Kale is one of the healthiest greens that you can encounter. This is because the vegetable is rich in compounds and medicinal properties that are good for your body. In fact, some of the kale health benefits include improving your bones, hair, and skin. It also has fiber that can boost your cardiovascular health and digestion.
Continue reading to know more about the health benefits that you can get from kale.
Weight loss benefits
Research shows that kale has properties that can aid in weight loss. One of these is the fact that it is low in calories but still be able to make you feel like you are full. This is because the vegetable is high in water content, so once you eat it, you will not feel hungry after a few hours. It also has low energy density which can help you lose weight.
The vegetable also has fiber and protein that are considered important nutrients in terms of weight loss. Just take note that further studies are needed to prove the effect of kale on weight loss. But because of its properties, it will not be harmful to be added to your diet.
Protect your eyes
When you get old, it is expected that you slowly lose your eyesight. The good news is that there are nutrients found in kale that can help you from worsening your eyesight. These are zeaxanthin and lutein. These are carotenoid antioxidants that can lower your tendency of having cataracts and macular degeneration.
Good source of minerals
Surprisingly, kale is rich in minerals, particularly those that you cannot easily get from other vegetables. In fact, it is a great source of calcium, which is important in maintaining your bone health. It also plays a role in your cellular functions.
Another mineral that you can get from kale is magnesium. It is a mineral that most people do not acquire. Eating food that is rich in magnesium can protect yours from severe conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Kale also has potassium, which can help you in maintaining electrical gradients in your cells. Having enough potassium in your body can also lower your tendency of having heart disease and blood pressure. You can also take advantage of the fact that this vegetable is low in oxalate.
This substance prevents you from getting minerals from other plants. So if kale is low in this substance, it means that you can maximize the nutrients that you can get from all the food that you eat.
4. Cancer-fighting substances
Everyone is aware of how terrible cancer is. It is a condition in which there is an uncontrolled growth of cells in your body. Some research shows that kale is full of compounds that can prevent or possibly cure cancer.
One of the main compounds to do the job is sulforaphane. It is a substance that can fight the formation of cancer in your body at a molecular level. Kale also has indole-3-carbinol which is known to prevent cancer as well.
5. Vitamin K
Experts believe that kale is the best source of vitamin K. If you are not aware of this vitamin yet, vitamin K is essential in preventing a blood clot. When you intake vitamin K, it has the ability to activate some of the proteins and these will then bind calcium.
Considering that kale is rich in vitamin K, you can expect that a single cup of this vegetable can already give you 7 times the recommended vitamin K amount needed by your body.
6. Lower cholesterol
Cholesterol has been known to provide a lot of important functions in your body. Its main objective is to make bile acids that can burn fats. But did you know that kale already has bile acid sequestrants? The main purpose of these is to lower the cholesterol levels that can prevent you from having heart disease.
There was even a study to support this claim. It has been said that when you drink kale juice every day, your HDL or good cholesterol levels will increase by 27% while your bad cholesterol levels or LDL will decrease by 10%.
You can also eat steamed kale to increase the bile acid-binding effect. In fact, steamed kale is 43% more potent as compared with cholestyramine.
7. Vitamin C
Other than vitamin K, kale is also rich in vitamin C. As you know, vitamin C is an antioxidant that has a lot of important functions in your body. Some of its main responsibilities are the synthesis of collagen that is vital in the structure of the protein in your body.
A fun fact about kale is that has more vitamin C as compared with other vegetables. In fact, one cup of kale can give you more vitamin C than an orange.
8. Quercetin and Kaempferol
All leafy greens, including kale, are great sources of antioxidants. Some of these are vitamin C, beta-carotene, flavonoids, and polyphenols. These are in charge of fighting oxidative damage through the free radicals in your body. Oxidative damage is one of the elements that can cause serious conditions like cancer.
Also, these antioxidants can also lower your blood pressure, protect your heart, give anti-cancer effects, and have anti-inflammatory effects, among others.
These are just some of the kale health benefits that you can get. There are still a lot of advantages that this vegetable can give you considering the various minerals and nutrients that it has. This is why it is safe that you add this to your meals as much as possible.
It can be steamed or you can make kale chips. All you need to do is add some virgin olive oil and salt on the vegetable. Afterward, bake it and wait until dry. If you do not like olive oil, you can use avocado oil instead.
Some people even prefer to have kale in their smoothies to improve its nutritional value. Either way, kale is a healthy vegetable that you should eat every day.