Kale is an annual cruciferous vegetable/leafy cabbage believed to have originated from Asia minor. Different varieties exist from the flat leaf, bumpy lean, plain leaf to curly leaf. In the past, it was used for ornamental & decorative purposes but in recent times it had become an important vegetable due to its superior nutritional value.
It can be eaten raw, chopped, ground to make smoothies. Various colours exist ranging from green, red, blue, pink, purple or violet. It is one of the most nutritious plant food in existence.
Kale contains Vitamin A, K, C, B complexes (B6, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin), Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, Calcium, Copper, Iron and Phosphorus.
1. Kale has very low calorie and little fat content and the available fat is Omega-3-fatty acid making it one of the most nutrient dense foods.
2. It is high in antioxidants, betacarotene, flavonoids and polyphenols. These antioxidants counteract the oxidative damage of free radicals in the body. The Flavonoid (Quercetin & Kaempferol) have powerful heart protective, blood pressure lowering, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antiviral and anticancer properties.
3. It is one of the best sources of Vitamin K crucial for blood clotting. Its Vitamin K1 is superior to those found in soy foods which helps prevent heart diseases and osteoporosis.
4. As an excellent source of Vitamin C, it helps lower cholesterol and digest fat due to its bile acid sequestrants.
5. Kale contains a compound called SULFORAPHANE, a substance that helps fight the formation of cancer @ the molecular level.
6. Kale is loaded with several minerals which the body requires in varying quantities. It is loaded in Calcium necessary for bone health, Magnesium needed for heart health and diabetes, Potassium for regulating the electrical gradient in body cells.
7. The Vitamin A in Kale helps protect the eye from damage due to components such as Lutein & Zeaxanthin which lowers the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
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