12 Health Benefits of Kale

12 Health Benefits of Kale

Dubbed as “The Queen of Greens”, the leafy green we know as kale is one of the most amazing veggies out there. Loaded with all sorts of essential vitamins and minerals, kale should be a critical addition to your diet. You can consume kale in different ways, such as juicing, eating or whipping up yummy kale smoothies. This wonderful vegetable comes in different types (such as Tuscan, ornamental, Lacinato, curly or baby) and can be served raw, in the form of juice, smoothie or chips when baked. Kale has become one of the most popular super foods (especially for vegans and vegetarians) in recent years, all owing to its amazing health qualities. These lovely leaves hide an entire world of nutrients that your body can benefit from, so check out these 12 health benefits of kale and enjoy!

1. Zero Fat

Believe it or not, this leafy green contains 0 fat. Yes, you heard us right, zero. Instead of packing in fat, enjoy the five full grams of fiber that just one cup of kale can contain. Even more so, kale is super low on calories, with just 36 per cup. Instead of being fatty and unhealthy, kale is rich in various nutrients that we will talk more about below.

2. Vitamin K Super Hero

One of the best nutrients that kale contains is Vitamin K. In fact, this veggie contains so much vitamin K that it is appreciated as being one of the best sources in the world for this nutrient. Vitamin K plays a key role in protecting the human body from bone problems, blood clots and even cancer. Just one cup of raw kale contains a mind-blowing 684% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin K.

3. Anti-inflammatory

Aside from being packed with nutrients, one of the best health benefits of kale is its anti-inflammatory properties. This is especially thanks to the fact that kale is full of omega-3 fatty acids that can battle asthma, arthritis and many other health problems. Try incorporating more kale into your diet to benefit from these amazing anti-inflammatory properties.

4. Abundance of Nutrients

We already know that kale is a world-renowned source of vitamin K, but what other nutrients can we enjoy by consuming this leafy green? Brace yourselves: Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus and Potassium can all be found in just one single cup of kale. All of these nutrients contain more than 3% of the daily recommended amount for each vitamin and mineral, with some huge intakes of Vitamin A (206%, from beta-carotene) and Vitamin C (134%), as well as Vitamin K. Simply by adding kale to your salads or enjoying a glass of kale juice you will be doing your body a world of good and supplying it with all the nutrients it needs to keep you happy and healthy.

5. Antioxidant

Another one of the important health benefits of kale is that it acts as a reliable antioxidant. By regularly consuming kale, you are offering your body flavonoids (like kaempferol or quercetin), carotenoids, lutein, which are all very strong antioxidants that are essential for your metabolism. Without these critical antioxidants, the human body can face “oxidative stress” that can result in cancer.

6. See clear!

Thanks to its high levels of vitamin A, kale can help you improve your vision and see better. Contrary to popular belief, kale is actually more helpful for your eyesight than carrots are. In addition to this, kale is also rich in protein, which plays a significant part in protecting your eyes from disease (like macular degeneration).

7. Lose weight

There are numerous super foods out there that can aid you in the process of losing weight. Another one of the health benefits of kale is that it helps you get rid of those unwanted pounds and excess fat by enjoying a healthy and crisp treat. Like we said before, it is extremely low in calories, but at the same time it has the power to make you feel fuller. Instead of going out to a restaurant for lunch, consider preparing a kale salad you will surely love eating.

8. Prevent Cancer

Thanks to its high amounts of antioxidants, kale has been proven to help prevent cancer. Besides the substances mentioned above, kale also contains compounds such as sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol, both which are known to prevent quite a few types of cancer, like oral cavity or lung cancer.

9. Protect Your Heart

If you incorporate kale into your diet you are protecting your heart from cardiovascular disease. This is all thanks to the great levels of magnesium and potassium, which also can lower blood pressure . Even more so, studies show that kale aids your body in reducing high levels of cholesterol, owing to its bile acid sequestrant content. If your levels of cholesterol remain in the normal range, than you have a smaller risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

10. Battle Diabetes

Diabetes is becoming an ever more frequent problem among Americans. The good news is that the magnesium included in kale not only helps you prevent heart disease, but it also can protect you from diabetes (particularly type 2). If you have a history of diabetes in your family and you are prone to it, reconsider adding kale to your daily diet.

11. Immune System Upgrade

Why not give your immune system the extra boost it needs to fight off infection? Kale can help you with that! Kale is rich in Vitamin C, a nutrient that not only helps you build up immunity, but it also keeps your body hydrated and helps out your metabolism.

12. Glowing Hair & Skin

Our final pick on the lengthly list of health benefits of kale is its power to get your skin and hair glowing. Our favorite leafy green is known to be one of the best “Beauty Foods” out there that will get you shining like the sun. This is also because of the countless nutrients that kale provides, so make sure you pick some up from the market on your way home today!

Photo credits: Communitytable.com, Asianskyshop.wordpress.com, Takeamomentx.blogspot.com, Bienestar.salud180.com, Huffingtonpost.com.

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