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The Health Benefits and Nutrients of Kale

Why is kale so important to add to your healthy diet?

This fresh and organic bundle of kale was purchased from, "Earth Fare" located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. 

Kale has grown to be one of my absolute favorite things to add to my daily routine. First, let me explain where kale comes from! Kale comes from the "Brassica Oleracea" family, otherwise known as the cabbage family. The leaves can be green or purple in color and have either a smooth or curly shape. The most common type of kale is called Curly kale or Scots kale, which has green and curly leaves and a hard, fibrous stem.

Kale is an anti-inflammatory full of omega-6, and omega-3 balance. It contains rich antioxidants compiled of vitamin C and beta-carotene which are two of the top three antioxidants in the world. A cup of raw kale even contains more Vitamin C than a whole orange! Kale contains more iron than beef, more calcium than milk, and 10x more Vitamin C than spinach. It positively affects the eyes, bones, and skin, while reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer. It also helps with weight loss, reduces painful menstrual cramps, and the lowering of cholesterol. For those who are pregnant or have already had children, kale is super beneficial to the brain development in infants. Kale is a natural source of folate which can help prevent several birth defects and promote healthy infant brain development.

The dark green hue in kale comes from the lutein and zeaxanthin, which helps prevent macular degeneration and cataracts. I use kale for; detoxification, an extra intake of Vitamin K, Calcium, Vitamin A, potassium, and antioxidants. Cancer is a terrible disease, characterized by uncontrolled growth of cells, but kale is actually loaded with compounds that are believed to have protective effects against cancer! This includes sulforaphane, a substance that has been shown to help fight the formation of cancer at the molecular level.

Kale, believe it or not, is in season pretty much year round! The thing about kale is you either love it or hate it. I'm obviously one who loves it, taste and all! Down below I've placed some of my most used and favorite recipes that I have discovered in order. If you want to change your body for the better; pills, starving yourself, and straining your body is never the answer. I have tried those things in my past and I only became unhealthy and sick. Regulating your intake of food and changing your diet to healthier eating while finding a daily workout routine, no matter how big or small, is the best way to go when wanting a healthier lifestyle. I do most of my shopping for health foods at Abundant Living and Earth Fare, and my go to workout routines are yoga and pilates. Thank you for reading my post on kale! If you haven't tried kale, give it a chance! You just might discover a new cruciferous vegetable to add to your meals and smoothies!

A few of my favorite recipes I most commonly use:

Simple Kale Salad

Kale with freshly squeezed lemon juice and a few pinches of Himalayan salt.

Slow Cooker Chicken, Kale, and Sweet Potato Soup

  • 2 LG. Sweet potatoes peeled and chopped.
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs
  • 2 32oz. of low sodium chicken stock
  • 2-3 teaspoons of Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning
  • Extra virgin olive oil to serve

Cold Fighter Smoothie

  • 1 cup of chopped strawberries
  • 1 orange
  • 2-3 large kale leaves with stems removed
  • 1/2 cup of almond milk
  • 1 tbsp of raw honey
  • 1 handful of ice

Kale, Apple and Banana Smoothie

  • 1/2 large chopped apple
  • A few large leaves of kale, ribs and stems removed
  • 1/2 cup of orange juice
  • 1 handful of ice
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