Kale: Why it’s so Awesome for You

By on 01/20/2016
kale

10 years ago the general public wasn’t that familiar with kale. Most grocery store employees would give you a strange look if you asked them to point you in the direction of their kale selection.

Now, kale is one of the most popular super-foods out there…and for good reason!

Many foods are hyped as “super-foods” for a short period of time, but then their fame fades. Usually, this is because a regular, healthy but semi-rare fruit or veggie is chosen by a company’s marketing team as the next “big” thing. It is marketed as such, and the general public will try out this new “super-food” and eventually realize it’s just marketing hype. Great examples include ginsing, acai berries, goji berries and chia seeds. These foods are all healthy and good for you, but they aren’t that “super” or “special”…. not like kale anyway!

Kale is king of the super-foods!

It has a robust nutrition profile, it’s affordable, it’s easily accessible and it can be consumed in many different, easy ways!

This means you don’t have to buy into some pricey subscription service (like MonaVie) in order to get its health benefits. You don’t have to go to great lengths to prep it for consumption (like pomegranate seeds), and you don’t have to visit some specialty health store to purchase kale.

Kale is amazing and it’s not just hype!

Types of Kale

Kale is packed full of nutrition and just 1 cup of kale contains the following amounts of recommended daily allowances (RDA) for vitamins:

  • Vitamin A: 206%
  • Vitamin K: 684%
  • Vitamin C: 134%
  • Manganese: 26%
  • Copper: 10%
  • Vitamin B6: 9%
  • Calcium: 9%
  • Potassium: 9%
  • Magnesium: 6%

This high concentration of nutrients encourages healthy skin, hair and nails, weight loss, hydration, higher metabolism, and stronger bones.

“But wait, there’s more…”

Kale is packed full of antioxidants like carotenoids, flavonoids (kaempferol and quercitin) and glucosinolates… all of which have studied anti-cancer benefits.

Kale is  a powerful anti-inflammatory food. Just 1 cup of kale contains 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids, which help fight against arthritis, asthma and autoimmune disorders.

Kale helps fight heart disease by lowering cholesterol. This is due to its content of bile acid sequestrants (helps break down fats).

The truth is, everyone should eating kale multiple times a week as it will super-charge your body and boost your health in many different ways!

Here are just a few good ideas for some delicious kale recipes:

Sesame Kale ChipsSesame Kale Chips

Ingredients

  • 1 small bunch kale (rinsed and dried)
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (toasted or raw)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 300°
  • Tear leaves from ribs of kale; discard ribs (they are bitter and hard to eat). Tear leaves into bite-sized pieces.
  • Pour oil and soy sauce into a large bowl, add kale, and toss to coat evenly.
  • Spread leaves out in single layer on baking sheet.
  • Bake for 12 minutes.
  • Flip pan around, sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake until leaves are crisp but not browned, 5 to 7 additional minutes.

Sauteed garlicky Kale Side

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches kale (rinsed and dried)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or minced
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional additions: 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes, shaved Parmesan, and/or thinly sliced red onion

Directions

  • Tear leaves from ribs of kale; discard ribs (they are bitter and hard to eat).
  • In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic (and optional chili flakes or red onion) and sauté for 2 minutes, until the garlic just begins to brown.
  • Add the kale one handful at a time and toss to coat with oil. Once all of the kale is added, cover and sauté for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the lid, season with salt and pepper, and continue cooking until the  kale is fully wilted and the moisture has mostly evaporated.
  • Add optional shaved Parmesan topping.
  • Serve warm or chilled.

About modernhealthproject

Hi there! This is my little blog project where I am trying to learn more about health, wellness and living a balanced life, while also sharing a bit of my silly side as well. By "silly" I mean sarcastic. And by "a bit" I mean way too much. Sorry about that.♥ - Anna

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