Kale is rightfully called a superfood; however, its other disguise would be a humble member of the cabbage family and a veggie, at the most basic level. Other members of the cabbage family include a host of other leafy greens; including Brussels sprouts, broccoli, collard greens and cauliflowers. Kale however, is distinctively of two types; one has purple, smooth leaves and the other has green, curly leaves. The latter is the most common one, also called Scots kale, which is characterised by a hard, fibrous stem. Kale is incredibly nutritious and healthy; a single cup of raw, uncooked kale contains:
· Vitamin A: 206 per cent of the DV (from beta-carotene)
· Vitamin K: 684 per cent of the DV
· Vitamin C: 134 per cent of the DV
· Vitamin B6: 9 per cent of the DV
· Manganese: 26 per cent of the DV
· Calcium: 9 per cent of the DV
· Copper: 10 per cent of the DV
· Potassium: 9 per cent of the DV
· Magnesium: 6 per cent of the DV
The leafy green veggie contains a hefty sprinkling of a majority of vitamins and a host of other acids very beneficial for the body. Kale is considered a superfood because it delivers the nutrients that are usually left out in a person’s daily diet. Here is a list of all the vitamins and minerals it contains,
· Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
· Vitamin B1 (thiamin)
· Vitamin B3 (niacin) (3 per cent or more of the daily intake value)
But that’s not all the mighty kale has in its goody basket to defend its status as a superfood. You’ve got 3 grams of protein, 33 calories and 6 grams of carbohydrates (out of which 2 are classified as fibre). While kale does contain fat, it is very little quantities (almost negligible), but the fat that does present itself is an omega-3 fatty acid known as alpha-linolenic-acid. Kale is also considered an incredibly nutrient-dense food known to us; it has a low-calorie content that contributes much to its healthiness. Consuming kale at a regular basis or including it in your daily meals can radically change the total nutrient content of your daily diet and recommended value of nutrients intake. To know more about superfoods that can contribute greatly to your health and wellbeing, check out https://healthfirsto.com/.
Kale Is Loaded with Powerful Antioxidants
Kale, since it shares most of its characteristics with other leafy greens, is actually quite high in the number of antioxidants per a given amount. These antioxidants include vitamin C and beta-carotene, not to mention the good quantity of other polyphenols and flavonoids. What are antioxidants, you might ask? Well, as the name implies, these are compounds that help negate the adverse effects of oxidative damage that wreaks havoc courtesy of free radicals found in the body. Among others, this type of damage has been widely believed to accelerate the process of aging and many other diseases, which unfortunately includes various types of cancers. Kale also contains a good amount of kaempferol and quercetin, both antioxidants which have other really healthy functions than the ones described beforehand.
All of these nutrients and compounds have been tested rigorously in animals and the laboratory. All of these nutrients perform vital functions in the body; acting as anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-cancer and anti-depressant agents. Similarly, they also protect the heart, keep the blood pressure lowered, and kale has all these nutrients.
Kale Can Help Lower Cholesterol
One of the main problems that people face in the older demographic is the excess of cholesterol, which can be deadly if left unchecked. However, its not as harmful if found in moderate quantities in the body. Cholesterol is primarily used by the liver to make bile acids or simply bile, which helps with the digestion of fats in the body. It is the liver’s primary method of synthesising bile, which is subsequently released in the stomach after you eat a meal with lots of fats. This ensures that fat is not stored excessively in the body.
Bile acid sequestrants
After the digestive process has completed and all the bile has digested all the fats into simple fatty acids, bile is actually then reabsorbed into the bloodstream to be used again for the next meal. There are compounds in the body known as bile acid sequestrants, whose function is to bind bile acids to the digestive system, thus preventing them from being reabsorbed into the bloodstream. While this may seem a complicated process and a futile one, but actually, bile acid sequestrants can help lower the overall amount of cholesterol present in the body.
Where does kale come in? Kale contains a good amount of bile acid sequestrants, which actively helps with lowering the cholesterol level. Kale therefore, can be super useful when it comes to lowering the risk of heart and coronary diseases.
However, this is all supported by science, with one study concluding that drinking a moderate amount of kale juice daily for a period of three months or 12 weeks resulted in a considerable increase of 27 per cent of HDL (dubbed the good cholesterol) and slashed down the levels of LDL (considered bad cholesterol, the root of nearly all heart diseases) by a good 10 per cent. The study also demonstrated that drinking kale juice also improved the status of antioxidants in the body.
But kale is more than that. Its bile acid sequestrants also work efficiently, with steamed kale coming out the winner in the bile acid binding effect. Steamed kale is also good for bad cholesterol the other way around; it is 43 per cent as useful as a synthetic cholesterol-lowering drug cholestyramine, which functions in an almost similar manner as steamed kale’s bile acid binding effect.
There are Numerous Cancer-Fighting Substances in Kale
We all know about cancer as a debilitating disease, that causes cells to grow on an uncontrollable rate, eventually forming into a tumour that are, in most of the cases, fatal. Kale is a wonderful vegetable loaded with compounds and substances that can actually mitigate the various causes of cancer and can actively protect against cancerous cells itself. Among the many compounds in kale responsible for this, sulforaphane is the one that is active in its fight against the formation of cancer cells at a very basic i.e. molecular level.
Kale is also full of indole-3-carbinole, which is another substance widely known and believed to help prevent cancer. Many studies have also concluded that not just kale, but a whole variety of cruciferous veggies, which include most relatives of kale, are extremely helpful in lowering the risk of a whole range of cancers. However, these have yet to be tested on humans, but the preliminary testing has shown much promise.
Kale Is a Good Source of Minerals
Kale is a good source of minerals that are not usually present in a person’s normal, everyday diet. There are a number of minerals present in kale; starting off with calcium, which is found in abundance in the vegetable. Calcium, as everybody will know, is vital for bone formation, teeth formation and the upkeep of both types of bones. Calcium also helps greatly in the cellular functions and is very imperative for cellular growth as well.
Next up is magnesium, a very important mineral which most people don’t usually gen enough intake of. Kale contains a good amount of magnesium, enough to cover a person’s daily recommended amount. Magnesium is necessary because it has shown to be defensive against a host of heart diseases and diabetes.