Health Benefits of Kale
Kale is a green or purple leafy vegetable. Part of Acephala family, these leaves are highly nutritious and are generally used in salads, broths and soups. They are also boiled and served as side dish and used in various sausages. Let us have a look at the various nutritional and health benefits of kale.
Nutritional Benefits of Kale
Kale is a highly nutritious vegetable. It provides around 50 calories for 100 gram of its consumption. Kale contains negligible amount of fats and cholesterol and is fibrous. Vitamins are found in abundance in this leafy vegetable. Vitamin-A, Vitamin-B, Vitamin-K and Vitamin-C is present in it. Minerals like sodium, potassium, iron, calcium and magnesium are found in kale.
Kale is Heart Friendly and Reduces Cholesterol
As discussed above, kale contains negligible amount of fats and zero cholesterol. Moreover, the fats found in kale are heart friendly and can reduce cholesterol level in the body. Kale is high in dietary fibre and thus when consumed can absorb fats. These fats do not get absorbed in the body and are directly flushed out. Phytonutrients like indole-3-carbinol are present in kale which helps in inhibiting the secretion of apoliopoprotein b-100 which is known to transfer cholesterol in the liver. These are bad LDL cholesterol which can get accumulated in the arteries and can cause arteriosclerosis. Quercetin is also found in kale which has anti-inflammatory functions and thus can prevent various heart related diseases.
Health Benefits of Kale – Kale for Eye Care
Kale is a major source of Vitamin-A. It contains zea-xanthin which is a carotenoid and helps in preventing retinal damage and age related macular degeneration. These carotenoids restrict the passage of harmful radiation into the eye. Lutein is another carotenoid present in it which also restricts the UV- radiation and prevents diseases like cataracts.
Kale prevents Cancer
Kales have high anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties. It contains various anti-oxidants that can restrict the metabolism of cancer cells. Sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol is a phytochemical that is found to prevent prostate and colon cancer. Isothiocynates are also present in it which can reduce the risk of breast, colon, ovarian and prostate cancer. Organosulphur compound like glucosinolates are the main reason why kale is so effective against cancer. They display apoptosis properties in certain types of cancers and force the cancer cells to become suicidal.
Health Benefits of Kale – Kale promotes Brain Health
Kale is high in Vitamin-K. They are known to be helpful in reducing neural damage in the brain and protects from Alzheimer’s disease. Manganese is present in kale which helps in the production of fatty acids which are essential to the brain and also protects from oxidative damages.
L-tyrosine is an amino acid which is found in kale. It is helpful in developing dopamine and norepinephrine. These compounds are helpful in enhancing the mood and lifting mental ability respectively. It also contains alpha-linoleic acid which is a kind of fatty acid. These are known to keep brain active and healthy.
Kale regulates Blood Sugar
Kale is a very beneficial food for diabetics. It helps in the regulation of blood sugar level. Its high fibre content helps in slowing the process of food breakage and thus prevents swings in the blood sugar and insulin levels.
Health Benefits of Kale – Kale helps in Reducing Weight
Kale is a fibrous vegetable that can keep a person sated for a long period of time. It contains very few calories and has negligible amount of fats and cholesterol. Moreover this vegetable is highly nutritious and any health conscious or obese person must add this food to their diet.
Other Health Benefits Of Kale
- Calcium is found in abundance in kale. It can be consumed to get stronger teeth. Strengthening of bones and prevention of diseases like osteoporosis can be achieved. It is interesting to know that it contains higher amount of calcium compared to milk.
- Various anti-oxidants and a source of Vitamin-C make it helpful for skin health. Various radical damage related symptoms such as wrinkles, early aging signs, pigmentation can be reduced.
- Kale can help in developing immunity. It contains various vitamins like Vitamin-C which fights viruses and bacteria in the body. Vitamin-B complexes are necessary for substrate metabolism in the body. Various minerals like iron are helpful in developing RBC in the body and potassium which can control blood pressure.