If you love your greens, your greens of choice should be kale, which tops the list of healthy vegetables for several reasons.
Like other dark, leafy vegetables, kale is low in calories and high in vitamin C, so you can enjoy it with any meal and eat as much as you want. Read on to see why kale has a lot of other vegetables beat.
Kale is rich in vitamins C and K, lutein, beta carotene, and calcium. It is also a good source of dietary fiber and contains other vitamins (A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, and E), iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.
Kale’s Strong Points
#1 in Antioxidants (Anti-Cancer and an Immunity Booster)
Kale holds the record, so to speak, as the vegetable with the most antioxidants. Antioxidants are responsible for blocking free radicals, which are renegade cells that could potentially become cancerous. Kale contains glucosinolates, which are strong defenders against cancer. The large amount of vitamin C in kale also helps in this process.
Kale is effective against breast, colon, stomach, lung, colon and rectal cancers. Vitamin C is known to strengthen the immune system as well, so that your body can better fight off infections and disease. Kale also contains sulforaphane, which also helps to fight cancer, and indole-3-carbinol, which aids in cell repair and stops cancer cell growth.
#1 in Lutein (Vision Protection)
Kale reportedly also has more lutein than any other food. Lutein is a carotenoid that protects your eyesight. Eyesight naturally deteriorates as we age, and this can be especially difficult for those who already wear glasses and contacts. To maintain the level of vision you have, one thing you can do is to include foods with lots of beta carotene and other carotenoids in your diet, since carotenoids are antioxidants whose main function is to protect and maintain your vision.
#1 in Vitamin K and Absorbable Calcium (Bone Protection)
Kale provides probably the strongest amount of protection for your bones than any other vegetable, and kale provides the calcium you need without having to get it from dairy products. Those who may be lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy products will appreciate that fact.
The calcium in kale is also easily absorbed, unlike with other vegetables. The vitamin K content in kale also helps to keep bones strong and prevent fractures, providing almost four times the recommended daily amount in one ounce of kale.
Kale is best eaten raw to retain most of its nutrients, but cooking kale does not destroy all of its nutritional value. Use the curly vegetable as a garnish, for decoration, or as a delicious and nutritious addition to your next meal.