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I absolutely love kale! So much so, that I decided to write an entire article about it and all of the wonderful things that it has to offer.  Kale is a leafy green vegetable that is relatively easy to grow and is found in most regions of the world. It can be grown in almost any climate and can even survive a cold Canadian winter. It comes in a few different varieties, some are curly and some are flat leaf. My favorite is a flat leaf variety called ‘Lacinato Kale’ also known as ‘Dinosaur Kale.’ Having cut meat out of my diet I needed something that was nutritious as well as filling, and kale fit the bill perfectly. Not only do I love the way it tastes, but because of its extremely high fiber content (among many others) it is sure to fill me up. Even my kitten enjoys munching on a piece of kale from time to time.

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Kale contains large amounts of Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and also (bear with me) Manganese, Fiber, Copper, Tryptophan, Calcium, Potassium, Iron, Magnesium, Vitamin E, Omega 3 Fats, Vitamin B2, Protein, Vitamin B1, Folate, Phosphorus and Vitamin B3! That is a lot of nutrients in one single vegetable!

Another great thing about kale is that it is great for you raw or cooked. I try to incorporate a lot of raw vegetables into my diet, so I usually do eat kale raw in a salad, but while doing the research for this article I learned that cooking kale enhances certain health benefits.  Kale has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, but even more so if it is steamed. Steamed kale binds more easily to the bile acids in your digestive tract, and when the kale is passed, so are these bile acids, which in turn lowers your cholesterol.

But that’s not all… I’m just getting started! Kale is a powerful anti-inflammatory, which means it can help fight asthma, arthritis and other excessive inflammatory related problems. The high antioxidant levels combined with the anti-inflammatory qualities have been shown to prevent and even fight cancer cells!  Some of the other amazing powers of this delicious super food include: maintaining healthy bones and teeth, preventing urinary stones, lowering blood pressure and also because of its high sulfur content it can assist greatly in detoxification of the body.

If you have tried kale and aren’t a huge fan of the flavor I suggest giving it another go. Remember, there are many ways to prepare kale, eating it raw in a salad, steamed, baked, or even dehydrated for yummy kale chips! You can even add it to soups and stews, pastas, casseroles -practically anything!

One thing that I do strongly suggest is buying it organically grown, not only will it ensure that it still contains all these amazing vitamins and minerals, but the taste is much better. Also, Non-Organically grown kale contains a lot of pesticide residue, which doesn’t sound too tasty to me.

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As you can see, incorporating this veggie into your diet a few times a week can do wonders for your health! I read somewhere that kale may just be the new beef! Feel free to post any kale recipes in the comment section of this article!

Much Love!

Alanna 🙂

Where I got some of my information and if you want to read more about the amazing health benefits of kale:

http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?dbid=38&tname=foodspice

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/the-truth-about-kale

http://www.livestrong.com/thedailyplate/nutrition-calories/food/kale/1-cup-chopped-raw-67g/


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