Kale is a hard vegetable to beat when it comes to the number of nutrients it contains and a great choice for those wanting to enjoy a healthy balanced diet. Kale is an excellent source of vitamins K, A and C, as well as containing useful amounts of manganese, copper and phytochemicals, which are believed to help against certain types of cancer.
Kale is virtually fat free and low in calories. Four heaped tablespoons (80g) contains only 19kcals and has 2.2g of fibre which is great for aiding digestion.
Raw kale is an excellent source of Vitamin K containing which plays a role in normal blood clotting and plays a role in maintaining normal bones. Eating a diet high in Vitamin K can help protect against various cancers.
Kale is rich in lutein – an anti-oxidant which helps keep the eyes healthy. Other anti-oxidants such as carotenoids and flavonoids help protect against various cancers.
The Vitamin C provided in kale, gram for gram contains 17 times more Vitamin C than carrots. Vitamin C is important because it plays a role in the formation of collagen for blood vessels, bone, cartilage, gums, skin and teeth; supports the immune system to work normally; increases iron absorption and plays a role in protecting the cells from oxidative damage.
Kale is high in Vitamin A which plays a supporting role in maintaining normal skin and vision, and helps the immune system to function normally, as well as helping to prevent lung and oral cavity cancers.
Kale provides more calcium per calorie than milk, which aids in preventing bone loss, preventing osteoporosis and maintaining a healthy metabolism. This makes kale a useful source of this important mineral, especially for vegans and people on dairy free diets.
Kale is high in iron which is essential for good health, such as the formation of haemoglobin and enzymes, transporting oxygen to various parts of the body, cell growth and liver function.
Kale is also a good anti-inflammatory food providing omega-3 fatty acids, which help, fight against arthritis, asthma and autoimmune disorders.
Kale can be cooked in many different ways including steamed, boiled, stir fried, baked or even microwaved. Of course, kale is also the must have ingredient in green smoothies for breakfast. So no excuses get some kale into your diet, there are so many reasons why you should.
To help you on your way a couple of simple recipes making good use of kale.
Quick spicy stir fry
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced, seeds removed and slices quartered
- 1tbsp honey
- 2 bunches kale (about 750kg), tough stems and ribs removed, leaves coarsely chopped
- 6 scallions, thinly sliced
- Coarse salt
In a large pan, heat oil and chilli over medium-high heat.
Add lemon and honey and cook, stirring, until lemon begins to soften (about 2 minutes)
Add kale and cook, stirring, until just wilted, about 3 minutes
Add scallions, season with salt, and cook 1 minute
Serve warm or at room temperature.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp apple-cider vinegar
- Coarse salt and pepper
- 3 cups mixed shredded kale and red cabbage
- 1 carrot, peeled, cut into fine batons
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley leaves
- 2 tbsp chopped red onion
- 2 tbsp toasted sunflower seeds
- 2 tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds
- 2 tbsp toasted hemp seeds
Dry fry the seeds for a few minutes in pan to toast.
In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, mustard, and apple-cider vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.
In another bowl, combine kale, cabbage, carrot, parsley, and red onion with sunflower, pumpkin, and hemp seeds.
Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with dressing, and toss to coat.