The Superfood kale has been cultivated for over 2,000 years. A native to the Mediterranean area, the Brassica oleracea spread to other parts of Europe where it was widely consumed until the Middle Ages. Kale was an extremely important crop in Scotland because of its hardiness to the cooler climate. Kale was used as a generic term for dinner in Scotland and if you looked ill, you were told that you were "off of your kale". Kale remained an important crop until the potato became the top product grown.
Why is Kale a Super food?
Kale is a nutritional powerhouse. Kale should be consumed because of the following reasons:
1. Kale is low in calories (36 per cup), high in fiber (5 grams per serving) and no fat.
2. Kale is rich in iron. Kale has more iron than beef!
3. Kale is high in Vitamin K which can help protect against certain cancers as well as support bone health. Vitamin K is also a natural blood thinner.
4. Kale is full of antioxidants which are anti-aging.
5. Kale is anti-inflammatory. One cup of kale is equal to 10% of your daily requirements of Omega 3s.
6. Eating kale can help support cardiovascular health by helping to lower cholesterol.
7. Kale is high in Vitamin A which is important for eye and skin health.
8. Kale is high in Vitamin C which helps support your immune system and hydration.
9. Kale is high in Calcium. Per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk. Calcium is essential for bone health and to support a healthy metabolism.
10. Kale is a great detoxifying food. The sulfur and fiber in kale help to detoxify your body and support liver health.
As the weather gets warm, kale is a great addition to your summer salads. Break up some baby kale and add some balsamic vinegar and allow to marinate for a time in the refrigerator. Take kale chips instead of potato chips to your picnics. Toss some kale with peppers and onions and make a quick stir fry for those busy summer dinners.
Kale is no longer that garnish on your plate but a nutritional super star to help support a healthy lifestyle.