Kale Super-Food Extraordinaire

Kale, a leafy green vegetable in the cabbage family of plants. Known as a super food.

Kale

Kale, known as the King of Healthy Greens, is a leafy green that comes in many varieties and will grow in many diverse locations, though some might find it tricky to overcome the plant pests that like to eat kale as much as people do. Its also known as a super food, and I’m not just saying that, it has been scientifically proven.

One cup of kale contains 33 calories, 6 grams of carbohydrates and 3 grams of protein. It doesn’t contain much fat, but the fat it does have is in the form of Omega3 fatty acids known as alpha linolenic acid. It contains a long list of vitamins and minerals that are essential for healthy bodies like:

  • Vitamins A
  • B1(Thiamin)
  • B2(Riboflavin)
  • B3(Niacin)
  • B6(Folic acid)

and minerals like Calcium, Copper, Manganese, Magnesium, Potassium, and Phosphorous.

This amazing leafy green also contains high levels of anti-oxidants like Quercetin and Kaempferol, (oxidative damage drives aging, immune problems and cancer growth). Other beneficial components are Beta-carotene, Flavonoids, and Polyphenols that fight the growth of cancer cells and boost immune health. In fact, Kale has 4-5 times the amount of Vitamin C found in Spinach or Oranges. Would you like some kale juice for breakfast?

 

Red Russian Kale, a vegetable in the cabbage family of plants.

Cruciferous Vegetables

Kale is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables, a cousin to broccoli, cabbage, collards, Brussel sprouts, kohlrabi, and cauliflower. It can range in color from green to blue-silver to purple, depending on the variety. Some of the most popular varieties are the Nero Di Toscana (black kale), Winterbor (curly kale), Lacinato (dinosaur kale), Red Ursa, Russian Red, and Trochuda Beira. These are known as the Brassica uleracea family of leafy greens, or Cole crops (kohl in German), some people call them winter vegetables due to the way their flavor becomes sweeter after being exposed to frost.

green kale

 

Organically Grown Kale

Many people are going back to nature and eating foods that are grown organically to reap the health benefits of heirloom varieties and to avoid ingesting the chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides that are used in industrial farming and GMO farming.

Sure, the bugs will bite organically grown foods, and live through the experience, unlike GMOs.

Organically grown foods might not be as perfectly shaped as their conventional or GMO cousins, but they are sweeter and more nutritious. And remember, organically grown foods are more natural, and kinder to the planet to grow, than conventional crops.

Kale is being called “the new beef” because of its protein content. Its “the king of greens” and “a nutritional powerhouse.” Like the other leafy greens we love to eat, it is great for aiding in digestion and elimination with its high fiber content.

varieties of kale

 

Kale as Medicine

Juiced black kale is being used as a remedy or treatment for arthritis, gastric ulcers, depression, gout, heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

Cholesterol works in the body to make bile acids, which digest fats. When we eat a fatty meal, the bile acids go to work, and when their work is done they are reabsorbed into the blood stream to be used again.

Kale contains bile acid sequestrants that bind bile acids in the digestive system and prevent them from being reabsorbed, reducing the total amount of cholesterol in the body.

While all cruciferous vegetables fight the growth of cancer cells, Kale has been shown to contain a list of the most important antioxidants. The protein in Kale is in the form of Omega-3 fatty acids, also known as alpha linolenic acid, which fight heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

Dinosaur Kale, a member of the cabbage family of plants.

As mentioned above, Kale contains Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, E, and K, and delivers the micro-nutrients: Calcium, Copper, Iron, Phosphorus, Potassium, Magnesium, and Manganese. Its rich in antioxidants, beta-carotene, flavinoids, and polyphenols.

It lowers LDL cholesterol in the blood, and helps lower the risk of heart disease.

Vitamin K is critical for blood-clotting and 1 cup of Kale contains 7 times the recommended daily requirement of vitamin K for an adult. (For this reason, if you take a medicinal blood thinner, you might forgo eating kale).

Lutein and zeaxanthin, also found in Kale, are carotenoid anti-oxidants, which lower the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.

Kale stimulates immunity and prevents some cancers. So far, it has been difficult to run out of good things to say about kale.

It really is a super food that does a body good. Will you crown it king?

Southern Belle Organics is spreading the news about the benefits of eating organically grown foods. We want you and your family to eat healthy foods and avoid foodborne illnesses. Our motto is “Freshness with a Southern Charm”

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