Kale is a popular vegetable and a member of the cabbage family.It is a cruciferous vegetable like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens and Brussels sprouts.Given its incredibly low calorie content, kale is among the most nutrient-dense foods in existence.Eating more kale is a great way to dramatically increase the total nutrient content of your diet. .

The many types, health benefits of kale

It’s popular in northern Europe and now throughout the U.S. During the Middle Ages, kale was planted and used to feed humans and livestock.History books state that Thomas Jefferson experimented with several varieties of kale at his Monticello estate in the early 1800s.Russian kale is harder to find and it has flat fringed leaves that range in color from green to red to purple.Kale is a nutrition superstar due to the amounts of vitamins A, K, B6 and C, calcium, potassium, copper and manganese it contains.Kale is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family along with cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, collard greens, kohlrabi, rutabaga, turnips and bok choy.These vegetables offer health benefits, including potentially reducing the risk of various types of cancer.The only people who may need to avoid or limit kale intake are those that form oxalate containing kidney stones or take the blood thinner Coumadin/warfarin.Kale holds its texture well in cooking, and it can be steamed, stir fried, roasted, or eaten raw.Always remove the middle rib as it tends to be overly tough and fibrous and imparts a more bitter taste when eaten.Get some kale, remove the center rib and tear up the leaves, and add them to a regular green salad.Although any variety will work in this dish, curly, dark green dinosaur kale looks spectacular, especially alongside a mix of red, yellow and orange cherry tomatoes. .

Kale: Health benefits, nutrition, diet, and risks

This article looks at the nutritional content and health benefits of kale, how to include it in the diet, and reasons why some people should not eat too much of it.Possible benefits include helping manage blood pressure , boosting digestive health, and protecting against cancer and type 2 diabetes .Kale contains fiber, antioxidants, calcium, vitamins C and K, iron, and a wide range of other nutrients that can help prevent various health problems.Antioxidants help the body remove unwanted toxins that result from natural processes and environmental pressures.The American Diabetes Association recommend consuming foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.Antioxidants: Authors of a 2012 article note that high blood sugar levels can trigger the production of free radicals.They note that antioxidants, such as vitamin C and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), can help reduce complications that may occur with diabetes.In this way, kale may limit the risk of cancer, and pairing a chargrilled steak with green vegetables may help reduce the negative impact.Studies have not found that supplements have the same effect, but people who have a high intake of fruits and vegetables appear to have a lower risk of developing various cancers.Kale is high in fiber and water, both of which help prevent constipation and promote regularity and a healthy digestive tract.The body uses vitamin C to build and maintain collagen, a protein that provides structure for skin, hair, and bones.Kale contains lutein and zeaxanthin, an antioxidant combination that may help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration. .

Kale Might Not Be As Good for You As You Think

However, it's probably not something to worry about as you would have to eat an excessive amount of raw kale to experience these negative effects — a lot more then you're likely to have in one sitting.The Environmental Working Group just released its "Dirty Dozen" list for the year, which is a guide to the products that are covered in the most pesticides."We were surprised kale had so many pesticides on it, but the test results were unequivocal," said EWG toxicologist Alexis Temkin."Fruits and vegetables are an important part of everyone's diet, and when it comes to some conventionally grown produce items, such as kale, choosing organic may be a better option.". .

Top 5 health benefits of kale

Kale is a cruciferous vegetable, like cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, and has large, edible leaves with a tough central stem.When you buy kale, you’ll normally find it sold whole or pre-chopped, and it can be eaten raw or lightly cooked.Kale contains a number of nutrients that support heart health, including potassium, which maintains a healthy blood pressure.Another benefit of kale is that it contains substances that bind to cholesterol to help manage levels.Studies suggest that even if you juice or steam kale, you will still benefit from these advantages.Kale is rich in two phytonutrients, lutein and zeaxanthin, that support the health of our eyes and vision.Consuming sufficient quantities of these nutrients lowers the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.As kale is a rich source of vitamin K, those on anti-coagulant medication (commonly referred to as blood thinners) need to consider the amount they eat.Nicola Shubrook is a nutritional therapist and works with both private clients and the corporate sector.She is an accredited member of the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT) and the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC).All health content on bbcgoodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other healthcare professional. .

What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Kale — Eat This Not That

We went asked a few experts about the specifics of what happens to your body when you eat kale, and how this powerful superfood really can make a huge difference in your health."Kale is super nutritious, that's why it finds its way on main meals and salads," Edie Reads, RD and chief editor of healthadvise.org.Here's why many nutritionists would also back up the phrase "kale is king," and for even more healthy tips, be sure to check out our list of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.A cup of kale offers just under 200 milligrams of calcium, and ample Vitamin K, both of which are important parts of the puzzle in preventing osteoporosis.".If you're taking a medication known to interfere with vitamin k and normal clotting, make sure to speak to your doctor before increasing your intake of kale and other leafy greens."."These work to actively reduce inflammation and oxidative stress that can damage the body's cells and tissues leading to chronic conditions."."Dark leafy greens like kale are nutritional powerhouses," says Meghan Sedivy, RD, LDN from Fresh Thyme Market."Greens like kale are packed with vitamin K helping the body to clot blood, iron which helps bring oxygen to vital organs throughout the body and produce red blood cells, magnesium to promote proper muscle and nerve function, and vitamin A for vision health.Kale is an earthy, versatile leafy green best used in soups, sauces, or sauteed into a side dish like farro or quinoa."."Adding kale to your day is a great way to support the health of your skin, cartilage, blood vessels, and healing of wounds!". .

