The superfood movement is afoot. These ultimate nutrient sources are turning into dietary fixtures for people across the country. And why wouldn’t they be? Foods falling into this elite category of wellness benefit can substantially bolster immune function, weight loss and long-term health. Within the universe of superfoods, kale is a star that shines brighter than most. This green leafy vegetable offers a vast array of perks. But what specifically are the kale health benefits? And also, what are the best ways to get this item into your regular rotation?
All About Kale
Kale is a member of the cabbage family. Its first appearances in historical texts date back to the Middle Ages, when it was one of Europe’s most common green leafy vegetables. Over time, the plant migrated to Canada and United States, brought over by Russian traders.
Some forms of kale are indigestible but the edible types are now quite popular. The vegetable doesn’t have a taste that many would describe as appetizing. However, its flavor isn’t particularly strong so one can easily include it in salads or side dishes without being too noticeable. There are some culinary methods for preparing the veggie that can make it quite enjoyable. We’ll discuss some of those later. Firstly, let’s go over the kale health benefits and why this superfood is indispensable in your diet.
Kale Health Benefits
While people have been eating kale for centuries, its emergence as one of nature’s nutritional powerhouse is somewhat recent. While containing only 49 calories in a 100-gram serving, kale features loads of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Among them are Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, manganese, folate, riboflavin, thiamin and more. You will have a hard time finding any single food source that offers such a broad range of essential nutrients.
Meanwhile, another of the primary kale health benefit is its standing as a terrific antioxidant source. These substances are vital for balancing out free radicals and reducing risk for cancer or chronic disease. The more research that sprouts up surrounding it, the more kale solidifies its standing as an prime superfood.
Best Kale Recipes
If you don’t mind the taste, kale salads are simple and straightforward enough. Toss it into a bowl with a few other veggies and some dressing, then have at it. If you are one who doesn’t particularly enjoy its flavor, you can spice it up. Many people love caramelizing kale to give it a sweet and crispy character. You can boil it too, although it’s worth noting that this diminishes its nutrient output somewhat.
My favorite way to consume kale is in smoothies. You can take big handfuls and stick them into the blender alongside a bunch of fruits and seeds, and you’ll barely notice it’s there. One kale smoothie recipe I liked involves mixing it with peach juice, bananas and apple slices. Toss in some pumpkins seeds or flax to further boost the kale health benefits. These are really great because they take only a few minutes to create, and you can conveniently take them with you on the go.
Whatever your method, make sure you are tapping into the deep kale benefits to keep your body operating its peak.