Kale – The Superfood
Lately I have been hearing so much about the superfood, kale! Everyone is raving about it! The amazing benefits, the different ways to use it in your meals, and how we can get more of it in our diet. To be honest, I just started eating kale, as I was a bit weary about it before. But then my wonderful friend, Whitney, suggested I throw it in a smoothie and I was hooked.
Part of the cabbage family, kale is a dark green, leafy vegetable with similar disease-fighting characteristics as broccoli and Brussels sprouts. And fights disease, it does! Kale has the highest antioxidant rating based on the ORAC Scale (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) with a value of 1770. This nutritional powerhouse comes in way ahead of spinach, which has an ORAC value of 1260.
Here are some more incredible benefits of adding kale to your diet…
- Chock full of essential nutrients such as Iron, Calcium,Vitamin A, C, and K
- Contains powerful phytochemicals called indoles, which have been proven to protect and fight against breast cancer, cervical cancer, and colon cancer
- Provides the body with seven times the beta-carotene found in broccoli (beta-carotene protects the eyes from macular degeneration)
- Got sulfer? Kale is abundant in sulfer, which contains a compound called sulforaphane. This disease-fighting compound helps to increase the body’s release of detoxification enzymes, while assisting the liver in removing free-radicals and harmful chemicals that may possibly cause DNA destruction.
- Low-calorie, low-fat, and yummy!
Do I have you convinced yet???!!!
Now a few ways in which to add this stellar vegetable to your diet….
- Kale Smoothie - Add 2 large leaves of kale to a beverage of your choice (I do unsweetened almond milk) with some fresh berries, and blend. Tastes amazing! Your body will be buzzing afterwards!
- Kale Salad - Tear pieces of kale and toss into salad bowl. Add fresh lemon juice, a little bit of heart-healthy olive oil, salt and pepper and serve. Adds a nice twist to the dinner salad!
- Baked Kale Chips - Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Tear kale into small-medium sized pieces, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake for 10-15 minutes. A healthy, low-calorie snack!