I’ve been hearing a lot about (and starting to eat a lot more) kale lately, so I thought that I would dedicate today’s post to the benefits of kale and a few good recipes that include this awesome super-food!
• 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 great 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 from the body, which lowers your cholesterol levels. Raw kale still has cholesterol-lowering ability—just not as much.
• Kale’s risk-lowering benefits for cancer have recently been extended to at least five different types of cancer. These types include cancer of the bladder, breast, colon, ovary, and prostate. Isothiocyanates (ITCs) made from glucosinolates in kale play a primary role in achieving these risk-lowering benefits.
Detoxifying the Body
• Kale is now recognized as providing comprehensive support for the body’s detoxification system. New research has shown that the ITCs made from kale’s glucosinolates can help regulate detox at a genetic level.
• Researchers can now identify over 45 different flavonoids in kale. With kaempferol and quercetin heading the list, kale’s flavonoids combine both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits in way that gives kale a leading dietary role with respect to avoidance of chronic inflammation and oxidative stress.
At a minimum, include cruciferous vegetables as part of your diet 2-3 times per week, and make the serving size at least 1-1/2 cups. Even better from a health standpoint, enjoy kale and other vegetables from the cruciferous vegetable group
4-5 times per week, and increase your serving size to 2 cups.
Mix raw kale into a smoothie or in with a lettuce salad for the easiest way to incorporate it into your meals. Otherwise, try this recipe for breakfast frittata or this one for turkey and vegetable chili verde.