it, and it gives it to you in fewer calories than many other vitamin C sources.
3. It’s got a lot of vitamin A, too.
Yes, vitamin A is needed for good vision. You’ve probably heard about that.
But that’s not the only reason you need it. Vitamin A also helps regulate cell growth and division, something that has led many experts to explore its role in fighting cancer. It also keeps your white blood cells healthy and your bones strong.
4. …and vitamin K.
That’s right – vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin K. Kale’s really got a lot going for it, and we’re only at number four!
Vitamin K aids in blood clotting. In fact, you need adequate amounts of vitamin K for your blood to coagulate properly. It also helps you build healthy bones.
5. Kale is loaded with calcium.
We’ve been hearing for years how cow’s milk is a great source of calcium.
But milk is really fatty and makes you gulp down a lot of calories just to get that calcium benefit. Kale, on the other hand, is a great source of calcium without all the saturated fat in cow’s milk.
6. It’s always low-calorie.
Ever met someone who blamed being overweight on having eaten too much kale? Didn’t think so.
For all of its awesome nutritional content, kale is really low in calories. After all, it’s just a leaf – like salad greens.
7. Eating kale may reduce your cancer risk.
There’s a lot of research going on about compounds in kale that may reduce your risk of cancer. Besides that, the fact that it’s such a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals means replacing foods high in sugar and/or saturated fat with kale might be a great way to ward off cancer somewhere down the line.
8. Kale’s got flavonoids a’plenty.
Flavonoids? What are those? They’re antioxidants known to reduce your risk of cancer (add that to number seven above).
They also offer anti-inflammatory benefits that can lower your risk of chronic inflammation.
9. It helps you “detox.”
Kale and other vegetables like it help your body eliminate harmful compounds. They do this by increasing the production of enzymes that allow a detoxification process to take place.
10. Kale contains omega-3 fatty acids.
These are the “good fats” we often hear are found in fish and flax seed. Who would have thought that a green, leafy vegetable would contain them, too?
Well, it does. Omega-3s are good because they help regulate your body’s inflammatory processes.
11. It’s a good mineral source, too.
As if all of the above benefits didn’t convince you, it’s also nice to know that kale is rich in minerals.
Iron, potassium, manganese, the list goes on. All of them are found in kale, and all of them are good for things like turning food into energy, controlling fluids, and building strong bones.
If you haven’t had much kale in your diet, now is the perfect time to give it a try. You can boil it, steam it, or bake it in the oven until it’s crunchy. A lot of people like to tear it up and it to salad, but how you eat your kale is up to you. No matter how you consume it, you’ll be doing your body a big favor.