One cup of raw kale contains:
- 35 calories
- 1 gram of dietary fiber, and
- 2 grams of protein.
Kale is an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K. It is also a good source of the minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A and C, and phytonutrients such as lutein and beta-carotene that act as powerful antioxidants.
Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of cruciferous kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw. Kale may be steamed, braised or sautéed; cook it as you would cook other greens.
Kale is rich in Vitamin K, which is necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions, including normal blood clotting, antioxidant activity, and bone health. Vitamin K is also found in parsley, spinach, collard greens, and animal products such as cheese.
Anyone taking anticoagulants such as warfarin should avoid kale because the high level of vitamin K may interfere with the drugs. Consult your doctor or dietitian before adding kale to your diet.
Kale can be easily added to your favorite recipes. Add kale to pastas, stir-frys, soups or salads.
When buying kale, look for bunches with no limp or yellowing leaves. Leafy greens like kale stay fresh longer if they are rinsed, wrapped in a paper towel or tea towel and refrigerated in a container or sealed plastic bag. Wash and store kale as soon as you bring it home. That way, it will be ready to use when you are ready to make a meal.