Top 10 Health Benefits of Kale

My favorite kale chips recipe can be found below in the post.

My favorite kale chips recipe can be found below in the post.

Based on years of research of this nutritional powerhouse, the top 10 health benefits of kale have recently been revealed. Not only is kale low in calories and high in nutrients and antioxidants, kale is also highly anti-inflammatory and promotes natural anti-aging mechanisms within the body. Keep reading to see my top picks for the health benefits of kale.

Kale Can Keep You Looking Attractive

Vitamin A may help keep you attractive, as eating foods rich in this vitamin provides a slightly reddish-orange hue to the skin. Researchers have found that individuals prefer other individuals who give off this color in the skin. Also, the high vitamin C content in kale may help protect against premature aging of the skin by protecting the skin from ultra violet light. It’s also a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals produced from prolonged sun exposure.

Kale Comes Close to Carrots for Promoting Healthy Eyesight

Poor eyesight is a common symptom of aging, as well as poor nutrition and lifestyle choices. Just one cup of raw kale provides over 200% of your daily needs for vitamin A! This powerful vitamin, when ingested with a little dietary fat, is absorbed into your body to help improve eyesight. Vitamin A plays a role in participating in the production of rhodpsin, a pigment that stores vitamin in the retina. One of the most popular health benefits of kale are for protecting against macular degeneration.

Kale Helps Prevent Colds by Enhancing the Immune System

Not only does kale contain a significant source of vitamin A, which can improve immune function, it also contains a high amount of vitamin C. This essential vitamin is needed to maintain the defenses in our immune system that fight off invading viruses and bacteria.

Kale Promotes Strong Bones

With kale to the rescue, you no longer have to rely on milk for your daily calcium needs. In fact, kale might be a better food to rely on for bone building nutrients, as it contains not only a high amount of calcium, it is also a significant source for vitamin K. This essential vitamin is needed to help deposit calcium into the correct places in our bones, and helps keep calcium out of tissues (which results in calcification. Both calcium, vitamin K and vitamin D work together to promote proper bone health.

Kale May Help Lower Cholesterol

Kale contains a healthy source dietary fiber, which has been shown to help reduce bad levels of cholesterol by “sweeping” it out of the bloodstream. LDL, the so-called “bad cholesterol” is what is removed by way of the fiber found in kale. Cholesterol is quite a tricky subject to tackle in regards to nutrition, but nevertheless, kale offers a more natural approach to cholesterol control.

Kale is an Anti-Aging Superfood

Kale is anti-inflammatory, and inflammation is one of the strongest signs of physical and mental aging. When we consume anti-inflammatory foods, we boost our bodies defenses and quench the fire that contributes to the wear and tear of aging. Antioxidants are also abundant in kale, and these antioxidants go right away at attacking and defeating free radicals that can wreak havoc on the skin and other areas of the body.

Kale is a Cancer Preventative Food

With its antioxidants carotenoids and flavonoids, kale boosts a unique combination of anti-inflammatory and immune system boosting compounds than many other foods. Glucosinolates are a class of organic compounds found in kale that have been shown to be helpful in preventing colon and breast cancer in some studies.

Kale Helps in Detoxing the Body

When glucosinolates consumed through kale and are broken down within the body, they form isothiocyanates, compounds that are known to support proper detoxification centers within the cells. Kale also contains sulfur, which is needed in some phases of detoxification. The process of detoxification is important for those who are wanting to lose weight, improve learning (such as in ADHD patients) and release toxic substances that might contribute toward cancer or other life threatening diseases.

Kale Contributes to Healthy Skin, Hair and Nails

One of my favorite health benefits of kale is the fact that it can help with promoting skin health. It contains a healthy balance of omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, something that is lacking in the average diet. Omega-3′s are anti-inflammatory and provide flexibility to cell membranes. They are also important for nourishing the skin, hair and nails from the inside out, as these body components require these essential fats, as well as other nutrients found in kale.

Kale May Help Control Blood Sugar

Kale is rich in the nutrient manganese, which is involved in key enzyme structures that promote healthy blood sugar regulation and energy metabolism. Controlling blood sugar is important for those wanting to lose weight, gain energy and reduce inflammation in the body.

 

I bet you didn’t know that there were so many health benefits of kale! Most people seriously do not know what to do with this nutritious plant, but I do have some suggestions for you (see below).

Remember to consume your kale with a little bit of healthy fat. Think organic coconut oil, organic butter or olive oil. I recommend steaming kale every now and then, because studies have shown that steamed kale may be more helpful at reducing harmful cholesterol in the body. Although, raw is my first choice, and I recommend trying it in my green smoothie recipe. Also, check out this fantastic recipe for kale chips.

This is The Healthy Advocate.

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3 Responses to “Top 10 Health Benefits of Kale”
  1. Abhishek 3 September 2012 at 3:10 pm #

    My wife and I both have hypothyroid. We bought a Vitamix blender few months ago and since then we never missed our breakfast smoothie. Kale is an essential part of our smoothie. I recently at livestrong.com that Kale may worsen our hypothyroid. We do take our prescription pill every morning.

    Is it true that kale my worsen the symptoms of hypothyroidism? After reading your article above, we may never want to miss kale in our smoothie.

    • admin 5 September 2012 at 2:56 pm #

      Hi there,

      Kale does have some compounds that can be detrimental for thyroid health, but it seems to be much more so when you aren’t rotating your greens. If your diet isn’t varied, and you are eating kale every day and not experiencing other foods, you may want to reconsider.

      Kale is truly nutritious, and does have a place in your diet despite your thyroid problems. Just be sure to include other greens in your smoothies, other than kale, such as spinach or even lettuce (which is a much safer green for your thyroid). You might also want to find other foods for your breakfast. Cook your kale sometime, instead of having it raw, by steaming it to help reduce the thyroid compounds. Be sure to add some organic butter, olive oil or coconut oil to your steamed leafy greens to help increase absorbability of nutrients.

      -Brandon

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