Kale Health Benefits – Interesting Facts and Positive Aspects Of This Nutrient Rich Green Vegetable

green curly kale

Dinosaur Kale is not a figment of imagination – it is a leafy blue green vegetable that can often be mistaken for a bruised and beaten broccoli. Recent findings have made this particular “pro-fitness” veggie popular because of its sulfur rich phytonutrients. Brassica Oleracea, as taxonomists call Kale are vibrant in their appearance, taste and texture.

Interesting Facts About Kale

Kale got introduced to Europe around 600 B.C. or thereabouts when a group of Celtic travelers first picked up the green vegetable from regions in Asia Minor and brought it home. Later, during the Roman period, Kale suddenly rose in popularity as a vegetable of choice. Today, the more popular varieties of Kale include ornamental kale, dinosaur kale and curly kale. Interestingly, ornamental kale wasn’t even considered an edible option in the U.S. up until the 1980’s.

Different Ways In Which Kale Promotes Good Health

Kale might be the lesser known member of the cruciferous family of vegetables, but in terms of promoting better health, it is one of the best among the lot. Here is a look at of some of the most prominent kale health benefits:

Diet And Digestive Efficiency – Less calories and zero fat in kale mean that the fiber and other nutrients get a much bigger share. Dietary fibers are excellent when it comes to regularization of bowel movements, reduction in cholesterol intake and faster hunger satiation. Kale also contains Indol-3-carbinol in requisite quantities. The fascinating aspect about this phytonutrient is that it hinders the production of a specific cholesterol transportation component within the liver cells. As such, this biochemical action ‘selectively’ reduces the amount of bad cholesterol being produced in the liver.

Healthy Bones –In terms of calcium content, kale is alright, but where it really outshines the rest is in the amount of vitamin K that it has to offer. According to the vegetable’s nutrient chart provided by USDA, 130 grams of lightly cooked kale meets a whopping 1327% RDA with respect to vitamin K. The vitamin plays a pivotal role in promoting bone health given that it is required for synthesis of a bone-strengthening protein called ‘osteocalcin’ in the body.

ornamental purple kale

Healthy Skin – Kale is considered to be an excellent source of both vitamin A as well as vitamin C. The associative effect of both vitamins is seen in the enhanced freshness quotient of the skin. Vitamin A increases attractiveness in the skin as it affords a reddish-orange hue to it. Similarly, vitamin C protects against formation of wrinkles, blemishes and other factors given its anti-aging properties.

Improves Visual Acuity– As far as the eyes are concerned, here too the effects of vitamin-A cannot be ignored. The vitamin improves eyesight by maintaining the retina’s ability to see clearly in dim light conditions. In fact, just one medium cup (130 g) of cooked kale will more than compensate for the daily vitamin-A requirement of the body.

Cancer Protection – There is ample evidence and explanations to support cancer-preventing abilities of nutrients found in kale. Take for instance the glucosinolates found in the crustaceous vegetable. When these components enter the system through dietary means, they set up a protective network against cancer causing chemicals, thus proving efficient against cancers of the colon, GI tract, bladder, prostate, breasts, and ovaries.

Anti-Aging Benefits – With close to 45 different anti-oxidants identified, it only goes to show how much of a pro-health vegetable kale really is. Anti-oxidants basically ensure that free radicals don’t wander about within the body stealing the vitality from cells. Thus, general wear and tear is reduced and with it age-related degeneration in the body’s functioning.

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