Kale has broad, curly leaves that are a deep green color. If you are lucky enough to find kale in your share, it will most likely be the largest leafy item in your box!
Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K — and sulphur-containing phytonutrients.
Carotenoids and flavonoids are the specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits. Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds.
Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of cruciferous kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw.
Kale, also known as borecole, is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet. A leafy green, kale is available in curly, ornamental, or dinosaur varieties. It belongs to the Brassica family that includes cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, collards, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.
One cup of kale contains:
5 grams of fiber
15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
40% of magnesium
180% of vitamin A
200% of vitamin C
1,020% of vitamin K
It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.
Super-Rich in Vitamin K
Eating a diet rich in the powerful antioxidant vitamin K can reduce the overall risk of developing or dying from cancer, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Vitamin K is abundant in kale but also found in parsley, spinach, collard greens, and animal products such as cheese.
Vitamin K is necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions, including normal blood clotting, antioxidant activity, and bone health.
But too much vitamin K can pose problems for some people. Anyone taking anticoagulants such as warfarin should avoid kale because the high level of vitamin K may interfere with the drugs. Consult your doctor before adding kale to your diet.
Kale might be a powerhouse of nutrients but is also contains oxalates, naturally occurring substances that can interfere with the absorption of calcium. Avoid eating calcium-rich foods like dairy at the same time as kale to prevent any problems.
Tips for Use:
Quick cooking preserves kale’s nutrients, texture, color, and flavor.
Rinse kale, chop it finely, and add it soups, stews, stir-frys, salads, egg dishes, or casseroles.
Or top pizzas with kale for added nutritional goodness.
Steam kale for five minutes to make it more tender or eat it raw.
You can also substitute it for spinach or collard greens in recipes.
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