When it comes to superfoods, kale is one of the most popular. It's a powerhouse of nutrition and delivers numerous health benefits. Before you decide whether you want to include kale in your regular diet, you would wish to have complete information about it. Here is everything you need to know about kale.
This cruciferous vegetable is closely related to broccoli, collard greens, cauliflower, and it’s a type of cabbage. It is a nutrient-dense leafy green that’s a great addition to your kitchen table.
The Benefits of Kale
- If you suffer from high cholesterol, you might benefit from consuming kale regularly. It has specific cholesterol-reducing properties, and steaming the vegetable before consuming it, enhances these properties. Pour some hot water over the leaves before popping them into the microwave for a quick steam. Sprinkle salt and pepper and squeeze some lemon on the kale to create a nutritious and delicious side dish.
- Some research studies suggest that consuming kale regularly might help reduce the risk of cancers such as prostate, ovarian, colon, breast, and bladder. This vegetable has very high levels of antioxidants called flavonoids and carotenoids, which help to prevent certain cancers.
- Kale is high in antioxidants, vitamin K and a variety of anti-inflammatory nutrients. Its vitamin K content is higher than any other vegetable; one cup of kale provides approximately 550 micrograms of this vitamin. However, if you are on blood thinners, it's best to limit your daily vitamin K intake to 80 micrograms. It will help prevent excessive bleeding or blood clots.
- Kale is abundant in minerals and vitamins, making it an integral part of many healthy diets. However, like any other vegetable, it's best to consume kale in moderation.
- If you have hypothyroidism, it’s best to limit your consumption of raw kale. It contains certain enzymes that build goitrogenic substances. These substances may interfere with normal thyroid function and affect hormone production. Fortunately, cooking the vegetable before you consume it, destroys these enzymes, and you can enjoy the health benefits of kale when you eat it in moderation.
Prepare Kale in Different Ways
Now that you know the health benefits of kale, you would also be interested in knowing how to prepare this vegetable. It is a very versatile vegetable, and there are many different ways to make it, such as:
Note-If you are on any thyroid medications, adding raw kale in smoothies or incorporating it in soy products (that also contain certain goitrogenic substances) might hamper the absorption of these medicines. It can also interfere with thyroid function. You must ask your doctor before you add kale to your diet and maintain a proper balance of nutrients.
Make Kale a Habit
Know that kale is a truly deliciousand nutritious superfood that's a great addition to many preparations. But, as mentioned earlier, make sure that you consume it in limited quantities. Experiment with different ways of preparing it and look for new and exciting kale recipes online. The idea is to find different ways to incorporate it into your meals to keep things interesting.
You can always consult a nutritionist or a doctor if you have any questions or doubts about whether you should be consuming kale. This superfood is readily available in most supermarkets, and you may also find it in your local farmer's market too. Make kale a habit and boost your health, the delicious and easy way!!