9 Health Benefits of Kale

Benefits of Kale

Kale is a nutritious food that contains antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin K, and beta-carotene. It also contains nutrients that can help with eye health, weight management, and heart health.

Kale is one of the most nutritious leafy greens available, thanks to its high concentration of vitamins and antioxidants.

In fact, kale has a wide range of beneficial chemicals, some of which have potent therapeutic qualities.

Furthermore, it is flexible and has a nutty, earthy flavor that complements a variety of cuisines.

Kale Nutritional Facts

Kale is high in vitamin B6, copper, and manganese, in addition to the other minerals listed above. Raw kale in a single-cup portion, which is 21 grams (g), includes:

  • Calories: 7
  • Carbs: 1 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Vitamin K: 68% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Vitamin C: 22% of the DV
  • Manganese: 8% of the DV
  • Vitamin A: 6% of the DV
  • Riboflavin: 5% of the DV
  • Calcium: 4% of the DV

Benefits of Kale

Here are the nine scientifically proven health advantages of kale:.

1. Source of vitamin C

Vitamin C plays a crucial role as a water-soluble antioxidant, fulfilling numerous essential functions within the cells of the body. One of its key functions involves synthesizing collagen, which is the most abundant structural protein found in the body.

Compared to spinach and collard greens, kale boasts a higher vitamin C content, approximately three times more. This makes kale a highly commendable choice to include in a balanced and nutritious diet, alongside other vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables.

2. Support bone health.

When it comes to nutrients that promote bone health, calcium is the most popular and widely known. While calcium is vital for bone health, it is not the only vitamin that influences bone strength.

Kale, like most leafy greens, contains high levels of vitamin K, which is essential for bone health.

Some studies suggest that an inadequate intake of vitamin K increases the risk of bone fractures.

One cup of cooked kale contains 493 micrograms (mcg), greatly exceeding the recommended “adequate intake” of this vitamin for healthy individuals.

3. A healthy heart

Kale provides a wealth of essential nutrients that promote cardiovascular well-being, such as potassium, fiber, folate, and calcium. When incorporated into a heart-healthy eating plan, kale has the potential to mitigate the chances of developing heart disease by aiding in the reduction of LDL cholesterol, commonly known as “bad cholesterol.”

4. Gut health

A healthy and balanced gut microbiota means that your gut contains a broad spectrum of bacteria that operate in tandem to promote your health in a variety of ways. Kale may promote a healthy and balanced intestinal microbiome.

Kale’s high soluble and insoluble fiber content, as well as specific plant chemicals, may improve the balance and number of live bacteria in your stomach (probiotics). One mouse study found that individuals who consumed kale had a healthier and more balanced gut flora compared to those who were fat and did not.

Before firm conclusions can be drawn, further human investigations are needed.

5. Reduce the risk of cancer.

Many variables can influence your chance of developing cancer, including those beyond your control, such as genetic predispositions. While eating kale is not a cure-all for cancer, including it in your diet may help lessen your risk of developing some malignancies. Nevertheless, more research is necessary to validate this assertion.

However, some studies have shown that the sulforaphane molecule present in kale may suppress breast cancer, lung cancer, liver cancer, and other malignant tumors. Additional data is required to confirm this correlation; however, the indication that kale could potentially offer protection against certain cancers is encouraging.

6. Reduce macular degeneration risk.

Kale contains carotenoids, a natural plant compound that includes lutein, a carotene that can potentially safeguard the eyes against macular degeneration, a condition that results in central vision loss.

Evidence suggests a significant elevation in lutein levels in plasma and macular pigment after the consumption of kale extract on a daily basis for four weeks. Other data shows that higher plasma lutein was associated with a 37% reduced risk of macular degeneration. Therefore, adding kale to your diet can have a positive impact on your eye health, reducing the risk of a condition such as macular degeneration.

7. Promote weight loss.

Kale has various characteristics that can help with weight management.

For starters, it is incredibly low in calories while still providing sufficient volume, which should help you feel full.

Kale has a low energy density since it contains a few calories and a lot of water. Numerous studies have indicated that eating a variety of low-energy foods can help with weight loss.

Kale also provides a tiny quantity of fiber, an important component associated with weight loss.

Although there have been no direct studies on the effects of kale on weight loss, it stands to reason that it could be an effective supplement to a weight-loss diet.

8. Skin and hair

Kale contains beta-carotene, a pigment that the body converts to vitamin A as needed.

Beta-carotene and vitamin A are essential for the development and maintenance of all bodily tissues, including skin and hair.

Vitamin C is essential for the body to produce and sustain collagen, a vital protein responsible for the structure of the skin, hair, and bones. Additionally, kale is a good source of vitamin C.

A serving of cooked kale supplies at least 20% of the recommended daily vitamin A intake and more than 23% of the daily vitamin C requirement.

9. Eye health

Kale is rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that can potentially lower the chances of developing age-related macular degeneration. Additionally, kale contains vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and zinc, all of which contribute to maintaining good eye health.

Kale consumption tips

Incorporating kale into your meals can be an effortless and delicious choice. A simple method is to mix raw kale into your salads, providing a hearty texture and a hint of bitterness that pairs well with sweet fruits such as apples or pears.

If you prefer a warm dish, consider sautéing kale with olive oil and garlic to create a flavorful side.

You can make kale chips at home using olive oil and seasonings to create a crispy snack option.

For a nutritious morning smoothie, consider adding a handful of kale to enhance its health benefits.

The bottom line

Fortunately, including kale in your diet is extremely straightforward. You may simply mix it into your salads or use it in dishes.

People make kale chips by drizzling extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil over kale, seasoning it with salt, and then baking it in the oven until dry.

It’s delicious and makes an excellent crunchy, healthy snack.

Many individuals add kale to their smoothies to increase their nutritional value.

At the end of the day, people can enjoy kale in a variety of ways, as it serves as a healthy and nutritious complement to a balanced diet.

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