This leafy vegetable is often hailed as a super food because of its abundance of nutrients and health benefits. Kale varieties range in color from bright green to purple and in texture from frilly to wrinkled. Kale is a member of the Brassica family (which includes broccoli and cabbage), but has a flavor more similar to other greens.
Image credit: by jacsonquerubin on Flickr.
Kale is a superstar. It has more Vitamin C per volume than oranges and more calcium per calorie than milk. It is full of Vitamins A, E, and K, folic acid, iron, potassium, and a number of cancer-fighting nutrients. According to Selene Yeager’s The Doctors Book of Food Remedies, Indole-3-carbinol in kale reduces the risk of breast cancer and the high levels of flavonoids in kale help protect from heart disease. WebMD.com notes that Vitamin K may help stave off cancers of all kinds, and Brassica.info reports that kale and other Brassicas have loads of anti-oxidants and a group of anti-carcinogenic compounds called Isothiocynates. In short, it’s one of the best foods you can eat for short- and long-term health.
Buy it on your next grocery run
You can find kale sold in bundles at your local farmers’ market or in the produce section of co-ops and well-stocked grocery stores. It is in season from mid-fall through early winter, but is available year-round in many places. Melanie Greenwood of Brighthub.com recommends seeking out “richly-colored” and “crisp, firm leaves” and avoiding kale bunches with any limp or yellowed leaves. Another plus: kale will stay fresh in your fridge far longer than spinach.
Try it in your kitchen
Try kale as a substitute for spinach in your favorite dishes, as a side dish wilted with sautéed garlic and onion, and on pizza. Or try this great kale and bean soup recipe. Tip: When preparing kale, tear the tender leaves away from the thick, fibrous stalk and cut to the needed size.
Put your vitamins back on the shelf and pick up a leafy bouquet of the good stuff. Versatile, tasty, super-nutritious, and even cancer-fighting, kale has too much going for it not try it.