Kale has been crowned the nutritional powerhouse amongst many health advocates and the one green everyone should eat – but why?
Of course, the green veggies we all know and trust such as spinach and broccoli are still nutritious and should be enjoyed regularly, however if you have never tried kale before or feel a little daunted by its “superfood” title, then learn more about it here on how easy it can be to incorporate to your weekly meals whilst reaping the extensive list of nutrients.
Kale Nutrition & Benefits
- Vitamin A – This nutrient helps support vision, immunity, and cell growth while reducing inflammation.
- Vitamin C – A widely known antioxidant which is available in many fruits and vegetables; kale is one veggie that packs a mighty dose of vitamin C. This nutrient can help iron absorb more efficiently, it is required to produce collagen which is the framework for our skin and bones, and is important for brain health as it helps to make certain neurotransmitters.
- Vitamin K – Kale is packed with vitamin K, which is best known for its role in the blood clotting process. Remember not all blood clots are bad, blood clots are necessary to stop bleeding when our skin gets punctured, therefore making it an important nutrient to help the body repair and heal. Vitamin K can also help build stronger bones!
- Manganese – This nutrient helps to support bone production, healthy skin and protect against excess free radicals.
- Iron – Green vegetables are an excellent source of iron. Iron is important for oxygen transport and producing energy to the body.
- Calcium – Calcium is another example of a nutrient that is easily found in green vegetables – forget the milk! Calcium is important for bone health, balancing acidity and alkalinity in the body, and supporting muscle and nerve function. Eat those greens for calcium!
- Fibre – This nutrient is especially important for a healthy digestive tract. The better the digestion, the healthier the body and the flatter the stomach. Fruits and vegetables are packed with fibre, add them daily for a healthy body that aids fat loss.
Here are ten ways to eat kale on a regular basis.
10 Kale Recipes
- Massaged Kale – Massage raw kale and add to a raw salad. Doing this softens the leaf, making it easier to chew. Mix with the other veggies and top with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice.
- Steamed Kale with Rice Noodles – Lightly steam kale and add to other green veggies such as sugar snap peas and broccoli, then mix with rice noodles, lemon juice and tahini.
- Green Smoothie – Make a green smoothie by adding a handful of kale, celery, 1 apple and a sweet fruit such as pineapple or mango to a blender. Blend until smooth and enjoy!
- Kale Soup – When making a veggie soup add a few handfuls of kale to the mix in the last couple of minutes for extra green goodness.
- Sweet Kale Salad – For the salad add massaged raw kale, lettuce and a mix of sweet fruit such as chopped fresh mango, pineapple and berries.
- Sautéed Kale – Keep it simple! Add a little coconut oil or just water to a pan to a medium-high heat, then add finely sliced garlic and big handfuls of kale to the pan. Cook until slightly wilted then squirt lemon juice over the kale and serve with dinner.
- Kale & Pasta – Cook gluten free pasta. Whilst this is cooking steam big handfuls of kale until it is slightly wilted but not completely overcooked and mushy. Remove from the heat. Once the pasta is cooked, drain the water then stir the kale through the pasta with ground black pepper and any other spices or herbs you desire. Serve with a side salad.
- Kale Pesto – A delicious dairy-free pesto! In a blender add and combine: 1 cup fresh kale, 1 cup fresh basil leaves, 1 to 2 cloves garlic, 2 tbsp nutritional yeast and 2/3 cup nuts (pine nuts, walnuts, pecans or cashews). Then slowly add: 3 to 4 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil, 2 tsp fresh lemon juice and fresh black pepper, to taste.
- Kale Slaw – Remove stems from 1 head of kale then thinly slice leaves and place in a large bowl with 1 grated apple, 1 to 2 shredded carrots and ¼ to ½ grated red cabbage. Add a dressing: fresh lemon juice, black pepper, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 to 2 tsp honey and 1 tbsp tahini. Mix everything together and serve.
- Kale with Mashed Potatoes – Mix slightly steamed kale with mashed potatoes. When making mashed potatoes simply steam cubed peeled potatoes then mash when softened with ground black pepper and other herbs or spices you prefer. Dairy and extra fats are not required for mashed potatoes.
Which kale dish will you try this week?