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Oh kale, the lusciously green cruciferous powerhouse. Love it or hate it, this leafy veg has incredibly properties for health and wellness. In recent years, kale has become a popular superfood gracing thousands of recipes and restaurant menus with its royal presence. And we want to pay homage with a spotlight on kale nutrient content, health and much more!
Kale Nutrient Content
Overview: Kale stems (pun intended) from the Brassica family (broccoli, cabbage, mustard greens) and there are two main varieties: purple and green. You might have also noticed it classified by different leaf type: curly, cavalo nero and so on.
1 cup of Kale will provide you with (source)
- 33.5 calories
- 6.7 grams carbohydrates
- 2.2 grams protein
- 0.5 gram fat
- 1.3 grams fiber
But it is the vitamins & minerals that are most impressive. Some notable mentions (source)
- 9% of your DV calcium! It’s true calcium is not just found in dairy products. Leafy greens are also a fantastic source. Note that to absorb calcium you need a number of nutrients like vitamin D, K and A…..and what do you know. This same cup of kale has you sorted…..
- A whopping 1180% of your vitamin K needs. Vitamin K is a crucial vitamin to help with absorption of vitamin D. This fat soluble vitamin is also supportive for heart health.
- 98% of your DV Vitamin A! Bone health, reproductive health, vision, immunity and skin health. This vitamin has a big role to play in cell health all over the body.
- 71% of your DV vitamin C! This vitamin helps skin health and boosts the immune system among other things.
- A few others to note: manganese, copper, iron, vitamin E, vitamin B6/B2/B1, magnesium, protein and even omega 3!
Kale Nutrient Content: Health Benefits
The brassica family is famous for its nutrient and health benefits. Specifically, they can help
- Fight inflammation: Rich in antioxidants and along with omega 3, kale can help reduce inflammation in the body.
- Provide antimicrobial and antibacterial support:
- Prevent against cancer: Oxidative stress can be a contributing factor to cancer cell development and growth. Kale’s nutrients help to prevent this
- And fight free radicals: The antioxidants vitamin C and A help to fight off any of the ‘bad’ cells.
- Support heart health: Vitamin K and vitamin E all help support a healthy heart!
- Help support detoxification: the brassica family supports the liver and consequently detoxification in a number of ways. First the antioxidants help to kill toxins. And second, another key job of detoxification is to remove the toxins from your body. Kale not only provides fibre, but also helps to latch onto and remove excess oestrogens. Yes, certain hormones need to be removed from the body
Kale Nutrient Content: Some Not so Good Points
- Pollution: Kale has featured on EWG’s dirty dozen list in the past. While not on the 2017 list, it is best to buy organic. This rule applies to pretty much all vegetables though.
- Raw kale can be an irritant: Raw kale, like all the brassicas, are known to be irritating in some situations. For some, they are tough to digest and can cause flatulence or IBS like symptoms. But the main point to note is kale is a goitrogenic food meaning it can inhibit proper synthesis of thyroid hormones or prevent the absorption of iodine. Therefore, if you suffer from thyroid related issues, it’s best to avoid eating too much, especially in raw form.
Cooking with Kale
There are so many ways you can enjoy kale. Just check out our pinterest board for recipe inspiration! You can eat it raw or cooked but there are a few important points worth noting.
- Cooking: Kale is incredibly versatile meaning you can eat it raw or cooked. To cook you have the option to steam, broil, stir fry or bake.
- Don’t forget the healthy fats! You saw we mentioned a lot of vitamins above, many of which are ‘fat-soluble’. This means that these vitamins actually need fat in order to be absorbed and carried to their required destinations. So one important point with all this is making sure you have good sources of health fat in your diet to support. This is just one reason (aside from taste of course) why Asa included tahini in one of our kale products. There is a method to the madness!
Kale nutrient content: Simple Recipe Ideas
At iRaw we love simplicity! So our suggestions to whip up a quick and easy kale dish revolve around this. Simplicity also helps to maximise kale nutrient content:
- Kale chips! We consider ourselves ‘experts’ in kale chips but they are in fact very easy to make. A simple google search will pull up a lot of ideas or just check out our products and bypass the products altogether!
- Kale salad: Add this leafy green to your meals, raw or cooked form.
- Kale smoothie: Whether you love to drink your meals or just don’t like kale too much, a smoothie is the perfect way to get more greens into your diet, whatever your preference!
Oh what would a raw food producer do without a distinctive and unique flavour of kale chips under their belt!
Peppery Kale and Eastern Fusion are gorgeous snack, one little sweeter than the other due to deactivated yeast and red bell pepper, Eastern Fusion has a little more attitude due to chilli and cayenne pepper content. You can honestly munch on these all day long as they are so delicious.