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This dark green leafy vegetable is a superfood in fact. Read more about Nutritional values & Health Benefits of Kale Leaves.
This cruciferous vegetable hails from the cabbage family, like broccoli, cauliflower, and collard greens. Also, kale is low in carb and low in fat while this is packed with other vitamins and minerals which makes this a superfood. This is perfect for keto diet also.
Kale is a perfect leafy vegetable for any diet and especially for the keto diet as this is zero carb veggie and also has fewer calories. Each 100 gm of raw kale provides 49 calories, 1% fat, 8% protein, 3% carb.
Kale contains 84% water along with a high amount of vitamin-A (199%), C (200%), B6 (15%), and K (7 times RDA). So, it has more vitamin C than that of a whole orange and 4.7 times more than that of spinach leaves. Also kale is a rich source of folate 8%, calcium 15%, and magnesium 11%, potassium 14%.
Kale contains very little fat (1%), but a large portion of the fat in it is an omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid. This leafy vegetable is rich in antioxidants. Vitamin C also works as an antioxidant along with beta-carotene, polyphenols, and flavonoids (45 diff flavonoids).
kale is a good source of thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and vitamin E also. This is a good source of phytochemicals like carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin. In fact, this is on the top of all lutein containing food in the USA’s National Nutrient Database. These phytochemicals play a vital role in many processes by our bodies and system.
Read Sauteed kale recipe on the blog.
Also, read Top 10 vegetables for the keto diet.
Health Benefits of Kale Leaves
Kale is a nutrient-rich cruciferous vegetable that helps to keep us healthy in numerous ways. A few of the health benefits of kale leaves are listed below.
1. Rich in Antioxidants
High antioxidants keep our immunity system strong by fighting with free radicals. Free radicals are caused by the body and by environmental pollutants. The antioxidants inhibit oxidative damage to our body caused by free radicals.
Without sufficient intake of antioxidants, our oxygen metabolism can become compromised, and will result in a metabolic problem called “oxidative stress”. However, without sufficient intake of anti-inflammatory nutrients, regulation of our inflammatory system can become compromised. This may lead to the problem of chronic inflammation. In conclusion, oxidative stress and chronic inflammation, and the combination of these metabolic problems, are risk factors for the development of cancer.
They act as anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, antidepressant, antiviral and many more. Thus, these antioxidants play a major role in keeping our body and mind healthy.
2. Lowers Bad cholesterol
Kale actually contains bile acid sequestrants, which lowers cholesterol levels. This might lead to a reduced risk of heart disease over time. Research has found, drinking kale juice every day may increase good cholesterol and decrease bad cholesterol. However, steamed kale is found more effective in this process.
3. Anti Coagulant
Kale is one of the best sources of vitamin K. A single raw cup of Kale contains almost 7 times the recommended daily amount. This vitamin k has anticoagulant properties that helps in blood clotting. It also helps in protecting heart disease and osteoporosis.
4. Keeps Heart Healthy
High potassium can reduce the risk of high blood pressure and any other cardiovascular diseases. Also, the fiber and bile acid lowers overall cholesterol by reducing bad cholesterols. This, in turn, keeps our heart healthy. Since kale is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients, kale seems to lessen the risk of arteriosclerosis and other heart diseases.
5. It Protects Eyes
Kale is rich in Vitamin – A and carotenoids. These are beneficial for our eyes. Among the carotenoids, lutein is best known for its supportive role in eye health. It protects a different parts of the eye from potential damage by light or oxygen. It also decreases the probability of glaucoma, cataract, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
6. Helps in detoxification of body
Kale helps in the detoxification function of the body. The isothiocyanates made from kale’s glucosinolates help in regulating detox activities in body cells. Also, Large number of sulfur compounds in kale supports in cellular detoxification of the harmful toxins from our body
7. Rich source of mineral
Kale is high in minerals. It is a good plant-based source of calcium (15%). Hence keeps bone healthy and helps in other cellular functions.
It is also a good source of magnesium (11%), an incredibly important mineral. Eating plenty of magnesium may be helpful in protecting our body against type 2 diabetes and heart diseases.
Kale also contains a decent amount of potassium (14%), a mineral that helps maintain electrical gradients in the body’s cells. Adequate potassium intake has been linked to reduced blood pressure and a lower risk of heart diseases.
Unlike spinach leaves, this leafy green veggie is low in oxalate, a substance found in some plants that can prevent minerals from being absorbed. So it never stops the body to absorb those minerals efficiently.
8. Helps in weight loss
This is a low-calorie vegetable with only 1% fat and more than 80% water content. Because of this kale has low energy density. Low energy density food helps in weight loss.
Also, this is moderate in protein and fiber. high protein gives satiety and fiber keeps bowel movement proper and digestive system healthy. However, this does not allow the body to absorb more fat and helps in losing weight.
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