It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s….kale? What??? That’s right, kale is the super hero of foods. It’s got so many nutritional benefits, we should be eating kale on a regular basis. I try and make it about once a week. Just like the versatile Brussels sprouts, kale can be prepared a variety of ways. But, why is kale the super hero of foods?
The Nutritional Benefits of Kale
A single cup of kale does a body good. One serving contains 33 calories, approximately 2.5 grams of fiber, and almost 3 grams of protein. Kale also contains a ton of vitamins and minerals, including:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B3
- Vitamin B6
This is why kale is the queen of super heroes. Who knew this green, leafy vegetable was so good for us?
Five Amazing Benefits of Adding Kale to your Diet
In addition to fueling our bodies with vitamins and minerals, kale also helps us in many ways. Here are five reasons why kale is the super hero of foods.
- Promotes Eye Health. Lutein is an antioxidant that filters harmful high-energy blue wavelengths of light. Our bodies don’t naturally produce lutein so we have to get it from either taking a daily vitamin or eating green leafy vegetables. Kale contains the highest natural source of lutein. In addition to filtering out harmful wavelengths of light, lutein also helps to prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the development of cataracts, and overall decrease of vision.
- May Slow The Appearance of Fine Lines and Wrinkles. Collagen is found in bones, muscles, and is what keeps our skin firm. As we age, our body decreases the amount of collagen produced, which can lead to development of fine lines and wrinkles. A healthy diet that includes vitamin A and C can help produce more collagen. Kale contains both vitamin A and C; in fact, a serving of kale has more vitamin C than an orange.
- Keeps Your Bones Strong. For those of us that can’t eat dairy, we need to look to other foods to get our daily dose of calcium. Kale contains 9% of the recommended daily value of calcium. You can add kale to a smoothie (don’t worry, it won’t taste like kale) or mix it with ground turkey or sausage to get both protein and calcium.
- Diabetic-Friendly Super Food. If you are a diabetic, or are pre-diabetic, kale is a great food to add to your diet. Kale won’t spike blood sugar levels and only contains six grams of carbohydrates (and two of those grams are fiber). And, since it has a higher percentage of fiber, kale will keep you feeling fuller, longer.
- Can Help Lower Cholesterol. According to the CDC, approximately 78 million adults in the United States have high cholesterol. Since kale is high in fiber, it can help lower cholesterol levels.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Sautéed Kale
Author: The Food Allergy Foodie
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
2 sweet potatoes
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 head of kale (or one bag of pre-chopped kale)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375º.
- Peel and cube the sweet potatoes and place in a large mixing bowl. Toss with one tablespoon olive oil and kosher salt and pepper to taste.
- Place the sweet potatoes on a large baking sheet, making sure not to overlap any of the pieces. Place in the oven and roast for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, toss the sweet potatoes and continue roasting for another 15 minutes, or until soft and roasted with a nice brown coloring.
- As the potatoes are roasting, finely dice the yellow onion and mince the garlic.
- In a large sauté pan, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium/low heat. Once heated, add the onion and garlic. Cook until translucent and fragrant, about 8 minutes.
- Once the onion is cooked, add the kale, Kosher salt and pepper to taste. Stir, cover and let sauté until cooked down, about 10 minutes.
- Transfer the cooked kale to a large serving bowl. Add the roasted sweet potatoes and mix well. Serve immediately with your favorite protein.