Five Important Health Benefits of Eating Kale

Five Important Health Benefits of Eating Kale

Kale is one of the kings of the superfoods.

It stands as one of the healthiest plant foods out there, and is packed with many different health benefits that you should be taking advantage of. Kale is a vegetable that is definitely worth eating, but what makes it so great?

Kale is loaded with many different nutrients.

For starters, kale can provide a lot of nutrients. Raw kale alone can provide Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, manganese, calcium, copper, potassium, magnesium, and even a little of Vitamins B1, B2, and B3, as well as iron and phosphorous. A single cup of kale comes in at 33 calories, along with 6 grams of carbs and 3 grams of protein. Additionally, two of the 6 grams of carbs are fiber. Kale has a tiny amount of fat in it, but the fat it does have is called alpha linolenic acid, which is an omega-3 fatty acid.

Kale is full of great antioxidants.

Kale contains many powerful antioxidants such as beta-carotene, Vitamin C, and other flavonoids and polyphenols. Antioxidants are what battle any oxidative damages caused by free radicals in the body. This oxidative damage can be a leading cause of aging and many future diseases, such as cancer. Some antioxidants also have extra functions. Kale contains quercetin and kaempferol, which contain cardioprotective, blood pressure lowering, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-depressant, and anti-cancer properties.

Kale can help to fight off heart disease by lowering cholesterol.

Cholesterol assists in many critical functions, such as producing bile acids to help digest fats. Cholesterol is turned into bile acids by the liver, and those bile acids are sent into the digestive system upon consumption of fatty foods. Upon absorption of the fat, the bile acids are taken back into the bloodstream for reuse. Here’s where kale comes in. Kale contains substances called bile acid sequestrants which can stop bile acids from being taken back into the bloodstream, reducing cholesterol. The reduction in cholesterol also means a similar reduction in chances for heart disease.

Kale can help fight cancer.

Cancer leads to an uncontrolled growth of cells. Kale contains many compounds that can help fight against cancer, such as sulforaphane. Sulforaphane can assist by fighting off cancer at the molecular level. Kale also has indole-3-carbinol, which is also beneficial in preventing cancer.

Kale can assist with weight loss.

Kale is a food that can help slim you down as it has a very low calorie count, but is still very filling. It has a low energy density due to the low calorie count and the high water content, which means that it should assist well in weight loss. It also contains two nutrients important to weight loss, protein and fiber.

Kale is a food that you absolutely should be eating. It can boost the amount of nutrients you take in, fight off future diseases, and even assists with weight loss. All in all, this superfood is super beneficial to your health.

Aimee Harris-Newon, Psy.D., D.A.B.P.S., C.Ht

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