It’s 2016 and we know more about health and nutrition than ever before, We’re all concerned about eating healthy. Hardly a day doesn’t go by without hearing some news about the “new super food, “kale. What is kale and is it good for you? Kale wasn’t on the menu in my mother’s kitchen. She makes a mean pot of mustard greens, but we never had kale for dinner. Mustard greens and kale look alike; maybe they are cousins. Let’s find the answers to our questions. What’s the truth about kale? Here are some facts about kale.
1. It’s not a new kid on the block
Kale is popular now, but people have grown this super food for more than 2,000 years. Popular in Europe during Roman times and the Middle Ages, it arrived in the U.S. in the 17th century.
2. How to make kale chips
Kale chips are a simple, good-for-you snack. This one of my favorite snacks. I found out about it during one of my son’s ethnic dishes cooking projects. Remove kale leaves from stems, tear into bite-sized pieces, drizzle with olive oil and a dash of salt, and bake 10 to 15 minutes in a 400 F oven.
3. Powerhouse food
Kale is packed with antioxidants and other nutrients. Some research suggests that regularly eating vegetables in the cabbage family, like kale, helps lower the risk of certain cancers. Of course, many other things also affect your cancer risk.
4. Vitamins you get
One cup of chopped raw kale provides more than 100% of the recommended daily amount of vitamins A and K.
5. Kale’s relatives
Kale belongs to the same family as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and collards and mustards. So kale and mustard greens are cousins.
6. When it’s best
For the best flavor, kale must be harvested after the first frost. This ensures that some of the starches have turned into sugars.
7. Colors of kale
Types of kale are marked by color (green, white, purple, or bluish green) and leaf shape.
More Facts About Kale
That sounds pretty good, maybe kale is a super food, lets dig a little deeper. First of all kale is a cruciferous vegetable. Some of the vegetables in this group include broccoli, brussel sprouts, radish, cabbage. Cauliflower, mustard, turnip, and collard greens. What does cruciferous mean anyway? It can mean carrying a cross. In botany, it means related to mustard (apparently mustard seeds have a cross on them if you view them under a microscope). Cruciferous vegetables are in the cabbage and turnip family. So cruciferous can mean carrying a cross hmmm, that’s a very interesting fact. Cruciferous vegetables are being studied right now for their potential to fight and possibly help cure cancer. A cure for cancer would definitely be a savior for many of our bodies, Hallelujah!
While writing this post, I found out that kale is one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat. A single cup of raw kale (about 67 grams or 2.4 ounces) contains
- Vitamin A: 206% of the RDA (from beta-carotene).
- Vitamin K: 684% of the RDA.
- Vitamin C: 134% of the RDA.
- Vitamin B6: 9% of the RDA.
- Manganese: 26% of the RDA.
- Calcium: 9% of the RDA.
- Copper: 10% of the RDA.
- Potassium: 9% of the RDA.
- Magnesium: 6% of the RDA.
- Then it contains 3% or more of the RDA for Vitamin B1 (Thiamin), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Iron and Phosphorus.
After hearing all the marvelous things about kale, you might be wondering how to cook it. One way is to make kale chips as described above, they’re scrumptious, and you’ll love em. They are a healthy alternative to potato chips. For another simple but delicious recipe check out the video below, or do like I sometimes do, and simply wash and chop the kale leaves, then enjoy them raw in a salad.
So should all of us start adding substantial amounts of kale to our diets?
WebMD advises, If You Have Thyroid Problems, Check With Your Doctor First
“In most cases, kale is a great addition to any diet. But kale and its cousins in the cabbage family can interact with thyroid function if they are eaten in very high amounts.
If you have hypothyroidism, also known as an underactive thyroid, ask your doctor about how certain foods can affect your thyroid.”
For more information on kale, Click This Link. If you’ve read this far you’ll enjoy the wealth of information on the site
Have a bowl of kale and have an awesome week. God be with you until we meet again.