Kale belongs to the cabbage family. You probably also heard other names for this family like Brassica or Cruciferous. It’s one of the most important vegetable families and, certainly, the most diverse. We eat leaves, flowers, seeds, stems and roots of these vegetables. Here are some examples: white and green cabbages, kale, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, arugula, Bok Choy, broccoli and cauliflower of all colors, mustard seeds, rutabaga, turnip, kohlrabi, radishes, horseradish, wasabi and many others! All members of the cabbage family have a pungent taste. It might be ranging from mild, barely noticeable in cauliflower to very well pronounced like in mustard seeds or horseradish.
These vegetables support detoxification in the body and are incredible cancer fighters. In fact, these vegetables have been studied and have shown very promising results for:
- cancer prevention
- inactivation of carcinogens
- inhibition of cancer formation
- suppression of cancer cell growth
- DNA repair
Let’s take a closer look at kale
It is a very hardy crop – it’s not afraid of cold conditions and light frost actually makes the leaves sweeter! Due to this it can survive the winter and sprout at the first sign of spring.
Because kale is so nutrient dense we can call this green leafy vegetable a powerful healing food. Here are some of its health benefits:
- High in anti-cancer and detoxifying sulfur-containing compounds
- Very high in carotenes, especially beta-carotenes which are the main precursor of vitamin A
- Loaded with lutein and zeaxanthin, two nutrients that protect our eyes from UV light damage
- Very high in vitamin K and C
- High mineral content, especially calcium, has more calcium than cow’s milk (!!)
- High in magnesium. A very important mineral that participates in hundreds of enzymatic reactions in the body. We need it for relaxing muscles, calming us down, and balancing calcium, to name a few.
What can we do with kale?
You can eat it raw in salads if your digestive system is robust enough to stomach it. I, personally, find it much more pleasant cooked. You can make kale chips – a much healthier alternative to potato chips. It’s easy to make and fun to crunch on! And here are a couple of my favorite recipes: