Why Should I Eat Kale? Health Benefits & Recipes For The Plant With The Worst Reputation
Of all plants, kale somehow has developed the worst reputation. Chances are you’ve seen a meme about kale and how someone hopes it is not the way to solve their problem. While it has a bad reputation, kale is actually a plant you should consider adding into your weekly produce selection. It has a number of benefits and is actually pretty delicious if you learn to cook it the right way!
Here’s the thing, Kale is a superfood and it has super powers. Okay not really super powers but it is packed full of vitamins, minerals and all of the good things we need to be consuming on a daily basis.
Let’s take a look at one cup of raw Kale (thanks to WebMD for the facts):
Vitamins: A, C, and K
Additional Nutrients: Folate, Alpha-linolenic Acid, Lutein, and Zeaxanthin
Minerals: Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, and Zinc
What does all of this mean?
Let’s start with the Fiber. On average women under 50 should be getting 25g of fiber a day. Yet, the average American diet falls significantly short of that number (track your fiber intake for a day, I promise you’ll be surprised). One of fiber’s most important jobs is to help manage your blood sugar levels. Fiber is also is a huge factor in helping you feel full after a meal. Adding just one cup of Kale to a smoothie in the morning (or salad at lunch) can help propel you much closer to that goal.
Protein is another hot topic in diet trends (btw, I hate diet trends) these days. While everyone is different in the amount of protein they eat in a day not a lot of leafy greens are high in protein as well as vitamin and minerals. Kale’s looking pretty good right about now, isn’t it?
I think vitamins, minerals and nutrients tend to speak for themselves when you look at what is in them. Everyone loves an excuse to eat more vitamins and your body can be much happier when it’s loaded up on the best nutrients. The nutrients found in kale can help with brain development, protecting against macular degeneration and cataracts…you know the basic things in life.
As much as everyone seems to despise kale, a lot can come from how you prepare it. For awhile, I ONLY used it in a smoothie because I couldn’t handle the taste. Eventually I took to Pinterest and realized there is a whole world of kale recipes out there. Do you know how delicious kale is in a salad with the right dressing?
- Italian Herb Kale Chips
- Creamy Eggs and Kale Breakfast
- Kale Salad With Apples
- Sautéed Kale With Lemon and Garlic
- Rigatoni With Sausage and Kale
- Walnut Kale Pesto
- Roasted Chicken Parmasean Kale Salad
- Baked Egg Cups – Kale and Cheddar Breakfast
- Costco Copycat Sweet Kale Salad
These are just a few ideas to get you started. Next time you find yourself staring at the produce section of a grocery store (or Instacart order), branch out from the normal lettuce and add in a bunch of kale. If you are like me and not too sure about it… start by just putting it a smoothie.
Kale comes with too many benefits to live out its life as a meme.
Are you pro kale? What is your go to way of cooking it?