The Powerful Punch That's Packed Within Kale

 

There is so much talk lately surrounding the superfood kale. This dark, bitter, leafy green vegetable has taken the nutrition world by storm to the point where t-shirts and other articles of clothing are being made in support of this vegetable. It has become so trendy to eat kale and people all over the world flock to farmer’s markets and other produce sources to purchase this vegetable, and it is working its way into the diets of nutritionally-conscious individuals worldwide.

Kale is in the same family of vegetables as cabbage, broccoli, collard greens, and other dark leafy green vegetable. These vegetables all contain some of the highest nutrient contents out of any produce available in the market, but kale tops them all. So what about kale makes the vegetable so powerful and why has the vegetable become so popular?

We can start by looking at the nutrient content of kale. Below is a list of nutrients and their associated percentages of the recommended daily value from highest to lowest:

  • Vitamin K: 684%
  • Vitamin A: 206%
  • Vitamin C: 134%
  • Manganese: 26%
  • Copper: 10%
  • Vitamin B6: 9%.
  • Calcium: 9%
  • Potassium: 9%
  • Magnesium: 6%

These values are based on one cup of kale, which equates to 67 grams.

A common misconception about kale is that it is extremely high in Vitamin A. While it does have high levels of Vitamin A, there are other vegetables that have equally high if not higher levels of Vitamin A. However, kale does have extremely high levels of beta carotene. This antioxidant is closely related to Vitamin A in terms of its chemical structure. This means that it can be converted into Vitamin A if there are high enough levels of this vitamin present in the body.

We also need to pay attention to the minerals in kale. Calcium, which helps the bones, and magnesium, which improves cardiovascular health and protects the body from diabetes, are two of the main minerals that kale features. There is also a ton of potassium which improves functioning of the nervous system and prevents musculoskeletal injuries.

So as it turn out, kale can definitely back up the claims that are made about this vegetable. The answer to the question of whether or not kale lives up to the hype is a definite yes. No you don't have to eat a strictly-kale diet, but start working it into your meal planning a few times a week for that superfood power.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of cédric Icower

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