Why is everyone crowing about kale? Because it’s really awesome! Check out the following health benefits of eating kale and some delicious kale recipes!
Kale is a sturdy, leafy green plant related to broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage. It’s rich in vitamins and cancer-preventing phytochemicals called glucosinolates. And because kale is deep green in color, it also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, two more powerful antioxidants that are related to vitamin A.
We recommend that you eat kale two or three times per week, either raw (as a green in salads, for example) or cooked.
Meeting healthy objectives with kale
Kale is very rich in vitamin K and vitamin A (as the precursor of beta carotene, which is also an antioxidant). Vitamin K is important for strong bones and normal blood clotting, and vitamin A is necessary for vision, cell reproduction, and fighting infections. Kale is also a good source of potassium, folate, and magnesium, so kale is good for a healthy heart.
Our Top 6 reasons to eat more kale? Eating kale plays a positive role in meeting the following objectives:
- Managing your weight: Kale is nutrient dense, which means it has lots of nutritional value and is low in calories. Kale has more fiber than other greens, so it keeps you full longer and you’re comfortable eating less food.
- Preventing cancer: Cruciferous vegetables like kale contain the glucosinolates that help to prevent cancer. The International Journal of Cancer reported in 2007 that eating a diet rich in kaempferol (one of the gluconinolates found in kale) is associated with a decreased risk of ovarian cancer.
- Building stronger bones: The vitamin K in kale helps to regulate osteocalcin, a hormone involved in bone formation. Kale also contains magnesium and calcium, although the absorption of the calcium is inhabited by the presence of oxalic acid.
- Feeling more energetic: Kale is a good source of iron, which is needed for healthy blood cells that can carry plenty of oxygen and glucose (the fuel your body needs for energy) to all your cells.
- Waging war against infections: Kale contains a full day’s worth of vitamin C and a lot of beta carotene. These nutrients help your immune system function properly by regulating the white blood cells that fight infections.
- Protecting your eyesight: Lutein and vitamin C were shown by the Age Related Eye Disease Study in 2001 to slow down the effects of macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly.
Try these delicious kale recipes!
Strawberry and Kale Salad
Strawberries, kale and almonds give this salad a lot of nutrients, including vitamins A, C and calcium. Sesame seeds add trace minerals copper and manganese that help keep your bones healthy.
Prep time: About 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 quart strawberries, hulled and sliced’10 ounces fresh kale, rinsed and dried
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce.
- In a large bowl, combine the strawberries, spinach, almonds, and sesame seeds. Just before serving, add the dressing to the salad, and toss to combine.
Per serving: Calories 192 (From Fat 14); Fat 10g (Saturated 2g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 346mg; Carbohydrate 15g (Dietary Fiber 5g); Protein 5g.
Simple, nutritious and delicious!
Prep time: About 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 to 20 minutes
Yield: 2 servings
- 1 bunch kale (about 1 pound
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Rinse the kale under running water and shake to dry. Tear the leaves into smaller pieces, and remove and discard tough rib sections.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.
- In a large bowl, toss the kale leaves with the olive oil mixture. Spread leaves on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, turning the kale every 7 to 8 minutes. It’s done when the leaves are crispy and bright green with just a little brown around the edges.
- Tip: Roasted kale keeps well in an airtight container for two days.
Per serving: Calories 132 (From Fat 70); Fat 8g (Saturated 1g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 346mg; Carbohydrate 15g (Dietary Fiber 5g); Protein 5g.
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Priority You MD provides personalized, integrative healthcare for general wellness, anti-aging, athletic performance and weight management as well as more complex medical issues. In addition, our facility also provides aesthetic services and fitness training. Combining diet, nutrition and exercise with evidence based medicine and preventative therapies, our goal is to help our patients achieve and maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.
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