We all know we should eat plenty of green vegetables. But there is one green vegetable above all others.
Kale is King!
Kale is a leaf cabbage that is loaded with nutrients and provides dozen of health benefits.
Here are 12 surprising benefits of eating Kale.
The 12 Biggest Health Benefits Of Eating Kale
It’s Nutrient Dense
Kale is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet that contains numerous vitamins that exceed the recommended daily allowance (rda).
A 100g serving of kale contains 200% rdaof Vitamin C, 300% rda of Vitamin A, and 1000% rda of Vitamin K.
It also contains large amounts of vitamin B6, potassium, calcium, magnesium, cooper, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and manganese.
It’s Low In Calories
A cup of kale contains only 36 calories and 3g of protein.
Talk about a bargain of nutrient packed benefits for low calories! Perfect for dieting.
A cup of kale contains 5grams of fiber.
Fiber is instrumental in helping you digest food to help with regularity and aids in weight loss.
According to the Institute of Medicine, women need 25 grams of fiber per day, and men need 38 grams per day.
A cup of kale goes a long way to help you reach that goal.
Given the high Omega-3 and vitamin C (ascorbic acid) content, these two can help reduce inflammation which is found in arthritis, autoimmune disorders and asthma.
Kale contains phytonutrients which are molecules that produce carotenoid which has been linked to uplifted mood.
The additional omega-3 acids are helpful for fighting symptoms of protein. The combination of protein, iron, folate, and B6 help create more serotonin and dopamine to elevate mood.
Vitamin A and C are antioxidants and helps with reducing inflammation.
In fact, gram for gram, kale contains twice the vitamin C that in an orange.
More anti-oxidants helps counteract the damage caused by cell damage linked to cardiovascular disease or cancer
The heart needs large amounts of anti-oxidants and Vitamin K and a type of Vitamin E to be heart-healthy.
Kale has even been shown to lower cholesterol in clinical studies and increases the hdl: ldl ratio by up to 27%! (hdl is the “good” cholesterol).
Medical professionals strongly recommend that women of childbearing age take folate supplements prior to pregnancy and throughout their pregnancy since folate is important in fetal development.
If there is decreased folate a fetus can develop neural tube defects and anemia.
Kale contains high levels of folate to provide the infant healthy neural tube formation, adequate birth weight proper development of the face and heart, and sufficient red blood cells.
Kale contains lutein and zeaxanthin which have been show to prevent both macular degeneration and cataracts.
Both of these compounds act as antioxidants in the eye to filter out the harmful high energy blue wavelengths of light so our eyes our protected.
The glucosinolate of kale breaks down during digestion in biologically active agents’ indoles, thiocyanates and isothiocyanate which prevent cancer cells from growing.
As of now they have been shown to reduce cancer growth in rats and mice, and protected against cancer of bladder, breast, colon, liver, lung and stomach.
More studies will be done to assess treatment in human cancer prevention.
Kale is so low in calories but high in fiber that the bulk makes you feel full.
Eating plenty of low energy density foods has been shown to aid in weight loss.
Although there are no studies directly showing the effect of kale on weight loss, one can suggest that it would benefit in weight loss the same was as other low energy density foods.
Healthy bones and skin
The high content of calcium helps build stronger bones, and the vitamin K improves the calcium absorption so it can be used for bone growth.
Furthermore, the high levels of beta-carotene content will also keep your skin and hair moisturized.
The Top Health Benefits Of Kale
- It’s nutrient dense
- It’s low calories
- It’s high in fiber
- It has anti-inflammatory benefits
- It improves depression
- It has tons of anti-oxidants
- It supports your heart
- It helps make healthy babies
- It helps promote healthy vision
- It can help prevent against types of cancer
- It can help you lose weight
- It promotes healthy skin and strong bones
Rajiv M Mallipudi, md, mhs is an internal medicine resident physician, personal trainer, athlete and author. He has over a decade of personal training experience and helped hundreds of clients of all levels achieve their weight loss and fitness goals. This inspired him to work as a clinical researcher at the nationally recognized, Johns Hopkins Hospital Weight Management Center. During medical school he and his classmates created the health and wellness organization, med fit, which provided personal training and nutrition counseling to the medical student body. In his spare time, Dr. Mallipudi enjoys playing ice hockey, dancing, and training for his next bodybuilding and powerlifting competitions. Dr. Mallipudi serves as a contributing writer for the Diet and Fitness sections.
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