The fantastic health benefits of kale

This green leaf offers versatile nutrition benefits and can be prepared with a variety of dishes.

Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables, with beautiful leaves that provide an earthy flavor. To enjoy the maximum nutrition and flavor, kale needs to be cooked properly. It is recommended to cut the leaves into half-inch slices and the stems into quarter-inch lengths and steam for five minutes. While kale has not been as well researched as other vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage, it has exceptional health benefits. Kale’s nutrient richness stands out in antioxidant nutrients, anti-inflammatory nutrients and anti-cancer nutrients. Kale is an excellent source for vitamin K, which is a key ingredient in controlling inflammation. Kale also provides a valuable support for lowering cholesterol. The high fiber content of kale includes seven grams of fiber per 100 calories, which is a great support for the digestive system.

Michigan State University Extension recommends selecting kale with firm, deep colored leaves and moist hardy stems. Kale should be displayed in a cool environment since warm temperatures will cause it to wilt. The leaves should look fresh and not be wilted, with no signs of browning, yellow or small holes. The smaller sized leaves will be tenderer and have a milder flavor. Store kale in plastic storage bags with much of the air removed as possible. It can be stored in the refrigerator without washing for about five days. The exposure to water encourages faster spoilage.

Here are a few quick serving ideas for kale:

  • Combine chopped kale, pine nuts and feta cheese with whole grain pasta drizzled with olive oil.
  • Blend kale into smoothie drinks by adding a half-cup chopped kale and one cup of your favorite dairy product.

Consider kale as a vegetable to be included in your daily vegetable intake.

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