OK, Heath Slackers, I know what you’re thinking: “Kale is that weird looking thing I avoid because it looks like a cross between broccoli and lettuce, right?” Well, yes, but before you let a food’s look and texture put you off, you might want to give me a chance to explain why Kale is rightly called “King of the Super Foods.”
In fact, it’s so packed with nutrients and minerals that it has an ANDI food score of 1000. No joke, there are entire books devoted to its importance in your diet. Truth be told about Health Slackers, we all secretly want to improve our health, we just don’t always know how. So, read on, and by the end, you might just want to ditch the ice berg lettuce for the “weird” looking kale.
Reason Number 1: Food for the Brain
The food we eat will ultimately affect how our brain functions. So, do yourself a favor and include kale in your daily diet. Kale contains all the essential nutrients, like phytochemicals and omega-3 fatty acids, needed to support optimum brain health.
A study show that a curly kale is packed with—guess how much—646 kinds of flavonoids and hydroxycinammic acids, which are potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds!
Reason Number 2: Effective Weight Loss Partner
It’s all because of hunger pangs that many fail to get results from their workout and diet regimen. Fortunately, filling your plate with fiber-rich foods is a great way to fight your hunger pangs. And that is where kale comes into the picture.
The dietary fiber in kale is by no means a magical weight loss solution. However, kale does make you feel fuller but on fewer calories. One cup of raw kale (chopped) contains about 1 gram of dietary fiber and 33.50 calories.
Reason Number 3: It’s a Liver Lover
As what I have mentioned earlier, this super food is infused with antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are known to stop free radicals on their tracks, so they can’t wreak havoc in your body. They also help regulate liver detoxification enzymes.
Reason Number 4: Makes Bones Healthier
Calling all vegans, or would-be vegans, out there who absolutely want to avoid drinking milk. Just eat more kale to solve your dilemma. It turns out that kale has better calcium absorption than milk, thus decreasing the possibility of suffering from different bone density problems, like osteoporosis.
Reason Number 5: Promotes a Healthy Heart
Studies show that consuming vegetables rich in Omega-3 fatty acids lowers a person’s risk for heart diseases and stroke. Another health benefit of omega-3 fatty acids is that it helps the body to regulate blood clots, which claim the lives of 10,000 to 60,000 Americans each year.
Since our body can’t naturally produce this nutrient, we must get it from dietary health supplements and foods, such as kale, sardines and salmon.
Reason Number 6: It’s a Cancer Fighter, Too
Crambene and I3C (indole-3-carbinol) are compounds present in most cruciferous veggies, like the black kale group. A study showed that crambene becomes more effective in killing cancer cells when combined with I3C rather than used alone.
Reason Number 7: Helps Avoid Blood Sugar Spikes
Are you a diabetic? Do you have problems with your thyroid or disorders that affect carbohydrate metabolism?
If you answered “yes” in any of these questions, then you’re in luck. People with problems in their blood sugar metabolism often have a low supply of essential minerals and nutrients that will help them effectively manage their blood sugar levels. Folic acid, manganese and B-complex vitamins are a few of those minerals you need and, fortunately, kale has these.
Reason Number 8: Better Mood Enhancers than Drugs
Are you feeling blue lately? Can’t seem to chase the blues away? Smile and rely on your newly found friend, kale, to uplift your mood.
Again, we have our researcher friends to thank, because they discovered that carotenoids—which, of course, kale has—have great impact on a person’s level of optimism and mood. The higher the concentration of carotenoids in food, the better it’s able to chase those blues away.
Oh, and there’s another thing. It also contains iron, folate and B-vitamins, which also help in the production of your emotion-regulator hormones, serotonin and dopamine.
Kale, Widely Available So There’s No Excuse…
It used to be that you could only find kale in specialty health food stores and farmer’s markets.
This is no longer the case, it’s widely available in most super markets. So finding it should not be difficult.
We talked about everything but how to actually eat the darn thing,
Here’s a few suggestions for including kale in your diet:
- Mix some kale into your salad
- Saute it as a side dish
- Add it to soup
- Use it as a burrito wrap (recommend the dinosaur variety for this purpose)
So, fellow Health Slacker, there really is no excuse to not add kale to your diet.