Call me basic, I don't care. I absolutely love kale. It's the perfect vegetable - extremely nutrient-dense, delicious raw or cooked, hearty yet also delicate. It comes in many different varieties, from red to green, curly and flat. It is a cruciferous vegetable like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens and Brussels sprouts. The only thing I don't like about it is the task of removing the leafy part from the stem - but good news, we do that for you before adding it to our Power Veggie Bites. I sneak this healthy powerhouse into everything I can - casseroles, burgers - you name it, I've tried it. I've gathered together some more scientific reasons why should love it as much as I do below.
1. Kale is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet
Kale has a very low calories count (coming in around 30 calories per cup) but is packed with a laundry list of beneficial vitamins and nutrients. You can find abundant sources of vitamins A, B6, C, and K, along with minerals like manganese, copper, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron and magnesium.
This, plus bringing in protein and fiber, makes it the perfect addition to any diet.
2. Kale contains powerful and unique antioxidants
Like quinoa, one of our other favorite ingredients, two of the most abundant antioxidant compounds found in kale are flavonoids called quercetin and kaempferol. Like many other antioxidants, they work to reduce and prevent inflammation in the body and may help to reduce your risk of developing cancer and chronic disease.
3. It may help to lower your cholesterol
Kale serves as a great bile acid sequestrate. What is this, you ask? Let's break down the digestive process a little further to better explain.
Your body uses cholesterol to create bile acids, which help your body digest fats. Once your body has digested all of the fat that you eat, these bile acids go back into your bloodstream for reabsorption, to be used again at a later time.
Bile acid sequestrants bind to the these bile acids and prevent them from being reabsorbed in to the body, lowering your overall cholesterol levels. Lower cholesterol means a lower risk of heart disease over time.
4. Kale, not Special K, is the world's best source for Vitamin K
Vitamin K is absolutely critical for your body's ability to form blood clots, helping proteins in your body to bind with calcium to stop the bleeding. Kale gives this vital nutrient to you in spades - one cup gives 7x the required amount for the day.
5. You're probably not getting enough magnesium, potassium, and other helpful minerals
Kale delivers critical minerals that most Americans are lacking in their current diets. Potassium is helpful in maintaining the electrical balance in your cells and is linked to lower risk of heart disease and lower blood pressure. Getting sufficient magnesium in your diet means reducing your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and lowering your chances of developing heart disease.