Kale is an often overlooked superfood that can make a considerable difference in the nutrition that you take in as a part of your healthy diet. But how much do you actually know about this leafy veggie? It may be on the top ten lists of a number of nutritionists, but has it been making its way to your table, lately and, if so, do you really know what you’re eating?
The following is some fascinating information about kale that can help you to make better decisions about the way you grocery shop and what you eat.
• One cup of chopped kale contains more vitamin C than an average sized orange. In fact, that amount contains 134 percent of your recommended daily intake of that vitamin (whereas an orange has 113 times the recommended amount). This is important to your diet because kale is also far lower in calories than an orange.
• One cup of chopped kale has more vitamin A than any other leafy green. In fact, it’s an amazing source of that vitamin. One cup contains 133 percent of your daily requirements.
• Kale is an excellent source of healthy fats. Though you may not think of a leafy green as a source of healthy fats, it kale contains a good amount of alpha-linolec acid (ALA), which if is form of omega 3 fatty acid that is good for brain, cardiovascular, and skin health, among other things. It also helps to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. One cup of kale contains 121 milligrams of ALA.
• Kale contains more calcium than milk. One hundred grams of chopped kale contains 150 milligrams of calcium, whereas the same amount of milk contains 125 milligrams.
• Kale helps you to fight disease. It contains a wide variety of phytonutrients, for example, quercetin. These help to prevent the formation of arterial plaque and reduces information. It also contains sulforaphane, which is a compound that is known to help fight cancer. Many of the compounds in kale that promote good health are enhanced when they are combined with other healthy foods. For example, when combined with olive oil, avocado, or parmesan cheese, the carotenoids (which are fat soluble) become more available to the body. Lemon juice contains an acid that helps the body to better absorb the iron in the kale.
• Organic is best – as healthy as kale may be, the Environmental Working Group has named it to be one of the crops with the greatest likelihood of containing residual pesticides. Therefore, it’s best if you grow it organically, yourself, or splurge and purchase the organic variety at the grocery store.