Posted by: godshealingplants | May 4, 2012

KALE FOR YOUR HEALTH

Kale is annual plant and is related to cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts and has a flavor that is more suggestive of broccoli. Its succulent, curly leaves appear “rosette” like and may have dark green to blue-green color depending on the cultivar type. It is grown mainly for autumn and winter harvest, because cool weather further enhances its sweet taste quality.

Kale contains many vitamins as listed below; it also contains powerful antioxidants and is an excellent green to use for in a “detox smoothie” as it has cleansing properties. The nutrients in kale help protect against cataracts while promoting healthy lungs, cardiovascular health and boosts the immune system. Kale has anti-inflammatory properties making it an excellent food for those with rheumatoid arthritis.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF KALE (BORECOLE)

  • Kale is very versatile and nutritious green leafy vegetable. It is widely recognized as an incredibly nutritious vegetable since ancient Greek and Roman times for its low fat, no cholesterol but health benefiting anti-oxidant properties.
  • Kale, like other members of the brassica family, contains health-promoting phytochemicals, sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol that are appears to protect against cancers.
  • Borecole is very rich source of B-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. These flavonoids have strong anti-oxidant and anti-cancer activities. Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body.
  • Zeaxanthin, an important dietary carotenoid, is selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eyes where it is thought to provide antioxidant and protective light-filtering functions. Thus, it helps prevent retinal detachment and offers protection against “age related macular degeneration disease” (ARMD) in the elderly.
  • It is very rich in vitamin A, which is required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is essential for vision.
  • It is one of the excellent vegetable sources for vitamin-K, which has potential role bone health by promoting osteotrophic (bone formation and strengthening) activity. Adequate vitamin-K levels in the diet helps limiting neuronal damage in the brain; thus, has established role in the treatment of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
  • It contains Vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant and helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen free radicals.
  • This leafy vegetable is notably good in many B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, pantothenic acid, etc that are essential for substrate metabolism in the body.
  • It is also rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure by countering effects of sodium. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is required for cellular oxidation and red blood cell formation.
  • A sulfur-containing phytonutrient in kale called sulforaphane is believed to have powerful anti-cancer, anti-diabetic and anti-microbial properties and is released when the leaves are chopped or chewed (or blended in a green smoothie!)

IN DEPTH ANALYSIS OF NUTRIENTS IN KALE

Per 100 g = (3.5 ounces)

PRINCIPLE

Nutrient Value

Percentage of   RDA

Energy

50 Kcal

2.5%

Carbohydrates

10.01 g

8%

Protein

3.30 g

6%

Total Fat

0.70 g

3%

Cholesterol

0 mg

0%

Dietary Fiber

2.0 g

5%

VITAMINS

 

 

Folates

29 µg

7%

Niacin

1.000 mg

6%

Pantothenic acid

0.091 mg

1.5%

Pyridoxine

0.271 mg

21%

Riboflavin

0.130 mg

10%

Thiamin

0.110 mg

9%

Vitamin A

15376 IU

512%

Vitamin C

120 mg

200%

Vitamin K

817 µg

681%

ELECTROLYTES

 

 

Sodium

43 mg

3%

Potassium

447 mg

9.5%

MINERALS

 

 

Calcium

135 mg

13.5%

Copper

0.290 mg

32%

Iron

1.70 mg

21%

Magnesium

34 mg

8.5%

Manganese

0.774 mg

34%

Phosphorus

56 mg

8%

Selenium

0.9 µg

1.5%

Zinc

0.44 mg

4%

PHYTO-NUTRIENTS

 

 

Carotene-ß

9226 µg

Crypto-xanthin-ß

0 µg

Lutein-zeaxanthin

39550 µg

SELECTION AND STORAGE

Kale is available at its best during winter months from November until March. Exposure of crop to light frost in fact enhances its eating quality. While harvesting, individual lower leaves may be picked either progressively as the main stem elongates or the whole plant is cut at the stem and packed in bundles. In the store, buy fresh green leaves featuring crispy, crunchy, brilliant dark blue-green color.

Borecole, like chard, is extremely perishable leafy vegetable, so should be used quickly once harvested. If at all to be stored in the refrigerator, set temperature below 35 degree F and high humidity level to maintain their vitality.

PREPARATION AND SERVING METHODS

As in spinach, borecole should be washed thoroughly in clean running water and swished in saline water for about 10-15 minutes in order to remove soil, dirt and any fungicide/insecticide residues.

Just before cooking, remove tough stems, and separate wilted leaves from healthy ones. The leaves are generally blanched before use in cooking.

Here are some serving tips:

  • Fresh young crispy borecole can be used raw in salads.
  • Mature leaves and stalks are typically cooked or sautéed.

SAFETY

Because of its high vitamin K content, patients taking anti-coagulants should consult with their physician before eating foods rich in vitamin K.

DISCLAIMER

  1. God’s Healing Plants is not licensed as, or  designed to be, a healthcare facility; therefore we do not diagnose conditions, offer medical advice, or prescribe or administer medication.
  2. The nutrition and health information resented at the God’s Healing Plants Web Site is based on Scripture, research and personal experience, and is offered for educational purposes only.
  3. There can be risks involved when changing diet and lifestyle; therefore, as each guest chooses to make these types of changes, we at God’s Healing Plants cannot be held responsible or liable for any adverse effects or consequences that may result from your personal choices.
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