Food of the Week: Kale
Often labelled a supergreen, kale makes spinach look like a Maccy D’s… 🙂 Be it green, purple or curly, kale is one of the most nutritiously dense foods on the planet.
Technically a cruciferous veg, kale is loaded with vitamins and minerals. Super rich in vitamin C, one of the number sources in fact… smashing oranges and spinach 🙂 .
Also mega rich in Vitamin K (bone health and blood clotting), and beta-carotene (which forms Vitamin A in our bodies and helps keep eyes, skin and nails healthy) vitamin B6, as well as minerals such as magnesium, copper, potassium, manganese and phosphorus. The calcium and iron in kale is much more readily absorbed than in other vegetables (such as spinach) making it a must-have for vegetarians and vegans.
High in fibre makes kale a great warrior against diabetes. Although very low in fat, the little fat it does contain is mega high in omega – 3. Because it contains the antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid, kale has been shown to reduce oxidative stress in cells, and most awesomely to lower glucose levels and increase insulin sensitivity 🙂 . Amazing factors for heart health, weight loss and weight management.
Amongst other antioxidants found in kale are quercetin and kaempferol (try saying those names after a glass of vino…). These gangstas work miracles protecting our hearts, reducing blood pressure as well as being anti-inflammatory and anti-viral as well as showing major anti-depressant and anti-cancer effects in studies.
In fact, kale is high up there as one of the kings of cancer fighting. Also rich in sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol (phew) which inhibit cancer cells even forming.
When food is grilled… to the point of charring, the tastes are amazing, but heterocyclic amines form. Not cool. There are links between these fellas, carcinogens, and cancer forming cells. The chlorophyll in kale does an awesome job of blocking the carcinogenic effect of these cells 🙂 .
There was a lot of science and boggle-tastic words in the lowdown on kale… so if you’re feeling bamboozled, just take this away.
kale = super cancer fighting nutrient dense super food
I know I snuck the word super in there twice, but I think the green fella deserves it 🙂
One thing about kale, is that it can be underused and unappreciated in the kitchen. So please experiment, mix it up, and cram kale into every meal you can 🙂
Dress with a little olive oil, season, and roast in a hot oven for 20-30 mins. Voila kale crisps (or a healthier version of chinese style deep fried seaweed). Experiment with adding chilli flakes, garlic or smoked paprika.
Stir into stews in the last minutes of cooking.
Add to fried garlic and onion, and scramble in eggs.
Add to smoothies with banana, protein powder and berries.
Use as a base in salads.