Searching for a new spin on spinach to incorporate into our diet and increase vitamin and nutrient intake.
According to webmd.com, one cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.
Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K — and sulphur-containing phytonutrients.
Carotenoids and flavonoids are the specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits. Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds.
Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of cruciferous kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw.
Taste or Texture Issues?
No problem! Green leafy veggies are easy to add to the diet even if you don’t like the taste or texture.
A couple ideas:
- Ease into the transition. Add either a 1/4 to 2/3 cup of Kale to your recipes.
- Add Kale to a fruit smoothie. I enjoy the combination of frozen blueberries, kale, celery, carrots, dash of cinnamon, and either a banana or scoop of protein powder. This method removes the taste and texture issues, while maintaining the benefits.
- Try adding Kale to red sauce or enchiladas. Last week I made pulled pork enchiladas for the family and added a small amount of kale to the inside of each enchilada prior to baking.
*If you don’t want to see the green veggie, mix it in a blender with any kind of sauce and no one will know!