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Benefits of Kale
41. Kale is Very High in Beta Carotene
Kale is often claimed to be high in vitamin A, but this is false. It is actually high in beta carotene, an antioxidant that the body can turn into vitamin A. For this reason, kale can be an effective way to increase your bodys levels of this very important vitamin.
42. Kale is a Good Source of Minerals
Kale is high in minerals, some of which many people are deficient in. It is a good, plant based source of calcium, a nutrient that is very important for bone health and plays a role in all sorts of cellular functions.It is also a decent source of magnesium, an incredibly important mineral that most people dont get enough of. Eating plenty of magnesium may be protective against type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Kale also contains quite a bit of potassium, a mineral that helps maintain electrical gradients in the bodys cells. Adequate potassium intake has been linked to reduced blood pressure and a lower risk of heart disease.
43. Kale is High in Lutein and Zeaxanthin Powerful Nutrients That Protect the Eyes
One of the most common consequences of ageing is that eyesight gets worse. Fortunately, there are several nutrients in the diet that can help prevent this from happening. Two of the main ones are lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoid antioxidants that are found in large amounts in kale and some other foods.
44. Whats New and Beneficial About Kale
Kale can provide you with some special cholesterol lowering benefits if you will cook it by steaming. The fiber related components in kale do a better job of binding together with bile acids in your digestive tract when theyve been steamed. When this binding process takes place, its easier for bile acids to be excreted, and the result is a lowering of your cholesterol levels. Raw kale still has cholesterol lowering abilityandjust not as much.
45. Kales risk lowering benefits
Kales risk lowering benefits for cancer have recently been extended to at least five different types of cancer. These types include cancer of the bladder, breast, colon, ovary, and prostate. Isothiocyanates (ITCs) made from glucosinolates in kale play a primary role in achieving these risk lowering benefits. Kale is now recognized as providing comprehensive support for the bodys detoxification system. New research has shown that the ITCs made from kales glucosinolates can help regulate detox at a genetic level.
46. WHFoods Recommendations
Youll want to include kale as one of the cruciferous vegetables you eat on a regular basis if you want to receive the fantastic health benefits provided by the cruciferous vegetable family. At a minimum, include cruciferous vegetables as part of your diet 2 3 times per week, and make the serving size at least 1 1/2 cups. Even better from a health standpoint, enjoy kale and other vegetables from the cruciferous vegetable group 4 5 times per week, and increase your serving size to 2 cups. Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables around and one way to be sure to enjoy the maximum nutrition and flavor from kale is to cook it properly. We recommend Healthy Steaming kale for 5 minutes. To ensure quick and even cooking cut the leaves into 1/2 slices and the stems into 1/4 lengths. Let them sit for at least 5 minutes to enhance their health promoting qualities before steaming.
47. Health Benefits
While not as well researched as some of its fellow cruciferous vegetables like broccoli or cabbage, kale is a food that you can count on for some unsurpassed health benefits, if for no other reason than its exceptional nutrient richness. In our own website food rating system, kale scored 4 excellents, 6 very goods, and 10 goodsandfor a total of 20 standout categories of nutrient richness! That achievement is difficult for most foods to match.
48. Antioxidant Related Health Benefits
kale has been studied more extensively in relationship to cancer than any other health condition. This research focus makes perfect sense. Kales nutrient richness stands out in three particular areas: (1) antioxidant nutrients, (2) anti inflammatory nutrients, and (3) anti cancer nutrients in the form of glucosinolates. Without sufficient intake of antioxidants, our oxygen metabolism can become compromised, and we can experience a metabolic problem called oxidative stress. Without sufficient intake of anti inflammatory nutrients, regulation of our inflammatory system can become compromised, and we can experience the problem of chronic inflammation. Oxidative stress and chronic inflammationandand the combination of these metabolic problemsandare risk factors for development of cancer. Weve seen research studies on 5 specific types of cancerandincluding bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, ovarian cancer, and prostate cancerandand intake of cruciferous vegetables (specifically including kale). As a group, these studies definitely show cancer preventive benefits from kale intake, and in some cases, treatment benefits as well.
49. Glucosinolates and Cancer Preventive Benefits
kale is ample evidence that its glucosinolates provide cancer preventive benefits. Kale is a top food source for at least four glucosinolates, and once kale is eaten and digested, these glucosinolates can be converted by the body into cancer preventive compounds. Kales glucosinolates and the ITCs made from them have well documented cancer preventive properties, and in some cases, cancer treatment properties as well. At the top of the cancer related research for kale are colon cancer and breast cancer, but risk of bladder cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer have all been found to decrease in relationship to routine intake of kale. The chart below presents a summary of the unusual glucosinlate phytonutrients found in kale, and the anti cancer ITCs made from them inside the body
50. Cardiovascular Support
You can count on kale to provide valuable cardiovascular support in terms of its cholesterol lowering ability. Researchers now understand exactly how this support process works. Our liver uses cholesterol as a basic building block to product bile acids. Bile acids are specialized molecules that aid in the digestion and absorption of fat through a process called emulsification. These molecules are typically stored in fluid form in our gall bladder, and when we eat a fat containing meal, they get released into the intestine where they help ready the fat for interaction with enzymes and eventual absorption up into the body. When we eat kale, fiber related nutrients in this cruciferous vegetable bind together with some of the bile acids in the intestine in such a way that they simply stay inside the intestine and pass out of our body in a bowel movement, rather than getting absorbed along with the fat they have emulsified. When this happens, our liver needs to replace the lost bile acids by drawing upon our existing supply of cholesterol, and, as a result, our cholesterol level drops down.
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