If you haven’t tried it by now, kale is an excellent cruciferous vegetable that is packed with essential vitamins such as A, C, and K. They are also very good sources of minerals such as copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. (1)
A cup of fresh kale only has 40 calories and packs almost 3 grams of protein. Amazingly, one cup of cooked kale contains 1,100% more vitamin C than a cup of spinach! Unlike spinach, the calcium and iron in kale is highly absorbable in the human digestive system. (1,3)
Studies now show that kale supports the immune system and prevents cancer growth.
Kale enhances immune function.
Kale contains immune-enhancing and anti-cancer benefits from several compounds that it contains. According to researchers, kale was first observed to reduce activation of carcinogens while increasing their detoxification. (2)
An antibody called immunoglobulin A (IgA) is primarily responsible for maintaining and enhancing the mucus lining of the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and genitourinary tracts. When IgA is deficient, the body’s line of defense breaks down and invaders can easily pass through the bloodstream and tissues become compromised. (3)
Kale contains the beneficial compounds to help the body from being comprised. Another study found that green curly kale has good sources of antioxidants. The fresher the plant source, the more powerful the effects. (4)
Kale prevents cancer growth.
Vegetables of green sources that contain chlorophyll have been shown to be effective at blocking carcinogenic effects through different pathways such as promoting cancer cell apoptosis, reducing oxidative stress, inhibit carcinogenic molecules, downregulating cancer-inducing gene pathways, and promote stable DNA and cell formation. (5)
Interestingly a study found in Nutrition Journal discovered that kale and other green vegetables that contain chlorophyll could be effective in binding polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are generated when grilling foods at high temperatures. As Michael Donaldson, the lead researcher, puts it, “The chlorophyll-carcinogen complex is much harder for the body to absorb, so most of it is swept out with the feces.” (6) So, by pairing green vegetables with charred food, the effects can be negated.
What’s the best way to eat kale?
It appears that steaming or dehydrating kale is the most popular and nutrient-rich ways to incorporate this superfood into your regular diet. Steaming or boiling has been shown to enhance its therapeutic properties more than if you would consume it raw. (3)
If you decide to consume it fresh, as in salads, then it is suggested to allow the kale to sit for a while at room temperature and tossing it with garlic to enhance the enzymatic activity. Also consider top-quality oils such as organic coconut oil to help activate the beneficial enzymes. This will help boost the immune system greatly! (3)
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