News has been spreading about how good kale is for you, and it’s popping up more and more in restaurant menus and shopping carts across the country. Here is your one-stop for the lowdown on this rising vegetable star, including why it’s so good for you, how to prepare it, as well as questions to some of the most frequently asked questions about it.
Key Nutritional Highlights:
Rich in Powerful Antioxidants – It’s off the chart for Vitamins A and C.
Important Minerals Covered – Including Calcium, Magnesium, and Iron.
High in Potassium – Not as much as bananas or avocados, but respectable.
Low in Fat and Sodium – Won’t weigh you down or make you retain water.
Low in Calories – Will give you that full feeling without contributing to the day’s caloric intake.
See how this remarkable green helps your body in several key areas. It can help you lose weight, help cleanse your body, help fight off cancer and heart disease, give you energy to fuel you through your day, and boost your immune system so you stay more healthy more of the time. And that’s just for starters, so be sure to check out the other features kale offers.
Having a wide range of recipes to use kale in is key when you are trying to make it part of your regular diet. We’ve scoured what’s available to bring you the tastiest recipes with flavors inspired from destination all over the world, as well as having you covered on all three meals of the day, including dessert. So set aside any preconceived notions you have about kale and take a journey with us on the many ways you can prepare it.
Want to give your salad a nutritional kick? Using kale as the backdrop is a great way to do it. It will give you a lot of the qualities of subbing in spinach for your salad, with a different flavor spectrum as well as a different texture and slightly different nutritional breakdown. These salad recipes make sure to use ingredients that complement the robust flavor of kale.
Catch up on the latest health craze and bake up a batch of healthy kale chips. You’ll be amazed at how light and crunchy it is, and remarkably satisfying. Potato chips come nowhere near the kind of nutrition you’re getting in every chip. The bonus is how easy they are to make, and how many different variations you can make to keep your taste buds engaged.
Learning how to cook kale is important because it’s a bit different than other leafy greens. Find out the best practices on how to cook this leafy green, what not to do, and which foods work best with it as far as enhancing its flavor. There’s even a step-by-step tutorial for getting your kale ready to eat so you can quickly whip it up as a side dish to any meal.
(it’s on the right sidebar)
Can kale give you diarrhea or upset your stomach?
If you’re not used to eating kale, and start off strong with it there is a chance that your system can have trouble digesting it at first. To try to minimize this, go easy on your first few instances of eating kale. Make sure you buy organic, wash it thoroughly, and cook it. If you’re eating it raw try to cut off the thick stems which can be harder for your digestive system to break down. With time your body will become a kale digesting machine.
Does eating kale cause kidney stones?
Those that have a higher likelihood of getting kidney stones are recommended against eating dark leafy greens like kale because its high oxalate content can present a problem for those with high urinary oxalate numbers. You’ll want to check with your doctor to both confirm your susceptibility to kidney stones and which foods you should be eating and avoiding.
Does kale affect gout?
With gout it’s all about the purine levels of foods, and kale comes in just under the number of milligrams where it would start to be of concern. Those with extremely sensitive cases of gout should monitor their intake of kale, and it may be a good idea to limit your portions regardless of how severe your condition is, just to be safe.
Does kale affect the thyroid?
Technically it can if you’re suffering from an iodine deficiency. This is true of all cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli and cauliflower, so it’s not specific to kale. Luckily most Americans do not have this problem so kale can be safely eaten without concern. If you want to be totally sure that it won’t you can avoid eating raw kale.
Does kale bloat you or give you gas?
If you are not used to eating kale and then start eating it raw in a salad it could present digestive issues like bloating or gas. To cut down on this likelihood you can be sure to cook it, which aids in digestion considerably, and you can keep your portion sizes in check. Just because it’s so good for you doesn’t mean you have to be overzealous in your consumption of it.
Does kale block calcium absorption?
