Kale – Not Just For Decoration
By Lisa Metzgar
In my practice I am always telling people to find new things to add to their diets to make it more interesting and get more nutrients into their bodies. One of the foods that I highly recommend is KALE.
Kale is one of those foods that I consider a superfood due to it’s high nutritional and health benefiting qualities. Add kale to your diet at least 3 times a week and you will see the healthy results.
Kale is a cruciferous vegetable that is related to a wild cabbage. Cruciferous vegetables include cauliflower, cabbage, cress, bok choy, broccoli and similar green leaf vegetables. The family takes its alternate name (Cruciferae, New Latin for "cross-bearing") from the shape of their flowers, whose four petalsresemble a cross. This time of year is the best time to find kale as it is a cool weather plant. Kale comes in many varieties and in colors from deep green to purple.
Some of kales nutrients include calcium, B6, magnesium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and high levels of Vitamin K. (If you are taking anti-coagulants you want to avoid kale due to the high levels of Vit. K) Don’t eat kale with other calcium rich foods as it will bind to the calcium in other foods and can create calcium crystals.
Kale has many health benefits.
- It is a great source of fiber and when lightly steamed it binds to bile salts which lowers blood cholesterol.
- It contains high quality flavonoids and carotenoids that have both antioxidant (protecting the body from oxidative stress) and anti-inflammatory properties. Oxidative stress (when our oxygen metabolism is compromised by free radical damage) and inflammation are both risk factors for cancer.
- Glucosinolates help to detoxify the body.
- High sulfur content also helps with detoxification, brain function, healthy skin, hair, and nails
Kale has a rich earthy flavor. Pick bunches that have deeply colored leaves, moist hardy stems, and are not wilted.
Here are a few ideas to get more kale into your diet:
- Make a salad with thinly sliced ribbons of kale
- Kale frittata
- Steamed with lemon
- Lightly braised in olive oil with apples and balsamic vinegar
- Throw into soups
- Dehydrate to make yummy kale chips (my daughter loves these!)
- Add to your smoothies
Food has an amazing ability to give our bodies messages for health or messages for disease. Pick foods that are beneficial to your health. I saw an amazing talk by a doctor who had developed MS. She had been on multiple medications to combat her disease and wasn’t seeing any improvement. Her health was declining quickly and she decided that she would take another approach to her treatment. She started to do research about the brain and what nutrients were beneficial. She discovered that fruits and vegetables were keys to health. After just a month she started to see marked improvement in her health. Her 9 cups of vegetables a day includes kale. Today she is cured of her MS and is enjoying her life…all by adopting a healthy diet!
- Try adding this amazing vegetable to you and your family’s diet !
- Try using a few of these suggestions and you will notice how much better you feel.
You can find more information about getting on a healthy path on my website. www.conceptsinwellness.com
Here’s wishing you a happy and healthy heart!
LisaMetzgar, PhD,she received her BA in Biology from UCSD, is a certified Holistic Health Practitioner, and received her Ph.D. in Holistic Nutrition.
Lisa has taught body mind retreats in San Diego, Seattle, and Australia and currently has a practice in Reno, NV where she does nutrition counseling.Lisa's passion is to educate families about a healthy lifestyle.
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