Friday, January 28, 2011

Superfood Facts: Kale

Kale is a nutritional powerhouse that belongs to the Brassica family, a group of leafy green veggies (including cabbage, collards, and Brussels sprouts) that have gained superfood status due to their health-promoting, cancer-fighting, sulfur-containing phytonutrients. There are several varieties of kale; curly kale, ornamental kale, and dinosaur (aka Tuscan) kale. Each variety differs in size, taste, texture and appearance.

Kale has many incredible health benefits, including:
  • Lowers cancer risk in at least five different types of cancer. These researched include bladder, breast, colon, ovary and prostate. The Isothiocyanates made from glucosinolates in kale play a primary role in achieving these risk lowering benefits.
  • The glucosinolates in kale also support the body’s natural detoxification, all the way down to the genetic level
  • Kale is an excellent source of Omega-3’s. Just 100 calories worth of kale to provides more than 25% of our recommended daily Omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Kale is a phenomenal source of Vitamin K. One cup provides more micrograms of it than any other food on the planet. Vitamin K plays an important role in helping regulate our body’s inflammatory process.
  • Kale has over 45 different flavinoids, which have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. This broad spectrum of antioxidants helps the body prevent cancer, chronic inflammation and oxidative stress.
More info after the jump!

How/When to Buy:
  • Kale is available year round, but most readily available from winter through early spring.
  • The leaves should be fresh, unwilted, and free from small holes and signs of browning or yellowing.
  • Choose kale with smaller leaves, which will be more tender and mild than larger leaves.
  • According to the Environmental Working Group, traditionally grown kale is contains high levels of pesticides and other harmful chemicals. Buy organic if you can.

How to Prepare/Store:
  • Store kale in the refridgerator in a plasic bag, removing as much air as possible. Exposure to air will make the kale wilt and soften.
  • To eat, remove kale leaves from the thick ribs and wash
  • I usually buy a big batch, clean and wash and then store in my OXO Salad Spinner, which keeps the leaves crisp and fresh for a week. Then I can grab whatever I need while I'm cooking.
As you can see, I am in love with kale. I will be posting a bunch of recipes soon!

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At January 29, 2011 at 11:32 AM , Blogger nick said...

Have to say, I'm not a foodie and even I am really enjoying your blog. I'll be adding you to my blog's blogroll. If you ever want to submit a guest post to my site,, here you go - Keep up the good work!


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