Kale can fit anyone’s diet!
Kale is one of the latest in superfoods in many parts of the world, including the United States, but it has been used for centuries in many countries and areas. Kale is related to cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, collards and Brussels sprouts.
This dark green leafy vegetable can also be purple, blue or red in color. This is a great addition to any food, although some of the ornamental types of kale are bitter to the taste. Boiling before using in food preparation will reduce this bitterness and allow you to enjoy the flavor. Additionally, allowing the kale to freeze outside and then eating it will make more palatable for even picky eaters.
The Health Benefits of Kale
There are many different benefits of regular consumption of kale. These include:
- Over 200% of the Vitamin A, 684% of the Vitamin K and 134% of the Vitamin C recommended daily amount (RDA)
- High in copper, calcium, potassium, magnesium and manganese
- Small amount of alpha-linolenic acid
- Contains high levels of antioxidants, including polyphenols and flavonoids
- Can help to remove free radical cells, which are linked to signs of aging and some types of cancers.
- Linked to lower cholesterol levels in the body
- Contains sulforaphane, which is a cancer-fighting substance
- Kale contains lutein and zeaxanthin, both carotenoids that help with eye health
Ways to Add Kale to the Diet
If you aren’t sure of how to add kale to your diet, here are a few simple ideas:
- Baby kale – a great kale recipe is to use baby kale in place of spinach in salads. Baby kale can also be added to vegetable soups and broths in the last minute or two of cooking for a healthy and hearty addition.
- Smoothies – baby kale or kale leaves can be added to smoothies to add fiber and a unique tangy to the taste. Combining with your favorite fruits will give a nice balance of sweet and tang.
- Kale chips –by baking the leaves in the oven you can easily make delicious kale chips. Add a drizzle of olive oil and a bit of garlic powder and sea salt and toss. Place the leaves flat on a cookie sheet and bake at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes.
Kale can be boiled, steamed or sauteed in a bit of olive oil and garlic for a delicious side. It can also a vegetable you can add fresh lemon juice, jalapeno peppers, ginger, onions, smoked pepper flakes and red pepper.