14 Reasons to Eat Kale + Kale Chips Recipe

Kale, kale, kale, kale, kale. Everyone’s talking about it. 

In case you haven’t heard about it or you have but have no idea what to do with it – I’ve done some research and outlined the reasons why you should start eating it plus given you a recipe for the much talked about baked kale chips (see below).

1. Anti-inflammatory. The effectiveness of its anti-inflammatory qualities of over 45 different flavonoids (kaempferol and quercetin leading) can potentially prevent or even reverse inflammatory illnesses such as arthritis, heart disease, and some autoimmune diseases and oxidative stress.

2. Detoxification. New research has shown that the ITCs (isothiocyanates) made from kale’s glucosinolates can help regulate detox at a genetic level.

3. Cancer Risk-Lowering. Kale’s risk-lowering benefits for cancer have recently been extended to at least five different types of cancer: bladder, breast, colon, ovary, and prostate. Isothiocyanates (ITCs) made from glucosinolates in kale play a primary role in achieving these risk-lowering benefits. Glucosinolates have been shown to prevent colon, breast, bladder, prostate, ovarian cancers, as well as gastric cancer.

4. Iron. Kale is iron packed with more per calorie than beef.

5. Calcium. Kale contains more calcium per calorie than milk and is more easily absorbed into the body than dairy. One cup of kale provides over 88% of our RDA.

6. Fiber. Fiber is a macronutrient, meaning we need it every day yet most Americans do not get enough of it. One serving of kale not only contains 5 percent of the recommended daily intake of fiber, but it also provides 2 grams of protein.

7. Omega fatty acids. A serving of kale contains 121 mg of omega-3 fatty acids and 92.4 mg of omega-6 fatty acids. One cup of kale provides about 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids that helps regulate the body’s inflammatory process.

8. Diet and Digestion. One cup of kale has only 36 calories and zero grams of fat plus nearly 20% of the RDA of dietary fiber, which promotes regular digestion, prevents constipation, lowers blood sugar and curbs overeating.

9. Vitamin K. Kale provides a huge dose of vitamin K (providing 1327% of the RDA in one cup), which is necessary for the synthesis of osteocalcin, a protein that strengthens the composition of our bones. Vitamin K also prevents calcium build-up in our tissue that can lead to atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease and stroke. Vitamin K is also essential for synthesizing sphingolipid, the fat needed to maintain the myelin sheath around our nerves, and therefore our nervous system as a whole.

10. Vitamin A. With over 192% of the RDA of vitamin A, one cup of kale is an effective antioxidant, boosts immunity, maintains healthy bones and teeth, prevents urinary stones, and is essential to our reproductive organs.

11. Cholesterol lowering. Kale can provide you with some special cholesterol-lowering benefits if you will cook it by steaming. The fiber-related components in kale do a better job of binding together with bile acids in your digestive tract when they’ve been steamed. When this binding process takes place, it’s easier for bile acids to be excreted, and the result is a lowering of your cholesterol levels. Raw kale still has cholesterol-lowering ability–just not as much.

12. Immunity. Kale is an incredibly rich source of immune-boosting carotenoid and flavanoid antioxidants (that protect our cells from free radicals that cause oxidative stress) including vitamins A and C.

13. Sustainable. Kale can grow in most climates and is relatively easy and low impact to grow at home or on a farm.

14. It is delicious. No explanation here.

Quick summary: One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.

WAYS TO EAT KALE

  • Toss in your salad
  • Include in pasta or rice dishes
  • Steam and have as a side dish
  • Sautee with oil, garlic, and onions
  • Bake it as chips (recipe below)

KALE CHIPS RECIPE

  • Chop up the kale so there are no hard stems
  • Drizzle olive oil and toss
  • Add a pinch of sea salt
  • Bake at 300 degrees for ~15 minutes
  • Voila! Perfect, crunchy, delicious kale chips

 

How do you eat kale? Will you incorporate it into your diet now that you know how much of a super food it really is?

Sources: Organic Authority, WHFoods, Health Diaries, WebMD