Kale Health Benefits & Nutrition Facts


Kale (Brassica oleracea) is also called as boerenkool, and is very similar to cabbage.

Kale is one of the healthiest and most nutritious plant-based foods in the world, with a very low-calorie count.

It is rich in Vitamins (C, E, K, B6, Folic acid) along with minerals like calcium, manganese, iron, potassium, and phosphorus.

 

Nutritional value per 100 g

Nutrients Amount

Water 84.04 g

Energy 49 kcal

Energy 207 kJ

Protein 4.28 g

Total lipid (fat) 0.93 g

Ash 2.01 g

Carbohydrate, by difference 8.75 g

Fiber, total dietary 3.6 g

Sugars, total 2.26 g

Minerals

Calcium, Ca 150 mg

Iron, Fe 1.47 mg

Magnesium, Mg 47 mg

Phosphorus, P 92 mg

Potassium, K 491 mg

Sodium, Na 38 mg

Zinc, Zn 0.56 mg

Copper, Cu 1.499 mg

Manganese, Mn 0.659 mg

Selenium, Se 0.9 µg

Vitamins

Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid 120 mg

Thiamine 0.11 mg

Riboflavin 0.13 mg

Niacin 1 mg

Pantothenic acid 0.091 mg

Vitamin B-6 0.271 mg

Folate, total 141 µg

Folate, food 141 µg

Folate, DFE 141 µg

Vitamin A, RAE 500 µg

Carotene, beta 5927 µg

Carotene, alpha 54 µg

Cryptoxanthin, beta 81 µg

Vitamin A, IU 9990 IU

Lutein + zeaxanthin 8198 µg

Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 1.54 mg

Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 704.8 µg

Lipids

Fatty acids, total saturated 0.091 g

Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 0.052 g

Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 0.338 g


Source: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28


Characteristics:

Kale is seen to be very similar cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, collard greens, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts.

It has green or purple leaves, which are either curly or smooth, depending on their types.

Though they can be found all year long in the supermarket, the kale is a winter plant. Some varieties can be grown once or twice a year.


Useful in:

Brain | Heart Diseases | High Cholesterol | Obesity | Antioxidation | Bones | Teeth | Blood clotting | Cancer | Diabetes | Eyes | Anti-inflammation | 


Tender kale greens can be used raw, or steamed in salads, stir-fries, chips, soups etc.

They have many ornamental uses due to the presence of differently colored leaves like green, purple, blue, lavender, white or pink.

Kale can be paired with a wide variety of foods like pine nuts, apples, feta cheese, dry-roasted peanuts, pasta, soy sauce, beef, potatoes,   turnips etc.
If you are suffering from chronic kidney disease or are consuming medications like beta-blockers, eating high potassium foods can be dangerous for your health. In such cases, consume kale under the guidance of your doctor

Cancer:

Kale is rich in many flavonoids and phytochemicals that can help prevent cancer. Some of these compounds like sulforaphane, indole-3-carbinol and isothiocyanates made from the glucosinolates in kale, are able to fight colon, breast, bladder, prostate and ovarian cancer.


Heart:

The liver produces bile acids from the cholesterol which helps in the digestion of fats. Once the fats are absorbed in the body, the bile acids are reabsorbed in the blood stream. Kale contains chemicals called as bile acid sequestrants, which prevent the reabsorption of bile acids, thereby improving the breakdown of higher amounts of fats from the body, and decreasing cholesterol.


Anti-oxidative properties:

Kale is loaded with compounds like vitamin C, beta-carotene, as well as various flavonoids and polyphenols, which act as anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants are very vital compounds that prevent many heart diseases, cancers, diabetes, lower blood pressure and decrease aging. 

Kale contains very high amounts of flavonoids like kaempferol and quercetin which have shown antiviral, anti-depression, anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective and many other benefits in the laboratory.