Welcome to this week’s Kale Spotlight!
This is the last vegetable spotlight for the year. And the last vegetable spotlight for the next few months. As I go back to college, with the possibility of doing work and classes full time (yikes!), vegetable spotlights and recipes will take a pause. The Kale Spotlight will be the last one for this season, but we’ll be starting them up again for the spring crops during May and June.
Weekly Sunday updates about the garden will continue. And the occasional organic growing tip will be added when time and knowledge allow.
Until then, I’d like to leave you all with a vegetable that can pack a punch. As someone going from a full stop to insanity, I need to be reminded of this one, too.
Kale! That’s right, kale.
Kale is related to cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens, and brussels sprouts. There are many different types of kale. The leaves can be green or purple in color and have either a smooth or curly shape.
1 cup of raw kale contains:
- Vitamin A: 206% of the RDA
- Vitamin K: 684% of the RDA
- Vitamin C: 134% of the RDA
- Vitamin B6: 9% of the RDA
- Manganese: 26% of the RDA
- Calcium: 9% of the RDA
- Copper: 10% of the RDA
- Potassium: 9% of the RDA
- Magnesium: 6% of the RDA
- It also contains Vitamin B1 (Thiamin), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Iron and Phosphorus.
- Kale is low in calorie and high in fiber. One cup of kale has only 33 calories, 5 grams of fiber and 0 grams of fat. It is great for aiding in digestion and elimination with its great fiber content. It’s also filled with so many nutrients, vitamins, folate, and magnesium as well as those listed below.
- Kale is high in iron. Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef. Iron is essential for good health, such as the formation of hemoglobin and enzymes, transporting oxygen to various parts of the body, cell growth, proper liver function and more.
- Improves bone health with vitamin K. Adequate vitamin K consumption is important for good health, as it improves calcium absorption and lowers the risk of bone fractures. Eating a diet high in Vitamin K can help protect against various cancers. It is also necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions including normal bone health and blood clotting. Also increased levels of vitamin K can help people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
- Kale is filled with powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants, such as carotenoids and flavonoids help protect against various cancers.
- Kale is a great anti-inflammatory food. One cup of kale is filled with 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids, which help, fight against arthritis, asthma, and autoimmune disorders.
- Kale is great for cardiovascular support. Eating more kale can help lower cholesterol levels.
- Improves skin and hair with vitamin A. Kale is high in vitamin A, a nutrient required for sebum production to keep hair moisturized. Vitamin A is also necessary for the growth of all bodily tissues, including skin and hair. It also improves eyesight. Adequate intake of vitamin C is needed for the building and maintenance of collagen, which provides structure to skin and hair. Iron-deficiency is a common cause of hair loss, which can be prevented by an adequate intake of iron-rich foods, like kale.
- Kale is high in vitamin C. This is very helpful for your immune system, your metabolism, and your hydration.
- Kale is high in calcium. Per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk, which aids in preventing bone loss, preventing osteoporosis and maintaining a healthy metabolism. Vitamin C is also helpful to maintain cartilage and joint flexibility.
- Kale is a great detox food that helps with digestion. Kale is filled with fiber and sulfur, both great for detoxifying your body and keeping your liver healthy.
- Kale can help lower cholesterol. Kale contains substances that bind bile acids in order to remove them, which helps lower cholesterol levels in your body. Steamed kale is particularly effective.
- Kale can help you lose weight. It is very low in calories but still provides significant bulk to help you feel full.
If you’re looking for a food you can easily add to you daily or weekly diet (stop by on Saturday to find out how), kale is it. This nutrient dense food will improve your immune system and give you the strength to go about your day – happy and healthy!
Hope you enjoyed this Kale Spotlight. Until next time, I hope you’ve all had a fantastic 2015, and I wish you many blessings for 2016! 🙂