Kale had a hot minute there. From Beyonce brandishing it on a sweater to becoming the worlds first hipster vegetable. According to Bon Appetit almost 300 americans named their child KALE last year. Actually. So what is behind this cruciferous plants take over? Perhaps its the endless pun potential or the fact there is even a twitter dedicated to making fun of kale.
It’s safe to say that Kale infiltrated mainstream and caused a huge discourse about healthy eating, albeit in a playful and engaging manner. Jokes aside, Kale consumption since 2011 has increased by 710%. So if you’re a convert, an old hand or just curious to gather a bit of background info into the cultural phenomenon, read on. Below are the top 10 reasons this vegetable is kaling it (couldn’t resist)
- Kale is one of the best sources of the blood building vitamin K. Vitamin K was named after the German word for blood clotting (koagulation) and is necessary for their formation. This complex process is needed in the body and requires over 12 proteins to function before the clotting process can be completed. Four of these protein clotting factors require vitamin K for their activity.The benefits of this correlate to bone, skin and cardiovascular health.
- Kale is the most nutrient dense food on earth. See below:
- Vitamin A: 206% of the RDA (from beta-carotene).
- Vitamin K: 684% of the RDA.
- Vitamin C: 134% of the RDA.
- Vitamin B6: 9% of the RDA.
- Manganese: 26% of the RDA.
- Calcium: 9% of the RDA.
- Copper: 10% of the RDA.
- Potassium: 9% of the RDA.
- Magnesium: 6% of the RDA.
- 3% or more of the RDA for Vitamin B1 (Thiamin), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Iron and Phosphorus.
- Low Calorie. If you are trying to control calorie intake and defecits, Kale is a great choice. In approx 2.4 ounces of kale there are only 33 calories. When you consider its nutrient density it means you will be well nourished at minimum calorific content.
- Full of Antioxidants! This is where it really starts to earn its superfood status. Antioxidants counteract oxidative damage by free radicals in the body; which means it can deter against diseases and aging.
- Enter Vitamin C. Often people associate oranges with Vitamin C but kale actually has far more! Vitamin C is water soluble and an antioxidant that is needed all around the body. Collagen synthesize is dependant upon Vit C and as this is the most abundant structural protein in the body, we need this for skin, bone and dead cell reproduction.
- Kale has Cancer busting potential. There are several properties in Kale that are linked to stopping the formation of cancer at the molecular level such as sulforaphane (1, 2, 3, 4) and indole-3-carbinol (5)
- It supports the body’s detoxification system. Within Kale there are Isothiocyanates (ITCs) made from glucosinolates and these are shown to help regulate detox at a genetic level. Kale juice on a hangover it is!
- Filled with Beta-Carotene. This is eventually turned into vitamin A as seen in point 2. We need vitamin A for overall good health so beta carotene is key in the diet.
- Kale is full of minerals many people do not often get in their daily diets I.E Calcium which is necessary for bone health and cellular functions, Magnesium which is very healing and beneficial for type 2 diabetes prevention and heart disease, Potassium which is key for electrolyte balance and due to low inoxalate levels it means these minerals are better absorbed!
- Lower Cholesterol. This was shown in a study where the daily consumption of kale juice for 12 weeks increased HDL cholesterol by 27% and lowered LDL levels by 10%, while also improving antioxidant status.
Enjoy! Follow my instagram @Sophie_Batch for recipes and tips x