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Nutrition

The healthier side of eating Kales

Kale is a green, leafy, a high fiber vegetable from the cabbage family. It is a winter vegetable also considered as a nutritional powerhouse. It basically originated in the eastern Mediterranean and Anatolia. Filled with fiber and sulfur, it is considered one of the best detox foods around the world.

Kale has been used as a medicinal food source for centuries. It is loaded with potential nutrients that promote healthy hair, skin, vision, and bones. Moreover, it is attributed to helping people suffering from diabetes, cardiovascular issues, cancer etc. It also promotes healthy digestion, reduces blood pressure and development of asthma. The antioxidant content of Kales fights arthritis and avoids autoimmune disorders.

Kale can be employed in your usual diet as a tasty, nutritious side dish. It can be enjoyed raw in salads or on sandwiches. It can also be steamed, braised, boiled, sautéed or added to soups and casseroles. You can also make smoothies out of kale.

 

The respective article discusses in detail, the health benefits offered by adding Kale to your diet.

Kales are densed with nutrients

A single cup of chopped raw kale is said to contain about 8 calories, 0.68 g of protein, 1.4 g of carbohydrate, and 0.6 g of fiber. Moreover, it is also a rich source of mineral elements like it contains 24 mg of calcium, 0.24 mg of iron, 8 mg of magnesium, 15 mg of phosphorus, 79 mg of potassium, and 6 mg of sodium. Further, it contains 19.2 mg of vitamin C, 23 micrograms of folate, 112.8 micrograms of vitamin K, and 80 micrograms of vitamin A.

In comparison with spinach, one cup of cooked kale has over 1,000 percent more vitamin-C. Kale is low in oxalate, thus provides an easily absorbable form of calcium and iron. It is even said that Kales have more iron than beef and more calcium than milk. It also possesses antioxidants like carotenoids and flavonoids and is filled with 10% recommended dietary allowance of omega-3 fatty acids.

Improves bone health

Research suggests that a low content of vitamin-K inside your body can cause bones to fracture. An adequate amount of vitamin-K, when taken in, improves the absorption of calcium into the bones. It further modifies the matrix proteins of bones, improves blood clotting, and limits the excretion of calcium in the urine. Kale is a good source of vitamin-K and can serve the purpose at its best.

Improves digestion

High in fiber and water, Kales promote healthy digestion of foods. It keeps constipation at bay and improvises regular and healthy digestive tract. The B vitamins and vitamin C in Kales promote the absorption of iron and impart energy from food.

Promotes healthy skin and hair

Kales are high in beta-carotene. It is a carotenoid that is converted to vitamin-A upon need. A cup of cooked kale provides around 800 micrograms of retinol-A or 17,707 International Units of vitamin A. It enables all the corporal tissues to grow, including skin and hair. It is also essential for keeping the skin and hair moisturized. Vitamin-A also supports the healthy immune functions, eyesight, and reproductive function.

Kales also provide a rich source of vitamin-C which builds strong levels of collagen i.e. the key structural protein for skin, hair, and bones. Vitamin C further, promotes the absorption of iron which can help to prevent anemia. Iron is also essential for an overall good health, such as for the formation of hemoglobin and enzymes, transporting oxygen to various parts of the body, cell growth, proper liver function and more.

Kales prevent various diseases

Densed with nutritional content Kales are said to benefit its consumer in a lot of ways. It prevents various diseases, discussed as follow.

  • Diabetes

The fiber and antioxidant content of the Kales offer significant protection against diabetes. Kales provide high intake of fiber which may lower the levels of blood glucose in people with type-I diabetes. However, it also improves the blood sugar level and that of insulin in type-II diabetic patients.

The dietary guidelines for Americans recommend a daily intake of fiber ranging from 25g to 33.6g for adults above 18. Kales can serve as one of the cheapest yet best sources of fiber.

In addition, Kales contain alpha-lipoic acid which is an antioxidant in nature. It also helps to lower the levels of glucose in the blood. Further, it increases insulin sensitivity and prevents the changes induced by oxidative stress among diabetic patients. Kales are also found to decrease peripheral and autonomic neuropathy that may be a result of prolonged diabetes.

  • Cardiovascular diseases

The potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 content of Kales support the heart health. It is often recommended that an increased intake of potassium, with low sodium intake, can reduce the risk of heart diseases.

A study was conducted in order to test the validity of this fact. The participants of the study consumed 4069 milligrams of potassium each day and showed a 49% lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease.
High intake of potassium is also associated with a reduced rate of stroke and muscle mass loss. It also preserves mineral density in bones and minimizes the risk of kidney stone formation. Potassium also dilates blood vessels and lowers blood pressure.

Kale serves as a boosting source of potassium. One cup of chopped raw kale provides 79 mg of potassium whereas; one cup of cooked kale provides 296 mg of potassium.

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) says that hardly 2 percent or even fewer adults in the United States (U.S.) meet the recommended intake of potassium i.e. 4.7 g. It is advised to employ kale in your diet or daily dishes to help meet the required potassium intake.

  • Cancer

Being the queen of green vegetables, kale is also a rich source of chlorophyll which helps to prevent your body from absorbing heterocyclic amines. Heterocyclic amines are chemicals that are produced when animal derived foods, grilled at high temperature are consumed. These chemicals are associated with cancer.

The chlorophyll content of the Kales doesn’t absorb into the body but binds the carcinogenic compounds and hinders their absorption. In this way, it can limit the risks of cancer. People are advised to pair their grilled food items with green vegetables like kales to counter attack the negative outcomes.

Conclusion

Kales are one of the nutrient densed foods on earth. It provides all nutrients in their natural and healthy form. It serves as one of the healthiest ways of keeping health risks at bay. If you have not tried this wonderful vegetable yet, then let me tell you it worth a part of your diet for a healthier you.

Michelle Kwan

Michelle Kwan has studied bio-medical sciences and loves to contribute her research into the field of health through her writing. Her expertise includes product reviews and health news reporting but she enjoys writing research-based news, the most. Twitter- @MichelleKwan19

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