By , Bridget Creel
Published March 20, 2018
Kale is one of the most popular names on the list of healthy foods and it has been deemed a superfood based on its nutrient profile.
Due to high levels of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, this green vegetable should be included in your diet.
Similar to any food or food group, kale should be eaten in moderation because eating large amount of leafy greens can cause bloating, gas, and constipation. In addition, conventionally produced kale is known to contain numerous pesticides, so it is best to buy organic kale when you can.
Despite the hype that has spiraled over the past several years, kale has been around for a while and it will not be leaving the list of the healthiest vegetables anytime soon. Kale offers benefits for the brain, heart, bones, skin, and hair. The nutritional properties of kale have also been linked to lowering the risk of cancer and developing diabetes.
Incorporating kale into your meals, or snacking on kale chips, can improve your overall health and help you maintain a healthy weight.
Kale is rich in sulfur, which helps produce glutathione, one of the most important antioxidants in the body. Kale also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which function as antioxidants in the body and improve eyesight. “This pair of antioxidants combines to increase the amount of pigment in your macula, which means protection from the sun and a lower risk of macular degeneration,” said Melissa Walshe, a writer for Guiding Stars, a nutritional guidance program.
Kale has enough benefits on its own but your body can benefit even more if you pair your kale with other healthy foods. Healthy fats, such as olive oil, avocado, or almond butter can combine with kale to make fat-soluble carotenoids more available to the body.
An article that was published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research noted that kale contains high levels of cancer-preventative properties, such as glucosinolate phytonutrients. This could protect against the development of tumors as well as block enzymes associated with cancer, according to the Cancer Letters journal.
The best part about kale is that you can incorporate it into a breakfast omelette, a salad for lunch, alongside your fish or chicken for dinner, and you can have kale chips for a snack.
"Kale is truly a nutritional powerhouse for the eyes because it contains high amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that are found naturally in the eyes and need to be replenished regularly for good eye-health,” said Johanna M. Seddon, MD, ScM, Founding Director of the Ophthalmic Epidemiology and Genetics Service at the New England Eye Center, Tufts Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. “As a rule, the darker the green, the higher the amount of lutein, and raw kale has the highest content of lutein of any vegetable."
Milk isn’t the only thing that contains calcium for strong bones. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, kale contains calcium, which aids in bone loss prevention. You will get the same amount of calcium from one cup of kale as you will from one cup of milk.
When it comes to a healthy brain, kale is packed with numerous flavonoids and iron, which reduces the risk of stroke and helps carry oxygen to all of the cells in the body, according to LiveScience. The University of Maryland Medical Center said that the omega-3 fatty acids found in kale can improve brain memory, function, and overall performance.
Check out more facts about superfood veggie.
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