Published in Detodo/La Optimista, Ibiza’s good news only newspaper.
Kale is a form of wild cabbage considered to be one of the most nutritious vegetables in the world.
Here are four good reasons why:
It´s a source of vitamins K, A and C
One cup of chopped kale = 684 % of an adult's recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin K,
which is a fat-soluble compound that controls aspects of bleeding, including blood clotting.
It also promotes strong and healthy bones, thereby preventing osteoporosis and bone fractures.
Symptoms of a vitamin K deficiency can actually include bleeding gums, bleeding noses and blood in the stool or urine.
One cup of kale = 206 % of our RDA of vitamin A, which is mostly associated with animal products,
but plant-based sources of it - called carotenoids - are also found in the most nutritious vegetables.
Carotenoids (of which beta-carotene is perhaps the best-known) primarily function as antioxidants and provide numerous benefits to our eyes, skin and immune system. They also contain anti-aging properties.
The third and final vitamin in which kale is unusually high is vitamin C, another antioxidant that guards us from degenerative diseases such as cancer and macular degeneration. One cup of kale = 134 % of our RDA of vitamin C.
It´s a detoxification and weight loss aid
Kale contains high amounts of sulphur and dietary fibre. Sulphur is actually the third most abundant mineral in the body (after calcium and phosphorous) and aids fat digestion and absorption, the production of bile acids and
the regulation of blood sugar. Fibre, on the other hand, sweeps the large intestine of accumulated waste
(including cancer-causing toxins, to which it binds itself as it passes).
Aside from being great detoxifiers, sulphur and fibre also stimulate weight loss.
This fact, coupled with its low calorie and fat content, makes kale an effective weight loss food.
It´s an anti-inflammatory
One cup of kale = 121 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids and 92.4 milligrams of omega-6 fatty acids. These essential, polyunsaturated fats contain anti-inflammatory properties (meaning they can reduce inflammation, including the effects of autoinflammatory diseases such as asthma, IBS and Alzheimer's disease). They also support brain function.
It´s a plant-based source of iron and calcium
Per calorie, kale contains more iron than beef and more calcium than milk, making it a great source of both minerals
for individuals who avoid meat and/or dairy foods. We need iron to build hemoglobin, which transports oxygen from our lungs to the body's cells (and can lead to anemia when deficient). We need calcium, of course, to build strong bones and teeth. A good supply of calcium can help prevent osteoporosis, arthritis and other bone conditions.
Additionally, one cup of kale also provides us with trace minerals, such as magnesium (6 % of our RDA),
phosphorous (4 %), potassium (9 %), zinc (2 %), copper (10 %) and manganese (26 %),
which aid our body's day-to-day processes. It also contains B vitamins such as thiamin,
niacin and pantothenic acid, which help us metabolise energy from the foods we eat.