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Kale

Background

Kale is a well-loved bouquet of greens because it’s affordable, tastes great and is packed with high quality nutrients – what more can you ask of a vegetable? Kale, a descendent of the wild cabbage, is an easy to grow vegetable that is actually quite hardy as it thrives in cooler climates, and as a matter of fact, tastes sweeter with a little frost. Kale can satisfy all taste, texture, and appearance preferences thanks to its different varieties – curly, ornamental or dinosaur!

 

Benefits

  • Calcium: Calcium rich foods do not only come from milk products, they are found in some meats, meat alternatives and vegetables, like kale. The benefits of calcium include building strong bones and teeth, osteoporosis prevention and it also helps with muscle contraction.
  • Phytochemicals: the phytochemical glucosinolate is found in many cruciferous vegetables, and kale has an impressively large amount- double the polyphenolic content of cauliflower, broccoli and brussels sprouts! Research shows that glucosinolate can reduce the risk of cancer when consumed regularly.
  • Vitamin A: Kale is a wonderful source of vitamin A, which promotes a strong defense system (skin, stomach, intestines, and respiratory tracts) and a healthy reproductive system. Vitamin A also contributes to healthy eyes and supports normal growth and development.
  • Vitamin K: Vitamin K is important for synthesizing proteins for your bones, blood and kidneys. In particular, vitamin K makes blood clotting proteins which help make bleeding stop if you cut yourself.
  • Vitamin C: This vitamin plays many roles in the body – it helps our body absorb iron from plant sources, keeps our immune system healthy and maintains our gums, bones, and muscles. As well, vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects our body from damaging free radicals. Since it is water soluble, it destroys free radicals in a lot of different areas of our bodies.

 

1 cup of raw kale provides:

  • Only 33 calories
  • 7 g carbohydrate
  • 5 grams of dietary fibre
  • 2 g protein
  • 0 g fat

 

Did you know

Studies have shown that in terms of cooking kale, steaming it improves the cholesterol lowering ability of fibre. When you are preparing kale, be sure to wash it thoroughly as the ruffled leaves are an excellent hiding place for dirt.

 

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