Eating a variety of natural, unprocessed vegetables can do wonders for your health, but choosing super-nutritious kale on a regular basis may provide significant health benefits. One cup of this “queen of greens” contains 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.
Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K. Kale is packed with brain-protecting manganese. Manganese is a trace mineral that helps synthesize fatty acids critical to healthy brain function.
Kale contains brain-healthy L-tyrosine. L-tyrosine is an amino acid critical to synthesizing the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine. While dopamine affects your mood, norepinephrine helps give you a mental lift. It increases your ability to learn, solve problems and keeps your memory sharp. A recent study found that tyrosine helped improve memory during the increased stress of multitasking.
Kale is high in inflammation-fighting dietary fiber. There is a strong correlation between a diet with plenty of high-fiber foods and healthy brain function. The standard American diet (SAD) is a poor diet that is low in fiber and filled with processed foods, refined carbohydrates and cheap simple sugars and fats. This creates an inflammatory condition that can greatly increase your risk for inflammatory diseases and conditions, including cognitive decline, loss of memory and behavior disorders.
When you eat a high-fiber diet that includes fibrous vegetables like kale, food breaks down into glucose in the body more slowly, preventing wild swings in blood sugar and insulin levels that lead to chronic inflammation.
A word of caution: Kale might be a powerhouse of nutrients but is also contains oxalates, naturally occurring substances that can crystallize and interfere with the absorption of calcium. Avoid eating calcium-rich foods like dairy at the same time as kale to prevent any problems.
To find the freshest kale, look for firm, deeply colored leaves with hardy stems. Smaller leaves will be more tender and milder in flavor. Leaves range from dark green to purple to deep red in color.
Kale can be chopped into small pieces and added to a salad, it can be sautéed, braised, or baked. Steaming this vegetable is one of the most healthy ways for it to be eaten. There are a couple of warnings to be considered when adding kale to your diet. First of all, it is listed among the 12 foods on which pesticide residue is most commonly found. Make sure to buy organically grown kale and wash it thoroughly.
The benefits of kale are outstanding. If this is a vegetable you’ve passed by in the grocery store in the past, it’s time to start making it a regular