The kale in the vegetable world isn’t sexy, and it’s not the artichoke or leek either. But there is some appeal about kale’s thick, almost rubbery leaves, ruffled and almost chewy as leather. The deep green color and the fact that it grows nearly all year make it so unique.
Because of its dark green color, it’s packed full of flavor and nutrients, and although it may be bitter at first, it repays your body well when adequately prepared. Here are five ways you can prepare this faithful vegetable, from snack chips to soup.
Five Benefits of Eating Kale
Green leafy vegetables are a good source of many vitamins and minerals. They belong to the cruciferous family with broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cabbage containing phytonutrients that fight cancer. Combined with its cruciferous roots and leafy green leaves, kale provides the health benefits of both vegetables. Let’s explore five benefits you can get from eating kale.
1. Kale Increases Your Vitamin and Mineral Intake
Among all the fruits and vegetables available in your local fruit and veg shop, kale has high vitamin K, vitamin C, magnesium, calcium, beta-carotene, and iron levels. Kale is higher in minerals because it has much less oxalate than other popular greens like spinach, making it easier to digest. So no bloating, and your gut will be grateful.
2. Kale is Good for Bone Health
Kale contains a large amount of calcium and is one of the best natural sources of vitamin K. Vitamin K helps support the function of specific proteins in the body, which leads to bone mineralization.
In the bloodstream, it helps transport calcium into the bones. Over time, your body incorporates calcium into the structure of the bone, increasing its strength.
3. A Diet Rich in Kale Prevents Cancer
Kale and other cruciferous vegetables contain glucosinolates, a group of sulfur-containing compounds that may help prevent cancer. According to studies, the glucosinolate found in kale effectively kills cancer cells in the liver, breast, and bladder. Researchers found that dosing rats with glucosinolates reduced the occurrence of cancer-promoting genetic mutations exposed to carcinogenic chemicals.
4. Kale is an Excellent Source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The essential fatty acids that kale contains are nutrients vital to the well-being of the mind, heart, and hormones. Food is the best source of omega-3s since the body cannot make them.
Adding kale to your diet reduces your risk of heart disease.
5. Kale Protects Your Heart
According to Vanderbilt University, researchers link a diet high in cruciferous vegetables to reduced inflammation and better cardiovascular health. Kale’s phytonutrients may also support heart health. According to The Lancet, people who consume more flavonoids daily are at lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
While your body enjoys the benefits of kale, below are five ways your taste buds can join in the party.
Five Ways to Enjoy Kale
In terms of versatility, kale is among the best. You can eat kale raw or cooked using just about any method. From turning it into kale chips and sautéing in a pan & added to a grain bowl, to being served raw as a simple kale salad. You can take advantage of these excellent health benefits by making these healthy and straightforward kale recipes.
1. Salad – Nish Nush’s Chili Kale Salad
Nish Nush’s vegan spicy, gluten-free chili kale salad is a perfect side dish for your summer cookout and can also stand alone as an entire meal.
- Chopped kale
- Sautéed balsamic mushrooms
- Shredded chili falafel
- Cherry tomatoes & roasted sunflower seeds with ginger mint tahini dressing
Kale chips are the perfect healthy go-to snack. They are easy to make, and you can dress them up or down as you wish. Dehydrated or baked, they work well both ways. The benefits are endless: Season them with salt and pepper, bake/dehydrate them with a cashew/tahini sauce, even take them in different directions—chipotle, curry, Greek, so many possibilities!
You can call this “clean eating.” Simple, delicious, and packed with nutrients, fiber, and low in fat. This kale soup almost feels cleansing after eating it! You can sweeten this nutritious vegan soup with carrots so that even kids will love it!
Green smoothies, green juice, or blended greens are a great way to start the day. Kale smoothies are rich in fiber and are perfect for daily health maintenance and daily consumption.
- 2 cups of kale leaves, chopped with the stems removed
- 1/4 cup of unsweetened plant milk — oat makes a good choice!
- Chunks of 1 medium banana, frozen
- 1/4 cup Cocoyo living coconut yogurt — probiotics are so important!
- 1/4 cup frozen pineapple pieces
- 2 tablespoons of creamy or crunchy peanut butter
- 1 to 3 teaspoons agave or maple syrup – to taste (you may omit this if the bananas and pineapple are already sweet enough)
Instructions: Put all the listed ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. You may need to add more milk if you like it. Please serve immediately.
5. Nish Nush’s Kale & Tell and Piña Kale-Ada Smoothies
Adding kale to the Kale Piña Colada Smoothie recipe boosts the nutritional value and is an excellent way to sneak in more greens. The leafy green vegetable has vitamins A, K, C, and B6, along with many others.
- Coconut water
A Kale Piña Colada Smoothie’s main ingredient is bananas, which make it creamier and smoother. Also, bananas give the drink a lot of vitamins, including potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C! Though it may tempt you to avoid bananas, you barely taste them, so do not rule them out before trying them. It is a green smoothie but with a pineapple and coconut flavor that masks the kale flavor.
The Nish Nush’s Kale & Tell and Piña Kale-Ada smoothie recipe is like a perfectly tanned day at the beach in summer but in a completely healthy package! This recipe for Nish Nush’s Kale & Tell and Pina Kale-Ada smoothie is like a perfectly tanned Summer beach day. You can order online today.