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What Are the Health Benefits of Kale?

Kale.
Kale contains high concentrations of essential vitamins.
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  • Written By: Andy Hill
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 26 October 2014
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Kale is one of the oldest members of the cabbage family and is known to have high nutritional and digestive value in the diet. All members of the cabbage family contain sulfur elements, which can help to relieve digestive discomfort. Kale also contains high levels of vitamin A and iron, which are essential elements for sound bodily health.

In addition to only containing 36 calories per cup (240 milliliters), some other benefits of kale include high levels of calcium — which is required for strong bones and healthy teeth — and a calming effect on the nervous system. The benefits of kale in the diet also expand to cover anti-inflammatory properties, high concentrations of antioxidants, lowering of cholesterol levels, and cancer prevention.

Eating kale can be an excellent aid for detoxifying the body due to the glucosinolates contained in the vegetable. Some of the digestive benefits of kale include reductions in blood sugar levels and prevention of constipation. These benefits stem from the 20% recommended daily allowance (RDA) of dietary fiber that is found in a single cup (240 ml) of kale.

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As a cruciferous vegetable, kale contains high concentrations of essential vitamins. This vitamin content is one of the main benefits of kale in the diet. The vegetable contains vitamin A, which is a valuable antioxidant and can help to boost immunity levels and vitamin C to assist in lowering blood pressure and maintain a strong immune system. More than 1000% RDA of vitamin K is found in one cup (240 ml) of kale for strong bones and a healthy nervous system and to prevent cardiovascular complications.

The presence of omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFA) in the leaves of the vegetable lead to the anti-inflammatory benefits of kale. This helps in the prevention of inflammation-induced health problems such as arthritis and asthma. A high concentration of glucosinolate can be gained from eating the plant, which can assist in the prevention of various forms of cancer, including prostate, colon, and breast cancers.

The dietary fiber content that brings about some of the benefits of kale also helps to lower cholesterol as it combines with the bile acids that are produced by the liver to digest fat. These bile acids are produced from cholesterol, and when the acids combine with fiber from kale, more cholesterol is released to assist in the digestion. This additional cholesterol release actually has the effect of lowering overall cholesterol content within the body by reducing the excess amounts stored within the liver.

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