4 Reasons Why Kale is a True Superfood

By: Austin Perlmutter, MD, Medical Student, Miller School of Medicine.Packing a powerful punch of antioxidants, nutrients and excellent digestive support, its role in optimal wellness is tough to dispute.The kale carotenoids Lutein and Zeaxanthin concentrate in the eye, and may play a role in preventing optic conditions like macular degeneration and cataract.The reduction of oxidation to LDL has important implications in terms of heart disease risk.For more information, order your copy of Grain Brain today and join Dr. Perlmutter’s email list.

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Kale: The Leafy Green Full of Vitamins

People with existing thyroid conditions should check with their doctor, but most can enjoy kale as part of a healthy diet.). .

Kale Smoothie

Start your morning with a glass, and you’ll feel oddly invincible the rest of the day.I realize I am at risk of dramatizing the impact that a breakfast smoothie can have on a person’s psyche, but this kale pineapple smoothie truly makes me feel fantastic every time I drink it.With its oodles of fruit, veggies, and protein, this healthy green smoothie makes me feel like a booty-kickin’ superhero ready to take on the world, from my wildest goals to the laundry that I’ve been ignoring for the two weeks.Thanks to the pineapple, banana, and honey, this healthy breakfast smoothie is sweet and creamy, and the kale’s flavor is mild.It packs fiber, protein, and a whole host of vitamins, antioxidants and other nutrients!The raw kale flavor is strong on its own, but the other ingredients mellow it.The raw kale flavor is strong on its own, but the other ingredients mellow it.My secret to taming the flavor of the raw kale and making it nearly imperceptible!Since bananas are low in calories and high in fiber, they may aid in weight loss as well.Banana makes the kale smoothie rich, thick, and creamy, and it naturally sweetens it too.Since bananas are low in calories and high in fiber, they may aid in weight loss as well.Banana makes the kale smoothie rich, thick, and creamy, and it naturally sweetens it too.Honey is full of antioxidants, can aid in digestion, and may soothe a sore throat.To make the kale smoothie vegan, swap maple syrup (which also has health benefits!Honey is full of antioxidants, can aid in digestion, and may soothe a sore throat.To make the kale smoothie vegan, swap maple syrup (which also has health benefits!).A big dollop of nonfat Greek yogurt provides extra healthy protein and makes the kale smoothie even more filling.A big dollop of nonfat Greek yogurt provides extra healthy protein and makes the kale smoothie even more filling.While you’ll have the smoothest results with a high-powered blend like a Vitamix, you can make this banana kale smoothie with a regular blender too.Food fads may come and go, but this recipe is here to be your little black dress of morning meals.While it doesn’t get things as smooth as quickly as a high-powered blender or come with the same bells and whistles, it’s a good option for the price.They make everything you drink through them from smoothies, to iced coffee, to even water taste extra cool and refreshing. .

Is eating raw kale *actually* bad for you?

It's anti-inflammatory, has been shown to help protect against both heart disease and cancer , and is packed with digestion-boosting fiber, as well as plenty of vitamin C, calcium, and vision-benefiting lutein ."Kale gets its super healthy reputation in part because of compounds called glucosinolates," says Brierley Horton, MS, RD.(Found in all cruciferous vegetables, gluconsinolates are the subject of intense research centered on cancer prevention.).Along with creating some thyroid concerns in some women when eaten in large quantities, Beth Basham, MS, RD, LD, says eating raw kale could also affect another subset of the population: those susceptible to kidney stones."Another population that might be weary of regular raw kale consumption would be those with kidney stones who have been told to follow an oxalate-restricted diet," Basham says.Excess consumption of oxalate-containing foods can be problematic for those who are susceptible and may lead to pain and future kidney stone development.".Whether you're someone who's affected by the raw greens or not—something you can chat with your doctor about to be sure—there are some expert-approved ways to reap the benefits, minus these potential health problems."Glucosinolates are greatly diminished by cooking, so it’s good advice to boil, roast or stew your kale before eating.This is the same for any other cruciferous veggie like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kohlrabi, and bok choy," Basham says."Eating your veggies with fat increases the availability of fat-soluble vitamins D, E, A, and K from the food source—a benefit you don't want to miss out on," she explains."There's no current recommendation on the number of green smoothies you can have, but if you can't live without them, limit consumption to three or four times per week if you include raw kale.". .

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