[tr-shareit]fun fact: Kale Is Really Easy To Grow. A group of students at the Indiana Academy of Science, Mathematics, and Humanities decided to grow kale for National Kale Day and planted some seeds. Now they have a kale patch in their courtyard.[/tr-shareit]
If you are a fan of smoothies, then this vegetable is not new to you. For others, this is a staple in making salads and soups, and in some cases used in stew and pasta. Of course, we are talking about the healthy and tasty kale. Kale is cultivated in cooler environments that help the plant produce a sweeter taste. Kale vary according to cultivars, some come in curly leaves while some appear in plain leaf. Among the wide growers of kale are Japan, Europe and United States.
This vegetable, aside from its versatility, is popular for its numerous health benefits.
Kale is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K. A 100g serving of kale holds 15,376 IU or 512% of the daily-recommended allowance (DRA) of vitamin A. This vitamin, along with high quantity of beta-carotene and lutein zeaxanthin found in kale, is essential to maintain healthy eyesight while preventing age-related macular degeneration. It likewise keeps the skin and mucus membrane healthy.
The 120mg of vitamin C per 100g serving, which makes up 200% of its DRA, is of prime importance because it strengthens the resistance of the body against infectious diseases. The amount of vitamin C found in kale is said to be superior to that present in orange.
Kale is also a top source of vitamin K which provides for 681% of its DRA per 100g serving. Vitamin K is known as a helpful agent in blood clotting as well as in maintaining bone health.
A great weight loss ingredient, a 100g serving of kale contain only 50 calories with zero cholesterol and very low fat. Kale is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids particularly the alpha-linoleic acid that yields multiple benefits. Alpha-linoleic acid improves the condition of the heart and lowers the risk of acquiring Type 2 Diabetes.
Among the minerals contained in kale are manganese (34% DRA), copper (32% DRA), and iron (21% DRA). Manganese is involved primarily in wound healing, bone formation, and metabolism of macronutrients. Copper, meanwhile, is essential for the formation of red blood cells and in the utilization of iron by the body. Iron is then responsible for the transportation of oxygen across the body through the red blood cells.
Other minerals are calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium. All these minerals with their individual and relative functions are important to keep the body healthy and to ensure proper functioning of the body.
The Amazing Health Benefits of Kale
Kale consumption is proven to prevent and treat diabetes. For those who have type 1 diabetes, eating fibrous foods can help in lowering the blood’s sugar levels. On the other hand, those who have type 2 diabetes can benefit in eating a lot of kale through regulating blood glucose, insulin, and lipids levels. Kale is a very good source of fiber. A cup of it provides up to 2.6 grams. In addition, kale also contains alpha-lipoic acid which is a powerful antioxidant that has sugar lowering effects. This antioxidant also stimulates sensitivity of insulin as well as avoids stress oxidation that mainly triggers diabetes and various types of heart ailments.
Thwarts Off Heart Ailments
Kale contains significantly high amounts of Potassium, Fiber, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C that all work together for the greatest benefit of the heart. Kale is proven to be a heart healthy food. Its intake can lead to heart stability avoiding different types of heart ailments. The key to a healthy heart is to observe high potassium at the same time low sodium diet. It has been proved that observing this kind of diet can reduce risks of heart ailments up to 50%.
Alleviates Risks of Cancer
Kale and other plant vegetables have chlorophyll that is known to be an anti-carcinogenic property. If you are fond of eating foods grilled in very high temperature, you must always balance your food intake by adding kale on the side.
Effective Weight Loss Agent
If you want to keep your weight normal, adding kale to your diet is of great significance. Kale contains fiber and sulfur that serve as agents of proper digestion. Its fiber content also regulates cholesterol levels in the body. This will eventually decrease the body’s fat storage that triggers your weight. This vegetable also has Vitamin C that increases metabolic rates that virtually results to weight loss. Kale is a popular ingredient of weight loss programs because of its unique characteristics that can result to weight loss.
Boosts the Immune System
Consumption of Kale fights off bacteria build-up in the body through strengthening the body’s defense. Regularly eating kale is able to protect your body from infection-related illnesses like colds, cough, flu, and many others. If you want to effectively establish your body’s resistance against viruses and bacteria, you must add kale to your diet. Kale is also a source of iron that will help transport oxygen properly throughout the body. This will boost the functions of body’s parts and organs.
Good for the Skin
Kale’s richness in Vitamin C makes the skin beautiful and healthy inside and out. Vitamin C stimulates collagen production that is responsible with the skin’s structure and firmness. With sufficient amounts of collagen in the body, skin cells and tissues are protected and repaired if needed. This will result to a hydrated, glowing, nourished, and revitalized skin not only from the outside but on a cellular level as well.
Keeps the Eyes Healthy
As we age, there is a tendency that the functions of the eyes deteriorate. Ageing can impair the clarity of our vision and can also trigger age-related eye disorders. If you want to keep your eyes healthy through the years, always eating kale can help. Kale contains high amounts of Vitamin A that protects the eye’s tissues and cells. Eating kale regularly can prevent retinal dryness, blindness, age-related macular degeneration, etc.
Strengthens the Bones
Kale has calcium and vitamin K that both promote healthy bones. Calcium is important to avoid bone fragility and keep them strong and dense. Vitamin K improves the calcium absorption ability of the bones. This will lead to lesser chances of bone fractures and disorders such as osteoporosis and others more.
Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties
The anti-inflammatory properties of kale help in avoiding and remedying asthma, autoimmune problems, arthritis, etc. Kale is concentrated with omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin C that both fights inflammation and their harmful effects in the body. It is important to always eat kale because you cannot underestimate the effects of inflammation. Aside from those mentioned above, inflammation can lead to far more serious conditions such as cancer, heart ailments, and body organ malfunction.
Because of Kale’s fiber and water content, it is able to optimize the digestive process. The digestive process is an important activity in the body. Eating kale can regulate breakdown of food intake, can clear up the digestive tract, and can also encourage orderly bowel movement.