Kale – also known as borecole – is a dark green, leafy vegetable that belongs to the Brassica oleracea family. It’s related to other cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Kale also belongs to a special class of food called “Superfoods.” Kale is exceptionally nutrient dense. It’s packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It’s also loaded with fiber.
Health Benefits of Kale
Rich in Vitamins and Minerals
Kale contains fiber and sulfur. Both compounds aids in better digestion and lower cholesterol in the system. They also promote better liver health. This vegetable is also high in vitamin C. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant. It prevents free radical damage and improve bone health. It also boosts the metabolic rate that leads to weight loss.
Strengthen the Immune System
The vitamin C in kale prevent common colds or coughs. The bioactive in kale also strengthens the immune system. Important nutrients found in kale also fight bacterial and viral infections. Because kale has more iron than beef, it’s an excellent source of this mineral for vegans and vegetarians. Iron promotes the production of red blood cells.
Kale is chock-full of omega-3 fatty acids. This valuable nutrient prevents and alleviates arthritis. Together with vitamin C, omega-3 helps ease stiff joints and repair damaged tendons. Kale also prevents various autoimmune diseases and respiratory disorders.
Just like all cruciferous vegetables, kale contains powerful anti-cancer properties. Several studies suggest that a diet rich in kale help cut the risk of colon, prostate, and ovarian cancer. Kale is also full of vitamin K. Vitamin K keeps the bones dense and strong. It also contains folate acid and vitamin B6. Both nutrients promote better cardiovascular health. Kale is high in lutein and zeaxanthin. These compounds prevent macular degeneration. Kale is also high in beta-carotene and other antioxidants that cut the risk of certain cancers.
Making Kale Tea at Home
Kale is no doubt nutritious. But if the idea of eating your greens is off-putting, you can take it as a tea instead. Kale is very versatile. It could be prepared in different ways to improve its taste. To make kale tea, follow this recipe:
2 to 3 pieces of kale leaves
¾ cup water
Tear the kale leaves into small pieces. Place it in a microwavable cup. Add ¾ cup water. Microwave for 3 minutes or more. Stir the mixture and let it cool. Before drinking, stir it again.
Instead of microwaving, you can use boiling water too. Just prepare 2 to 3 torn pieces of kale leaves in a cup. Pour boiling water and let it stand for several minutes. Stir the mixture several times before drinking. You can sweeten the mixture by adding organic honey.
Making Kale Chips at Home
You can also make kale chips. This is a great alternative to unhealthy potato chips. To make your own kale chips, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash several kale leaves and dry them completely.
In a baking pan, lay out the kale leaves. Drizzle olive oil and other seasonings like salt and pepper. You can add cayenne pepper or curry powder too. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the edges turned brown.