Key ingredients: Kale

Key ingredients: Kale

The leafy green vegetable kale has become increasingly popular due to its “superfood” status—meaning it’s absolutely packed with healthy nutrients. In fact, kale is one of the most nutrient-dense foods out there, so it’s no wonder that the benefits of eating kale regularly are numerous.

Kale is low in calories and fat and chock-full of essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, all of which are important to a variety of healthy body functions. It’s an especially good source of vitamins C and K, and the calcium in kale is crucial to bone health. Kale also contains generous amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin, two nutrients that may reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts of the eye.

Because kale is low in calories, high in water content and contains both fiber and protein, it is considered a low-energy-dense food—meaning it can help you feel fuller on fewer calories. Eating healthy foods with low energy density, like kale, can help you achieve your weight loss goals faster.

Incorporating kale into your daily diet is easy. Add it to salads along with your other leafy greens, or throw it into your favorite rice or quinoa dishes for extra color and texture. Use it in soups and stews, or simply braise or steam it as a healthy side dish to any meal. Many people also add kale to their smoothies or fresh juices for a nutritional boost.

For a healthy snack, bake up a batch of kale chips by rubbing the leaves with olive or avocado oil, seasoning them to taste and baking them until the leaves are dry and crisp. You can also check out this collection of healthy and delicious kale recipes.

However you choose to eat kale, make sure to include it in your weekly allotment of cruciferous vegetables—try eating at least 1-1.5 cups of cruciferous veggies three times per week.

Posted: 9/18/2015 by Goshen Health
Filed under: eating, healthy, ingredients, kale, key

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