Kale is one of the leafy vegetables widely grown in the US. A descendant of the wild cabbage, kale too belongs to the Brassica oleracea species like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower though kale does not form a compact head. Its leaves are a dark, almost blue-green color and have crinkly edges. Another variety of kale, commonly called salad savoy, is becoming popular among wellness enthusiasts, too. This kale variety has purple leaves and used to only be cultivated for ornamental purposes.
You’ll want to include both green and purple kale to your regular diet. Known for its delightfully peppery and slightly bitter flavor, kale offers manifold benefits to your overall health and wellness.
Read further and learn more about the benefits of kale and why the Superhuman Food Pyramid recommends this vegetable.
Kale is touted for its ability to lower cholesterol and therefore provide overall support for cardiovascular health. As it turns out, the fiber in kale has the ability to bind with bile acids which assist in the digestion and storage of fats. It’s crucial to note that these acids are made by the liver utilizing cholesterol. When you eat kale, the bile acids in your digestive tract will bind with the vegetable’s fiber and both will end up getting excreted via the bowels. Because your bile acids have been lowered as a result, your liver will then have to extract from existing cholesterol reserves, thus resulting in the latter’s overall lowering of levels.
Kale also has considerable amounts of glucosinolates, compounds that are sulfur- and nitrogen-rich. Glucosinolates, once digested or metabolized by certain enzymes, result in isothiocyanates, among these are sulforaphane (SFN), diindolymethane (DIM), indole-3-carbinol (I3C), and allyl-isothiocyanate. These breakdown products are continually being studied for their potential for multi-targeted prevention of certain cancers.
For instance, dietary DIM has shown some promise in protecting against hormone-dependent cancers such as breast cancer in a study. Indole-3-carbinol, on the other hand, shows potential for treating illnesses caused by human papilloma virus (HPV) such as recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP) and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), precancerous conditions which may lead to esophageal and cervical cancer, respectively, if left untreated. SFN, too, shows some promise in cancer prevention.
Kale is also an ideal source of omega-3 fatty acids, with one cup providing roughly 5% of the RDA. Including omega-3-rich vegetables like kale will help prevent or manage inflammation. This vegetable has very low amounts of calorie per serving and does not contain cholesterol and trans fat as well making it a great addition to your weight loss diet.
Kale’s Practical Uses:
Kale’s bile acid binding properties are more efficient when the vegetable is steamed. Fill the vegetable steamer pot with two inches of water and bring to a rapid boil. Put in the steamer basket loaded with chopped green kale and steam for no longer than five minutes. Purple kale, meanwhile, may be eaten raw. Opt to choose purple kale with smaller leaves to ensure these are tender.
It is crucial to note that kale was listed by the Environmental Working Group as one of the US-grown crops particularly high in pesticide, specifically organophosphate, residue. It is for this reason finding a reliable organic source for this vegetable is crucial. Opt to shop in-season, from the middle of winter all through the start of spring. In-season kale is better nutritionally. You’ll have better chances at finding organically grown kale when shopping during said periods as well.
In the next post, I’ll tell you the benefits of mustard greens that will help you in your quest to Become Superhuman.
In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the vegetables on Superhuman Food Pyramid:
• Bok Choy
Also avoid if autoimmune disease or nightshade sensitivity:
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