While kale may feel like just the latest craze, it’s actually been around for a long time. Did you know, for example, that Napolean’s infantry often dined on the inexpensive and healthy greens during their long marches? While some of the more superlative claims about kale may be a bit exaggerated, kale is undeniability healthy for you. From salad to sandwiches and even smoothies, kale should be part of your usual menu. Here’s why:
It’s one of the dark greens
Admit it, the dark greens group sounds kind of cool. And that’s as close to “cool” as broccoli is ever likely to get. Other members of the dark green veggie group include collard greens, arugula, spinach, romaine lettuce and Swiss chard. Olumia Life recommends a full serving of vegetables or fruit with every meal, so having a wide range to choose from keeps plenty of variety in your diet. Knowing your dark greens will provide you with an easy source of lots of important vitamins and minerals, as well as help turn you into the creator of some top-notch salads.
Kale is loaded with vitamins A and C
It’s just packed! Take a quick gander at the nutrition facts of kale and you’ll find that a single cup of chopped kale will net you 133% of your daily vitamin A and 134% of your vitamin C. Everyone has obviously been educated on the fact that vitamins=good, but it’s worth going over exactly why these in particular are so important. While your body can actually produce its own vitamin D when your skin is exposed to sunlight, you need outside sources to get vitamins A and C.
Vitamin A helps:
Vitamin C helps:
Kale has lots more nutrients as well
While A and C may be the heavy hitters in kale’s nutrition facts, it’s also a good source (meaning it has at least 20% of your daily value) of folate, manganese and vitamin B6. These nutrients are particularly helpful in terms of DNA repair, bone health, and immune system health, respectively. Smaller amounts of many other nutrients can also be found in kale, including iron, calcium and potassium. Since getting your vitamins from a natural source is always preferable, kale can accomplish a lot of work in just a few bites. So much so that it’s an important part of eating a healthy, vegetarian diet.
It works well in lots of different foods
Kale has a particular taste to it, but it’s one that goes well with lots of other foods. Salad options are almost limitless, especially when you factor in using other dark greens. While boiling kale will cause it to lose most of its nutrients, you can still give it a quick sautee if you like. Since raw kale is healthiest, try it on sandwiches, as a simple side to an entree, or you can even look up a recipe for a kale smoothie to make at home. Surprise yourself with some new, tasty ways of enjoying a particularly healthy food.
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