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Kale Is the New Spinach --- Really
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February 17, 2016
By A. Weinberg, Contributing Columnist






“Eat your greens. Don’t forget your beans and celery,” advised Frank
Zappa and the Mothers of Invention in their song Mr. Green Genes.
Greens have always had a reputation for making you big, healthy, and
strong. Just look at what happened to Popeye when he ate spinach
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcOrSWr2HLU). This vegetable
can give you strength, sure, but there’s another one now on the scene
that is even better: kale. It is just as nutritious (and even has more
quantities of vitamin A, K, and C) as spinach and has 14% more
protein.   

Kale is one of the most nutrient-packed vegetables on our planet. And
it’s hardly a novelty, as it has been cultivated for 2000 years now. In
Europe, after the middle ages, cabbage became the more common crop.

Even nowadays, more people are familiar with cabbage and lettuce
than they are with kale. But kale has recently made a big comeback,
with celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Beyonce endorsing it.

It’s not just one of the passing fad celebrity diet foods, though. Kale is
legit. It might not help you sprout instant muscles, like spinach did with
Popeye, but it will keep your whole body healthy and vital.



The Top 7 Seriously Remarkable Health Benefits of Kale






























1.      See Clearly

Your vision might be okay now. Or you might be nearsighted like me, or
have some other issues.

But, as you age, your eyesight will change. You will likely have to buy
new glasses or get cataract surgery. However, if you munch on this
green into your old age, your vision will stay more stable. Sometimes
the sun damages your eyes with its ultraviolet rays, especially if you
don’t wear sunglasses. This can cause cataracts and general
deterioration of good vision.

Kale is abundant in the two carotenoids most important in
counteracting these effects, lutein and zeaxanthin. They also act as
antioxidants, according to the American Optometric Association,
protecting and maintaining healthy cells.

2.
Prevent Heart Disease



Kale contains three key ingredients that promote cardiovascular health.
It is high in Vitamin K, which improves overall heart health and
promotes blood clotting.

Without sufficient vitamin K, hemorrhaging can occur, according to
studies at the Linus Pauling Institute of Oregon State University. It is
also a source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. According to a
2016 study by William S. Harris at the AHA Science Advisory, Omega-6
fatty acids are responsible for reducing the risk of heart disease.

Additionally, kale has eight percent of the recommended daily intake of
potassium per cup and fewer calories than most high-potassium foods,
such as bananas. Potassium helps heart health by
lowering blood
pressure. It also contains sulphoraphane, which helps protect blood
vessels from cardiovascular damage. It’s ability to lower cholesterol
helps with heart health, as well.


3.
Prevent Cancer



Studies have revealed that kale can prevent bladder, breast, colon,
ovary, and prostate cancer, due to the release of ITCs (isthiocyanates),
the glucosinolates found in kale.

Many of the chemicals present in kale and other cruciferous vegetables
(vegetables in the mustard family) have been shown to counteract the
effects of cancer. In a 2016 study by Fujoka N at the Masonic Cancer
Center at the University of Minnesota, two of the chemicals present in
cruciferous vegetables, indole-3 and diindolylmethane, have the ability
to prevent cancer in lab animals treated with carcinogens.

It looks like a delicious kale salad per day could keep many different
kinds of cancer away.



4.
Look Good



Are you looking at a raccoon in the mirror every morning? Try eating
more kale. The Vitamin K in it reduces dark circles and the vitamin A
repairs tissues and is antioxidant.

You can also look younger, because the high vitamin C content in kale
slows down the skin's aging process.

In addition to skin benefits, kale also helps to gives your hair a nice
glow. The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids strengthen the strands,
both your roots and tips, as well as increase blood circulation in the
scalp.

So if you are struggling with the overall look of your skin or hair, put
some kale on the menu. If your goal is to have longer hair, kale can
also help, as it increases your hair's growth rate.





5.
Prevent Diabetes



Kale has a high fiber content, which has a dramatic impact on reducing
the effects of diabetes.

A cup of kale contains 2.6 grams of the daily dose (21 to 25 grams a
day for women, and 30-38 grams a day for men).

High fiber content lowers blood glucose levels in type 1 diabetes, and
improves blood sugar, lipids, and insulin levels in
type 2 diabetes. It
also contains alpha-lipoic acid, which is antioxidant, increases insulin
sensitivity, and also lowers glucose levels.

Those who already have diabetes, are at risk for developing it, or
simply eat lots of sugar can add some kale to their morning smoothie or
steam it for lunch to help their metabolism.



6.
Give Your Body Some Anti-inflammatories   



Kale has a high concentration of omega-3s, which are anti-
inflammatory. Just 100 calories of kale provide 350 milligrams of
omega-3 fatty acids.

According to dietician Alexis Joseph, a cup of kale contains 10% of the
necessary anti-inflammatory omega-3s. Kale's high percentage of
vitamin K also helps, regulating the body’s inflammatory process.



7.
Lower Cholesterol and Digest  

Fiber comes to the rescue again. It turns out that fiber aids in lowering
cholesterol levels because it picks up the extra cholesterol in your gut
and pushes it out.

However, to get the benefits of high fiber from kale,  you should steam
it because the fiber in steamed kale binds more effectively to the bile in
the digestive tract.

In fact, kale is easier to digest steamed than raw. Kale's high content of
fiber and water makes it a good option for digesting and preventing
constipation.

Kale is also high in magnesium. According to nutrition specialist Tina
Paymaster, “Magnesium is one of the minerals that most people are
deficient in, but it is extremely important for helping the body manage
stress and maintain optimal digestion.” But for some it may be difficult
to digest raw. If you limit your consumption of raw kale, and consume
the majority of it steamed, you’ll be just fine.





For some of you, kale might be a new, foreign veggie. You are probably
wondering the best ways to use it, besides steaming.

Kale is quite versatile. You can eat it steamed, braised, boiled, or
sautéed. You can put it in soups and casseroles. And of course, you can
add it to salads. You can even toast it and make it into kale chips.
Perhaps the most unusual yet delicious way to use kale is to add it to
your smoothie in the morning. Kale blends well with many fruits, and
will help you metabolize your food throughout the day.

Be sure to note how you feel when eating kale, as for some of you, it
may be difficult to digest or have other side effects. Also, make sure to
buy organic kale, so you don’t get any of the extra disadvantages, such
as pesticides. Enjoy your experimentation with the current trendiest
cruciferous vegetable around.






































































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Kale lowers risk of prostate and
colon cancer.