It’s not a super-food for nothing!
Kale is a tasty leafy green packed with essential vitamins, vital nutrients, and a lot more health benefits that a lot of people don’t know about!
Odds are, you’ve probably heard about one of the most popular foods of the last decade, kale. It gained popularity as a focus on raw, fresh, and natural foods came to dominate a health-conscious diet, and kale is often seen as an overly loved or overly hated food. Its crisp texture, distinct taste, and numerous health properties have placed kale as one of the ultimate superfoods gracing our plates today. It has quite the reputation, but what exactly makes this vegetable so special? There are a lot of factors that contribute to the popularization of this close relative of cabbage, but let’s explore 5 health benefits that incentivize a lot of people to incorporate more kale into their diets!
Image by Adolfo Félix
Considering the events of the past year or so, many people are trying to find healthy ways to drop the weight they’ve unexpectedly gained during quarantine. Everyone’s body is different and requires a unique system to stay healthy, but for most people, a calorie deficit is pretty standard for weight-loss. This means consuming fewer calories than what is being burned on a daily basis. If you’ve ever tried to live on a calorie deficit, you know how hard it can be sometimes! What makes it easier to achieve is finding foods that are tasty, filling, and low in calories to help keep you satisfied and full to prevent unnecessary snacking. What makes kale so special is that it is incredibly nutrient dense for the calories being consumed. Essentially, in only 1 cup of raw kale, you meet your daily values of Vitamins A, K, C, and get significant servings of Vitamin B6, Manganese, Calcium, Copper, Potassium, and Magnesium, all for a total of only 33 calories!
Image by Char Beck
For many people in America, managing cholesterol levels is a daily hassle that, if not prioritized, can lead to some serious health issues. High cholesterol levels increase risk for cardiovascular emergencies, including heart disease and stroke, so keeping levels down is essential for anyone prone to these issues. With a combination of low-fat foods, exercise, and possibly even medications, managing cholesterol can be kept in check without too much stress! Kale is perfect for anyone trying to manage their cholesterol since it’s packed with so many vitamins and minerals. For example, Vitamin K is good for preventing blood clots and maintaining circulatory function, which is only one way that kale can keep cholesterol levels down!
Image by Ashleigh Shea
Sodium is something found in high amounts in nearly everything that is edible nowadays. Of course, sodium is something that our bodies need in order to function properly, but the high concentrations in most foods are causing big problems for our health. Diets with too much sodium are significantly more susceptible to developing cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure, which leads to an increased risk of stroke and heart failure. It’s important to minimize and regulate your sodium intake, especially if you fall into a sensitive demographic when it comes to heart health, but sometimes, that’s much easier said than done. Luckily, there are a few foods that are both low in sodium and delicious! In a single serving of kale, 1 cup-fresh, there are about 18.9 milligrams of sodium. That is a teeny tiny serving when compared to the average daily recommended value, which makes kale an incredibly low-sodium alternative when building a low-sodium diet!
Image by Deborah Rainford
Fats are a very misunderstood part of a balanced diet. At first glance, many people think that fats are bad for health and should be avoided at all costs, especially if someone is on a diet. The reality is, however, that there are several types of fats that play different roles in how our body manages the nutrients in our food. There are four major types of fat that are found in everyday food: saturated fats, trans-fats, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats. The first two listed categories have a more negative impact on health and are the most common fat found in processed foods, so it’s important to get healthy amounts of the poly and mono-unsaturated fats wherever you can! Kale is considered a low-fat food because it has low levels, however, most of the fat in kale is actually omega-3 fatty acid (alpha linolenic-acid). This is a very important nutrient that’s not always easy to find, so kale is a great vegetable to reach for when planning healthy meals!
Image by Nutriciously
There are plenty of natural ways to prepare your body and immune system for a variety of diseases and illnesses and prevent serious and long-term damage in the long run. In the case of kale, research shows that there is a high likelihood that the cruciferous vegetable is an asset in preventing specific types of cancers! Due to its high concentration of Vitamin C and K, kale is shown to help protect against and prevent the development of prostate, colon, lung, and breast cancers!
There are plenty of reasons to be eating healthier, but with options like kale, you don’t even have to try! This nutrient-dense leafy green is not only low-calorie, low in cholesterol, low in sodium, low-fat, and great for preventing certain cancers, but it also tastes great! Feel confident in knowing that you’re prioritizing your health and bettering your diet with great, fresh foods like kale!
We hope you enjoy this article for 5 Essential Health Benefits of Kale. If you tried incorporating these things into your regular routine, make sure to let us know! For more recipes, follow us on social media and make sure to check out our weekly blog posts where we share our new favorite recipes and must-know facts about food and living a healthy lifestyle! Check out the other meal options Mealfit provides such as our Weekly Specials, Individual Meals, and other Meals by the Pound.