Over the past few years the popularity of kale has risen dramatically and it’s no surprise – often referred to as the king of the greens, kale is a nutritional powerhouse and takes status as one of the most nutrient dense veggies out there. Kale boasts an array of benefits as it contains high levels of calcium and vitamins, A, C and K along with a wealth of antioxidants whilst also being anti inflammatory – so it’s really no wonder that kale is the fastest growing superfood! Whether you choose to consume more kale through a green smoothie or a massaged kale salad, you’re sure to be well on your way to great health.
5 reasons to eat more kale
- Vitamin A Remember when you were younger and your parents would tell you to eat your carrots so that you could see in the dark? Well, now it’s all about eating your kale! 100g of kale provides you with 199% of the recommended daily amount. It’s not just your vision which will improve as vitamin A is also great for healthy skin and can even protect against lung and oral cancer. Don’t worry about kale packing in such a high % of this wonder vitamin – you’re not going to overdose! Kale is a natural source of vitamin A so unlike synthetic sources, your body recognises the extra burst – using up what’s required and safely passing the rest through your body!
- Vitamin C is essential for the immune system, metabolism and hydration so it’s great news that gram for gram, kale contains more vitamin C than an orange! Per 100g kale packs in 200% of the recommended daily amount in comparison to an orange which only contains 88%. By switching your orange for kale, you’re not only consuming more vitamin C, but are decreasing your sugar intake too!
- Calcium This plantbased calcium source is far superior to its dairy alternative, as calorie for calorie kale contains even more calcium than milk! Calcium helps maintain strong and healthy bones whilst also preventing osteoporosis and it even contributes towards a normal energy yielding metabolism.
- Iron Everyone thinks that iron is hard to source on a plantbased diet and quite frankly, they’re wrong. Per calorie, kale contains more iron than beef so it does a pretty good job at boosting your daily intake. There’s a wealth of other benefits when iron is sourced through kale rather than meat as you also consume powerful antioxidants, potassium and there are anti-inflammatory benefits too! Iron is essential in order to avoid conditions such as anemia and also works in the formation of hemoglobin and enzymes, transporting oxygen to various parts of the body, cell growth, proper liver function and more.
- Vitamin K Just 100g of kale packs in a whopping 1021% of your recommended daily amount! A diet high in Vitamin K has been proven to protect against various cancers and it is also necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions including good bone health, blood clotting and regulating blood sugar levels.
One thing I love about kale is that it’s both affordable and accessible so as a result I love nothing more than regularly tucking into a bowl of beautifully massaged kale but, if the idea of chomping on raw kale doesn’t appeal to you (as it didn’t to me at first), then fear not – these five quick uses are a truly delicious way to incorporate more of this superfood into your life.
5 uses for kale
- Massaged with a maple-tahini dressing for the perfect side dish or salad base.
- Whizzed into your smoothie or smoothie bowl for an extra portion of veggies.
- Blended into hummus for a green twist.
- Steamed and served as a side dish.
- Roasted with a little olive oil and salt for kale crisps.
What are your favourite kale recipes? Leave your suggestions below or tag me on Instagram @nourishingyas x