Ever seen that green leafy thing lining the dishes at buffets? Maybe you didn’t know it was edible, but it is. The famous ‘decorative’ green is kale, and it’s known as a royal vegetable, often called the king or queen of greens. As this vegetable is rich in vital nutrients, it is refereed to as sukuma wiki in Eastern Africa, (where it’s a staple food) – literally meaning to ‘stretch the week.’ Since kale is so nutritious and packed with every thing one would need to survive, it is also called a superfood.
With colors ranging from light green to darker purples, kale offers a variety of nutrient rich manifestations to fill your belly and satisfy your senses. High in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, calcium, beta-carotene and lutein, kale can offer benefits to eye, skin and the immune system. Possessing the somewhat rare chemical compound indole-3-carbinol, known for boosting DNA cell repair and blocking the growth of cancer cells, along with it’s rich source of Vitamin K, kale becomes an important role in cancer prevention. Kale also helps lower ‘bad’ cholesterol and reduce the amount of dietary fat being absorbed.
Don’t forget the iron! Being a dark leafy green clues you into this beautiful vegetables rich iron stores, important to keep the blood healthy and prevent anemic conditions. How about this for a tidbit – per calorie, kale is higher in iron than beef. There you go. For proper liver health, cell growth and hemoglobin production, look no further than the produce isle for a potent ingredient important in everyone’s diet.
Kale is also full of omega fatty acids which help with inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, allergies, asthma and autoimmunity. Omega fatty acids also assist in brain functions and promote the proper absorption of calcium into the bones. Kale is a great detoxifier, high in fiber as well, encouraging the body to release unwanted elements and purify the bloodstream. Containing a rich source of natural sulfur, kale supports liver health, joints and the brain as well as multiple other functions in the body.
Great in a salad, stir-fried, in soup, steamed and dehydrated, kale is a versatile vegetable that is a welcome addition to any kitchen. I know a lot of people that love to juice and blend kale as well. In the liquid form, the taste becomes more transparent as it blends well with other ingredients, thus making it easier to eat if you have an aversion to the flavor.
To make a simple, nearly labor-free kale salad, simply de-spine the leaves, massage with olive oil, add lemon juice and salt and sprinkle with your favorite spice or topping (nutritional yeast is my favorite ). For an easy chip alternative, prepare as above and place in the oven on 200 degrees for 8-10 hours and you have a nutritious, raw potato chip replacement that is great on rice, salads or solo!
Kale can be prepared so many different ways and is outstanding for your health and vitality. You can find many recipes on-line by searching ‘kale recipes’, you won’t be sorry you did. Kale is king of greens, so make sure it finds it’s way into your royal body to increased vitality, health and joy.
Written by: Stasia Bliss