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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: 09 February 2015
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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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Animandel
Post 3

Lately, I have been reading more about the health benefits of cabbage. I was surprised to read just how many different types of ailments and conditions cabbage can be used to treat. Cabbage is even better when used as a means of maintaining good health rather than waiting until you are ill.

The biggest problem I have with regular cabbage is the smell. When I walk into a kitchen where this vegetable is being prepared I almost get sick from the overpowering odor. A friend told me that I can get all of the benefits of cabbage without the heavy smell by eating kale, which is not so odorous.

mobilian33
Post 2

@Laotionne - A lot of people think they should eat red meat to build up their iron levels, but this is not necessarily true. I have a friend who has low iron levels in her blood, but she is also at risk for heart disease and artery blockage. For this reason eating beef is not a good idea for her. Instead she eats kale, and we all know the benefits of vegetables; and on top of these benefits, kale has more iron than beef.

Laotionne
Post 1

I've recently learned that I m not getting enough iron in my diet. I had no idea this was a problem until my last visit to the doctor's office. I have heard that one kale benefits is that the vegetable can be a really good source of iron. I would prefer to get the iron from the foods I eat rather than having to take iron supplements.

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