Yes, it contains oxalic acid that makes it so your body can’t absorb the calcium that is consumed along with it. This means that even though kale contains calcium, your body won’t be absorbing it. If you’re taking a calcium supplement you’ll want to make sure that you are not eating kale or other foods high in oxalic acid around the same time.
Does kale block iron absorption?
The same oxalates that prevent the body from absorbing calcium also work to undermine the body’s absorption of iron. So while kale does contain a bit of iron itself, it shouldn’t be eaten with other foods high in iron if you are concerned about your iron levels or if you are taking an iron supplement to make up for a deficiency.
Does kale cause acne?
Rather than causing acne you can up your kale intake because it can only help prevent acne and clear your skin up. The phytonutrients in kale act as antioxidants and help your body battle back free radical damage, which can improve the health of your skin and make breakouts less likely, not more likely.
Does kale detox the body?
Detoxing your body is a combination of stopping the consumption of things that are unhealthy and toxic, and flooding the body with things that are healthy, pure, and cleansing. In that regard kale can be thought of a helpful tool for detoxing since it is going to provide nutrient and minerals to the body, and can help cleanse the liver, the most important organ when it comes to detoxing.
Does kale aid in weight loss?
Eating more kale would certainly help most weight loss efforts, all else being equal. It is low in calories and high in fiber which means you can eat it until you feel full while keeping your caloric intake down. Compared to other foods ounce for ounce it’s one of the healthier foods to eat, and also helps with free radical damage because of the antioxidants it contains. This should result in hands-free weight loss, as long as you are eating kale instead of junk food or fast food.
Does kale fight cancer?
Research has shown that antioxidants can play a big part in both preventing cancer and treating it once it’s already formed. Plenty of foods that are thought of as healthy contain these antioxidants, usually in the form of vitamins. Kale is a rich source both in vitamins and phytonutrients that have been shown to help prevent and battle back cancer. This doesn’t mean you have to switch to an all kale diet to avoid it or fight it, but getting a diverse mix of healthy fruits and vegetables each day is best.
Does kale fill you up?
Kale is a hearty vegetable that seems to stick with you long after you’ve eaten it, relatively speaking. Compared to celery, carrots, or even spinach you should find yourself feeling satisfied a few hours after eating kale.
Does kale give you bad breath?
Kale has a tendency to leave a bad taste in your mouth if you are eating a salad made primarily with it. When you are following a recipe that uses kale as just one of the many ingredients, it usually gets lost in the crowd.
Does kale give you heartburn?
Most of what has been reported in relation to kale and heartburn is that it provides a benefit to the digestive system and can actually help relieve or prevent heartburn by helping everything function properly. Eating too much of any food can lead to indigestion and heartburn, so it’s best to monitor your portion sizes and eat a variety of foods that don’t give you heartburn.
Does kale boost metabolism, burn calories, or burn fat?
Because of the low calorie count and large amounts of antioxidants, it’s clear to see that kale can help speed up your metabolism and shift the way your body digests foods. It’s got plenty of fiber, which helps correct a sluggish digestion. As far as burning calories goes, that will be up to the other foods you eat and how much activity you get each day, but it can help you run a caloric deficit by being low cal and filling.
Does kale give you energy?
You may feel more energetic when you eat kale because of the nutrients and vitamins that it contains. These can give you a pep in your step, and when your digestion improves you often feel lighter and more eager to greet the day and life’s challenges.
Does kale contain fiber?
Yes, kale provides a respectable 10% of the amount of fiber you need per day. It definitely factors as a high-fiber food and can be used by those that are concerned about their fiber intake, as well as those wanting to lose weight or improve their digestive efficiency.
Does kale contain iodine?
Kale contains a trace amount of iodine, but not enough to consider it a good source of iodine. It also contains oxalates which inhibit your body’s ability to absorb iodine, so it can actually help contribute to lower iodine levels.
Does kale contain iron?
Kale contains roughly 5% of the amount of iron that the body needs each day to function at optimal levels. At the same time kale contains oxalates which can prevent the body from using that iron, as well as any other iron consumed at the same time as the kale, like beef.
