Kale is one of those versatile foods that can be prepared and eaten in a number of ways. While it is a standard staple in many health-conscious diets, there are some things about kale that may surprise you.
1. Low calories / high nutrition
A one-cup serving of kale may only have 33 calories, but it also
contains a whopping 206 percent of your daily recommendation of vitamin
A, a 134 percent of your daily recommendation of vitamin C, and 684
percent of your daily vitamin K.
Kale also provides a healthy dose of folate, iron, omega-3s, fiber, protein, and magnesium.
2. Culinary flexibility
This delightful vegetable can be prepared in a variety of ways. Kale
is delicious when chopped up into a salad, blended up into a smoothie,
squeezed into a tasty juice, baked into a crisp chip, and even added
into a cocktail drink.
3. Great source of calcium
A cup of milk contains approximately 96 milligrams of absorbable
calcium, whereas one cup of raw kale contains 83 milligrams of
absorbable calcium. Since calcium is so important to the formation and
maintenance of healthy teeth and bones, kale is an important dietary
source that should not be overlooked.
4. Price is right
At an average price of two to three dollars for a bag of organic
leaves, this superfood is definitely more affordable than most of its
fellow vegetables. It is always best to buy kale organic whenever
possible, as non-organic kale is on the Environmental Working Group’s
“Dirty Dozen” list for higher exposure to pesticides.
5. National Kale Day
Kale contains such a bountiful mixture of health benefits and
nutritional goodness that it has a day specifically dedicated to it. On
October 1st, kale is celebrated for the great impact it can make on our
bodies and our palates.
Kale contains a powerful punch of phytonutrients that can help
reverse inflammation and boost the detoxification abilities of the
liver. Starting off each day by drinking a green kale smoothie is a
great way to start a simple detox.
7. Many varieties
Kale comes in many tasty varieties, and they are all worth checking
out. You can mix up more than one for a combination of delicious flavors
and textures. Try one or more of the following: dino kale, redbor kale,
Siberian kale, premiere kale, kamome red kale, red Russian kale, and
8. Easy to grow your own
Kale can grow in practically any climate, but it is particularly
partial to cold weather. The temperature, soil conditions, and weather
patterns all play a large role in determining the flavor, output and
Kale can easily tolerate temperatures down to 20 degrees F, but it
begins to turn bitter and toughen up when temperatures rise above 80
9. There is a toolkit
Kale is so awesome that those in the know put together a “Kale Hero
Toolkit” to help any kale beginners with experiments, recipes, and more.
It is available for download at NationalKaleDay.org.
10. Raw or cooked
The cooking process does release some of the nutrients in kale, such
as magnesium. However, it can also decrease the amounts of some other
nutrients, like folate, which is heat sensitive. To get the maximum
amount of nutrition, work both raw and cooked kale into your meals.
11. Not a cause of hypothyroidism
Despite reports around the internet linking kale to hypothyroidism,
there is no scientific research to support this claim. According to Dr.
are molecules in kale called ‘goitrogens’ that can compete with iodine
for uptake into the thyroid. Theoretically, a diet very low in iodine
(seafood, seaweeds, iodized salt) and very high in kale (say, juicing a
bushel of kale every day), could cause problems. Based on the current
science, a more appropriate worry would be eating excess iodine in
seaweed and kelp or consuming too many environmental toxins like BVO, a
chemical found in flame retardants and in many generic soda brands.”
12. A couple words of caution
Although it is very rare to have an allergy to cruciferous
vegetables, it is possible. Also, anyone taking blood thinners may need
to avoid kale because the vitamin K could interfere with medicines like
If you are on medication, or have any reservations about adding kale
to your diet, it may help to talk to a health professional you trust.
Otherwise, go ahead and board the kale train – you’ll be well on your
way to great health!
-The Alternative Daily