Wednesday, 21 August 2013 11:04

Kale: Deliciously Nutritious

Written by  Jordan A. Albright, Kid Kulinaire Columnist
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Have you ever heard of the astounding benefits of Lacinato (AKA Dinosaur, or Dino) Kale? Interested in improving optical (eye) functioning? Improving blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight retention, while helping to reduce or eliminate the potential of cancer development?

EAT MORE KALE.

 

This remarkable superfood is of an Italian varietal, and is stated to be more of a wild kale cultivar than some of its highly domestic counterparts. I personally feel that this lends itself to the heightened nutritional components of the vegetable, as there is, generally, less human—and more natural—influence.

From the brassica family, in its raw state this cruciferous veggie is incredibly rich in some of the more common nutritional players (vitamin A @ 206% per 1 cup, vitamin C @ 130% per 1 cup, and B-vitamins such as niacin, pantothenic acid (B5), and B6, among others) and possesses some astounding qualities that many other vegetables cannot compare to; Indole-3-carbinole (I-3-C) created by certain chemicals transforming into glucosinolates, as a natural reaction in our bodies, help to formulate “chemoprotective” chemicals from carcinogenic (cancer-causing) properties brought into the body, ultimately working as a detoxifier. This process helps in regulating cancerous development in the body. Additionally, DIM (di-indolyl-methane), a chemical formed from the body’s breakdown and usage of I-3-C, also exhibits high amounts of hormonal regulation, influencing immune system health and regulation by the presence of anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.

Should I go on?

Well, we must mention the high amounts of naturally occurring beta-carotene (which can convert in the body to vitamin A) and other carotenoids (a plant’s light-energy source), which help to improve our antioxidant capabilities. Lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene, found in grand amounts in kale, help to directly improve eye function, supporting the strengthening of muscle, blood/oxygen flow, and toxin elimination for the eyes. We’re looking at a mega vision enhancement food here that has been said to improve the regression of macular degeneration onset in the elderly.

More?

Kale contains high amounts of vital minerals essential for blood cleansing, bone strengthening, immune support, and super antioxidant (SOD – Superoxide Dismutase) formulation. Specifically, one can expect to find high amounts of vitamin K, a powerful antioxidant and component essential for bone health and strength, (which has shown to help in supporting the battle against osteoporosis) in addition to copper, zinc, potassium, manganese, calcium, and iron, as well as magnesium. This lineup of minerals helps in everything from proper flow and retention of water and fluid, to red blood cell development, and the co-factored creation of superoxide dismutase, which is a highly powerful antioxidant. Each of these factors, as well as the zero mg of cholesterol, contributes to the natural balancing act happening in the body.

Personally, I love to source my Kale right from my own backyard (and this plant grows incredibly well in many places in the US). The plants themselves were very easily sourced from one of our local Orlando farmers and took root within a day, with a bit of water, open sunlight, and some tender loving care. My household and I happily fed off the three plants we had, which grew in such abundance that we had to give a few pounds away! What’s more nutritious than a highly nutritious plant that took 5 minutes and 100 ft to transport to my kitchen (as opposed to a week or more in transport, 2 weeks or more on the shelf at the average supermarket grocer, and almost 2000 miles, average, of transport to get to the store)? Nothing!

So, if you have yet to experience the incredible taste and nutritive benefits of kale (any variety, though I have found great favor with Lacinato), try to get in on this superfood as soon as possible. Trust me: your mind, body, emotions, and spirit will incredibly thank and repay you for it. This beautiful, easily grown and highly nutritious vegetable family member is essential in the diet of anyone looking to get a boost from a simple, easy-to-prepare food source. This can be eaten raw in salads or slaws (my preferred way of eating it), as well as mildly boiled or steamed (steaming being favorable to boiling), and is largely found as an essential component to many dietary juices and smoothie recipes, keeping in mind that kale “in-the-raw” is better for you. And less cooking = less work, so everyone wins! Stay tuned to the site for soon-to-come recipe ides with this food! Truly, there is nothing like life-extension through eating, eh? What a concept!

Enjoy!

And here are some references for the article, as well as interesting links for research and exploration. Have fun!

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2461/2

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18548846

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

Read 2918 times Last modified on Wednesday, 04 June 2014 15:36
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