CrossFit South Rockland

Wednesday, November 8, 2017


Interesting Facts
Here are some interesting facts about this unique vegetable.

Kale Tops The Nutrient Density Scale

One cup of raw kale has just 33 calories, yet contains 684% of vitamin K, 206% of vitamin A, 134% of vitamin C, plus omega-3s, iron, magnesium, calcium, folate, fiber, iron, and 2 grams of protein.

Kale Is Eaten All Around The World

Kale is an Old World food and eaten across the globe; it’s a staple in Scotland, Denmark, Italy, Kenya, Portugal, and many other countries.
Health Benefits of Kale

Kale is being called “the new beef,” “the queen of greens,” and “a nutritional powerhouse.”

It is definitely one of the healthiest and most nutritious plant foods in existence.

It is loaded with all kinds of beneficial compounds, some of which are very powerful in medicinal terms.

Here are some health benefits.

Kale is Great for Depression
“Kale has been spreading to unlikely places,” according to the New York Times.

In fact, the Cheesecake Factory has added it to its menu, but why are celebrities and restaurants so crazy about it?

A psychiatrist at Columbia University is an advocate for kale and explains why many people like it: “. . . the nutrients in kale help make us feel optimistic and ward off depression” (3).

Another source says, “Unlike, say, Prozac, veggies’ side effects are positive—for example, eating them improves life for the millions of beneficial microorganisms that live in our guts and keep us healthy” (4).

Yet, why does kale help with mood? Actually, one reason is because of its phytonutrients molecules.

They produce carotenoid, and Harvard University recently linked carotenoids to an uplifted mood.

The plant is also packed with omega-3 acids, which can be very helpful for fighting the symptoms of depression.

The combination of protein, iron, folate, and vitamin B6, all found in kale, can create more serotonin and dopamine.

These two chemicals interact in the brain and can also help elevate mood.

One source claims that kale, along with other therapies, actually helped her become stable.

You might want to try eating some kale the next time you feel depressed.
Diabetes and Kale

Diabetes develops when the body cannot produce enough insulin, and the glucose level skyrockets.

Glucose found in food is converted into energy. Without it, our bodies will not stay healthy (7).

25.8 million Americans have diabetes—8.3% of the U.S. population.

Some research supports that kale can be beneficial for those with diabetes.

Reader’s Digest named kale one of the 9 healthiest foods for diabetes.

The article makes the connection between sulforaphane, a compound found in kale, and the anti-inflammatory acid, which controls blood sugar and helps cardiovascular injuries (8).

Kale can be helpful for diabetes in other ways.

It contains, fiber, vitamins C and K, vitamin A, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, manganese, all of which help turn protein into sugar (9).

Kale and Vitamin C
Do you have fatigue, muscle aches, or even bleeding gums?

These are just a few of the things that could affect your body if you do not have the proper amount of vitamin C (10).

Vitamin C is known as an ascorbic acid. It is a strong antioxidant that helps with the common cold and also helps the body form.

How are kale and vitamin C connected?

Not only does kale contain vitamin C, it also provides more of it than oranges (11).

134% of your daily recommended vitamin C dosage is present in a cup of kale, while an average orange contains only 113%.

Also consider that a regular-sized orange weighs 131 g, while a cup of kale only weighs 67 g.

Gram for gram, kale has more than twice the vitamin C found in an orange (11).
The Nutrients in Kale

Kale is very rich in nutrients and it contains the following:
Vitamin A: 206% of the RDA (from beta-carotene). Vitamin A provides some wonderful health benefits. It can, for example, help your liver be healthy.
Vitamin B6: 9% of the RDA. This vitamin is essential for healthy brain development and hormones, such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and melatonin to help maintain your body’s natural clock.
Vitamin K: 684% of the RDA. This vitamin is key in providing health benefits, such as strong bones and helping to prevent heart disease.
Manganese: 26% of the RDA. Manganese helps in many ways. For example, it fights against blood clotting and even regulates sex hormones.
Calcium: 9% of the RDA. This vitamin helps your body stay healthy. As with several other vitamins, it helps blood to clot. Ninety-nine percent of calcium in the body are in bones and teeth, which helps them stay strong.
Copper: 10% of the RDA. Copper can help your immune system and bones. It also helps the body make more blood cells.
Potassium: 9% of the RDA. Potassium helps with some important functions. For example, it helps with normal body balance in your body cells and regulates body fluid. It is also an electrolyte.
Magnesium: 6% of the RDA. This mineral stimulates 300 enzyme reactions and helps with thousands of biochemical reactions. It is also important for nutrient metabolism, muscle contractions, and many other factors, such as the creation of energy.

