For years, kale has been named as one of the healthiest foods you can put in your body sparking a boom in the kale industry. From kale soup to casseroles and even kale chips and as a pizza topping, this cruciferous vegetable is popping up everywhere.
Kale has even been at the bud of many jokes including on a stand up comedy routine by famed comedian, Jim Gaffigan. “”Can we stop with the kale propaganda?” he said. “That stuff tastes like bug spray. … Kale is a superfood and it’s special power is tasting bad.”
Well, friends. All jokes aside, Kale is a superfood, can be prepared in ways to make it taste quite good, and you can eat it every single day if you choose to. And in case you’re wondering what will happen if you choose to succumb yourself to the “kale propaganda,” here is a list of some of those things.1. It may reduce your risk of heart disease
Kale contains large amounts of dietary fiber and polyphenolics. Dietary fiber has been found to bind bile acids that aid in digestion and absorption of lipids in the small intestine, and regulate cholesterol.Due to this cholesterol levels are decreased, thus having the potential to reduce the risk of heart disease.
But don’t think that you need to eat the plant raw to reap the benefits. One study found that drinking kale juice every day for 12 weeks increased HDL (good) cholesterol by 27 percent and decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol levels by 10 percent. Another study concluded that steaming kale significantly increases the bile acid binding effect.
2. It may protect against and even fight cancer
Cancer occurs in a person’s body when cells grow uncontrollably, and kale contains large amounts of compounds that are believed to protect against the overgrowth of cells that lead to cancer. One compound is sulforaphane which has also been found to block the adverse effects of chemotherapy in cancer patients.
It also contains indole-3-carbinol (I3C) which is well-known for its anticancer properties. In fact, research has found that this compound protects against a number of human cancers in vitro as well as in vivo.
However, to reap the most benefits, research says that it is best that you keep the integrity of the plant as much as you can by not processing it or purchasing it in a processed bag of kale chips.
3. It could protect your eyes from degeneration
As you age, all parts of your body start to weaken – that is, if you don’t do what you can to keep them as youthful as possible. One of the things that worsens as we age (without a little extra help) is our eyesight.
Thankfully, kale contains two of the main ingredients that help protect against this: the carotenoid antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin. Several studies have been conducted, showing eat enough lutein and zeaxanthin have a significantly lower risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
4. Your digestion could improve
Kale contains lots of fiber – 2.5 grams to be exact in one cup chopped leaves. This fiber acts as a sponge to soak up all your digestibles and move them through your digestive system to things pass in and out smoothly.
Now beware that too much of a good thing – specifically fiber can cause that things move a little too quickly and often through you. So, limit your servings to 1-2 per day so you are able to move throughout the day rather than having things moving through you all day long.
5. You could lose weight
Another benefit of the fiber in kale is that it helps you feel full. This is because it soaks up all that stuff in bulk amounts. Kale also has a high water content that adds to the full factor. But isn’t just the full-keeping properties of kale that can help you lose weight. It’s also low in calories and has protein. One cup of kale contains only 33 calories 2.9 grams of protein. Now, how’s that for a weight killing machine?
There is one caveat …
While eating kale daily is completely fine, and can really do your body some good, don’t make it a main focal point. Your body need a wide range of nutrients, and it is important to balance your leafy foods with other nutrient dense foods. To help you with that, below are some links to healthy recipes that contain our superfood of the day.