6 Superfood Benefits of Kale & Kale JuicePublished Date::
An easy, effective way to make your diet healthier is to incorporate more superfoods into an already balanced diet. ‘Superfoods’ is a term that tends to get thrown around a lot, so what exactly are they? And does kale count as a superfood?
Superfoods are a group of foods (often plant-based foods) that are nutritionally dense and high in cancer-fighting antioxidants. Although there are no pre-defined criteria determining which foods can be named ‘superfoods,’ kale seems to fall into the superfood group due to its high level of vitamins, fibre and antioxidants.
In this article, we’ll present and explain all the superfood benefits of kale, so you’ll want to include more of this important green veg into your diet!
If kale isn’t really your thing, we’ve got you covered. We’ll give you some tips on how to prepare kale in delicious (and subtle!) ways so you’ll hardly know it’s there. There are also some tasty and nutritious cold-pressed juices right here at Little West just bursting with kale juice nutrition.
We’re sure that after reading all of our kale juice benefits, you’ll be ready to consume this nutrient-rich vegetable every day. And here they are:
Kale Is One Of The Most Nutrient-Dense Vegetables On The Planet
Kale seems to be the king of being the most vitamin and mineral-rich vegetable out of the leafy greens. It’s especially rich in vitamin C, containing around 4.5 times more vitamin C than spinach! Vitamin C is important for maintaining a healthy immune system and preventing certain diseases.
It’s very high in vitamin K, a crucial vitamin for blood clotting by activating proteins which bind to calcium. Just one cup of kale contains 7 times the daily recommended amount of vitamin K!
Not only is the vegetable high in vitamins, but it’s also an important source of minerals in which many people are deficient. You can find plant-based sources of calcium in kale, which is super important for bone health, as well as magnesium and potassium which may help prevent cardiovascular disease.
It’s even low in a mineral called oxalate, often high in leafy greens, which can prevent the absorption of minerals into the body. It’s got all the nutritious benefits of leafy greens without the oxalates - it already seems like the perfect vegetable!
Kale Is Bursting With Antioxidants
Superfoods, as we mentioned before, are often foods that are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds that help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals could cause oxidative stress in the body, potentially leading to the development of other illnesses.
A diet rich in antioxidants can help keep blood antioxidant levels high, protecting against oxidative stress. That’s why we love a kale diet! Well, we love a balanced diet that is rich in kale, because it is super high in antioxidants.
Kale is especially high in flavonoids quercetin and kaempferol, which can promote significant antioxidant health benefits in the body. Flavonoids have been linked to having anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as helping to prevent heart disease.
Kale Could Reduce The Risk Of Heart Disease
Take care of your heart by eating more kale! As we’ve just mentioned, kale is packed with antioxidant properties which offer an array of health benefits, one of which could be preventing heart disease.
Another way that kale could reduce the risk of this illness is by reducing cholesterol levels in the blood. This is because kale contains substances called bile acid sequestrants, which can lower cholesterol levels in the body. Over time, this can lower the risk of heart disease.
One study found that drinking kale juice every day for 12 weeks increased the ‘good’ type of cholesterol by 27% and lowered LDL cholesterol (the ‘bad type of cholesterol) by 10%. It turns out kale juice nutrition is pretty far-reaching.
Kale Is Packed With Cancer-Fighting Properties
One of the best benefits of kale (and other cruciferous vegetables!) is that it has cancer-fighting properties. As well as being high in antioxidants, kale contains other compounds which have been shown to potentially prevent and fight cancer.
Kale is loaded with a compound called sulforaphane. Numerous studies have suggested that sulforaphane can be used to fight cancer at a molecular level. It is also high in a substance called indole-3-carbinol, which research has suggested could help prevent cancer.
And if kale couldn’t seem like more of a cancer-fighting superfood, it’s also a good source of dietary fibre, which a 2015 study found could help reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. We can’t keep up with all these incredible properties!
Kale Can Promote Good Eye Health
It’s time to open your eyes to all the incredible benefits of kale! Kale is rich in vitamin C, zinc and beta-carotene - all of which have been said to improve eye health, especially while sight and eye health can decline while aging.
Kale is also high in lutein and zeaxanthin, which are two antioxidants that research has shown are effective in lowering the risk of common eye disorders such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
Kale Can Help Maintain A Happy Digestive System
The last but certainly not the least of our kale benefits is that this dark leafy green could help you to maintain a healthy digestive system. The fibrous vegetable is great for aiding digestion and the body’s detoxification process. Kale also contains a unique sugar called sulfoquinovose, which increases good bacteria in your gut.
However, raw kale can be a bit harsh on your digestive system, possibly causing bloating and abdominal issues if consumed too much. Make sure you’re kind to your body by cooking the kale and not consuming raw kale every single day. There are some great tips on the best ways to incorporate kale into your diet below!
Top Tips On How To Consume More Kale
You’ve heard about all the wonderful benefits of kale, so we’re guessing that you’re dying to know how to incorporate more of it into your diet. Follow these top tips for simple ways to enrich your diet with this nutrient-dense veg:
- Crispy Kale Chips: A delicious, simple way to make kale taste super tasty is to make crispy kale chips. All you do is remove the stalks from the leaves, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper - and pop them into the oven. It couldn’t be more simple!
- Stir Fry: Want an easy, quick and healthy dinner? Make a stir fry full of kale and other wholesome veggies like bell peppers, carrots and broccoli. You get the goodness of kale just by frying it in a pan!
- Salads: Make balanced, nutritious salads by using a wide range of ingredients. Use a carb like pasta or giant couscous as a base, along with raw and cooked veg for a variety of textures and flavors. Use either raw or cooked kale depending on your preference.
- Steam it: Whatever you’re putting your kale in, try steaming it. According to a study, steaming kale could increase the vegetable’s potential to lower cholesterol! Having said that, if you’re boiling, stir-frying or steaming kale, be careful not to cook it for too long, as it could result in the kale losing its nutrients.
- Juice it: If you’re not super keen on the taste or texture of kale, juicing the vegetable is a great way to disguise it while still getting all of its goodness! Little West has three great juices containing kale and other healthy fruit and veg - read on to learn more about kale juice benefits and to find the perfect cold-pressed juice for you.
Little West Juices with Kale!
This cold-pressed juice from Little West contains an exciting medley of greens including kale, cucumber, pear, cilantro and lime. Each ingredient is fresh, locally sourced and cold-pressed so you can get the most nutrients out of every bottle!
Purge your body of all things unnecessary by supporting your natural detoxification process with the Detox Greens juice. Along with kale, this juice is packed with celery, parsley, lemon and spirulina for an energizing and cleansing drink.
Bring a taste of the tropics to your taste buds with the Gold’n Greens cold-pressed juice. With a delicious blend of kale, pineapple, fuji apple, mint and turmeric, this juice does more than just taste good. It’s super nutritious and has anti-inflammatory benefits!
To Sum Up:
We honestly can’t think of a more healthy, beneficial vegetable for the body than kale. With a long list of health benefits, as well as being a super versatile vegetable to consume, kale is our number one!
And we think it should be your number one too. Even if the taste isn’t for you, try out a Little West cold-pressed juice with kale to make sure you’re getting your kale intake. Your body (and taste buds!) will thank you.