All these vitamins are important for your body.

How does Kale Fight Cancer

Kale is a large source of the organosulfur compound.

These compounds are a great natural way to prevent different forms of cancer.

Organosulfur is broken down into isothiocyanates, which help break down cancer cells.

It is especially valuable in fighting colon cancer, the nastiest form of cancer (13).

Kale helps reduce the risk of lung cancer by 39%.

In addition, it helps provide a healthy immune system, which can be very beneficial in the fight against cancer (13).

Kale Fights Heart Disease

Kale is saturated with potassium, and vitamins C and B6.

The latter helps create great heart health.

Mark Houston, MD, MS from Vanderbilt Medical School found that individuals who took 4,069 mg of potassium a day had a 49% decrease in ischemic heart disease when compared with those who consumed less (17).

Potassium also helps prevent stroke.

Twenty percent of those who consume high amounts of potassium live longer.

Kale has 349 mg of potassium in just one cup (17).

Kale is Packed with Antioxidants
Kale, like other leafy green vegetables, is very rich in antioxidants, including vitamin C, beta-carotene, as well as various flavonoids and polyphenols (23).

Simply put, antioxidants counteract oxidative damage by free radicals in the body (24).

Oxidative damage is thought to be among the leading causes of aging and many other diseases, including cancer (25), but many substances that are antioxidants also have other important functions.

Some of these important antioxidants are the flavonoids quercetin and kaempferol, which are found in relatively large amounts in kale (26).

These substances have been studied intensely and have powerful anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anticancer, antidepressant, cardioprotective, and blood pressure lowering effects (27, 28, 29).

Kale is Rich in Vitamin K
Vitamin K is an important nutrient for many health issues (30).

It is a natural blood thickener, regulates blood sugar levels, prevents calcification of the arteries, and may have antioxidant benefits.

By consuming kale, you get vitamin K1, the type found in leafy green vegetables, and vitamin K2, which is found in fermented soy foods and various animal products.

This vitamin reduces the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis (31).

A single cup of raw kale has almost seven times the recommended daily amount.
Kale is Good for Brain Health

Kale has at least 45 different flavonoids, thus being able to reduce the risk of stroke.

It also contains 7% of daily iron needs.

Iron helps in the formation of hemoglobin, the main carrier of oxygen to cells of the body.

It is also critical for brain and muscle health.

Moreover, kale’s omega-3 fatty acids are good for brain health.

According to one study, omega-3 fatty acids are important for performance, brain memory, and behavioral function (37).

Sulforaphane, like kale’s other antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory properties, which may help cognitive function, especially after a brain injury (38).

Kale Lowers Cholesterol

Another benefit of kale is its high fiber content.

Fiber is essential for detoxifying and cleansing the body as well as helping lower cholesterol because it picks up excess cholesterol compounds in your gut and pushes them out in the elimination process.

While it has been known that kale lowers cholesterol levels when raw or cooked, a new study shows that steaming it can offer you the greatest benefit.

The fiber in steamed kale binds better to bile in the digestive tract, resulting in more cholesterol being removed (39).

Kale is Good for Bone Health
Due to its calcium content, kale has been listed as one of the “good-for-your-bones” foods (40).

Inadequate intake of vitamin K has been associated with a higher risk of bone fracture (41).

On the other hand, adequate intake of vitamin K is essential for good health, improves calcium absorption, and reduces urinary excretion of calcium (42).

Calcium helps prevent bone loss as well as maintain a healthy metabolism and alkaline environment in the body.

In fact, one cup of cooked kale has about the same amount of calcium as one cup of cow’s milk (43).

Kale is a powerful food. It is a great way to dress up your health and life and tantalize your taste buds.


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