Does kale have folic acid?
Yes, kale does contain folic acid, or folate, a B Vitamin that is found in dark, leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach.
Does kale have magnesium?
Yes, kale contains 7% of your RDV of magnesium. Magnesium is important for bone health as well as a host of other organs and functions the body needs to perform each day.
Does kale have oxalic acid?
Yes, it does, which can hinder the absorption of key minerals like calcium and iron into the body. That’s why it’s important not to eat kale along with other foods that are meant to provide these minerals because it will be sabotaging your efforts. It is still recommended to eat it since the nutrients it does provide are important for the body as well.
Does kale have potassium?
Kale provides 9% of the potassium you need each day. To put that into perspective let’s compare it to a banana, which is brought up in most discussions about potassium as being a good source. A banana has 12% or potassium, or just about 100 milligrams more potassium per serving than kale. That makes kale pretty impressive when taking potassium into consideration.
Does kale have protein?
You don’t often think of vegetables containing protein, but kale provides 5% of the protein you need each day, so it can help round out your protein intake along with lean meats, and non-meat sources like quinoa and other vegetables like broccoli.
Does kale have uric acid?
No it doesn’t. It is also low in purines, which can lead to excessive uric acid when broken down by the body. This makes them acceptable to eat for those that are worried about their uric acid levels in relation to conditions like gout.
Does kale have Vitamin A?
Kale contains more than your daily need of Vitamin A. Because it’s a whole food source you don’t have to worry about getting more than what is needed, as your body will safely eliminate it without a problem. This is why many people experience feeling more energetic when they eat a serving of kale.
Does kale have Vitamin C?
Kale has plenty of Vitamin C in it, even more than an orange which is notorious for its Vitamin C content. You get more than a day’s worth just from one serving of kale. This means it’s of great benefit to your immune system and provides the other benefits associated with getting enough Vitamin C each day.
Does kale have Vitamin D?
From everything we could find there doesn’t seem to be Vitamin D in kale. The body can generate its own supply of Vitamin D, it just needs adequate exposure to sunlight. It’s also one of the vitamins that your body is able to store.
Does kale have Vitamin E?
Kale has a bit of Vitamin E in it, about 5% of what you need to take in each day. Vitamin E plays a key role in having healthy skin, hair, and nails.
Does kale have Vitamin K?
Yes, kale contains all the Vitamin K you need for quite some time. The body can store Vitamin K, so getting a regular supply can mean that you’ll always have plenty of it on hand. Adequate Vitamin K intake has been associated with anticancer benefits as well as a host of health benefits.
Does kale have Zinc?
Kale has .56 milligrams of Zinc in every 100 grams. Zinc is a water soluble mineral that the body requires replenishment of daily.
Does kale improve skin?
Anything that fights free radicals is helpful to the overall condition and appearance of the skin, and kale contains plenty of antioxidants in the form of vitamins, as well as minerals that will help the entire body function at its best, including the largest organ, the skin.
Does kale keep you awake?
Although kale does give you energy, it is natural energy from Vitamin C and Vitamin A that fuels you, and so it’s not like the “energy” you get from coffee, energy drinks, or other products with caffeine and other stimulants. Vitamins don’t typically override your natural progression towards sleep, so you should tucker out like normal, even when eating kale at dinnertime.
Does kale lower blood pressure?
There are key minerals that kale provides that when eaten regularly could result in lowered blood pressure, namely magnesium and potassium. Also, research suggests that the fiber in kale could also be a contributing factor to lowered blood pressure, so there are multiple reasons why kale should be eaten by those concerned about their blood pressure.
Does kale lower cholesterol?
Kale is a cruciferous vegetable, and as such has been shown to be helpful in lowering cholesterol levels naturally. You’ll want to talk with your doctor to discuss what options are best for you in regards to dietary changes if you’re looking to both lower your bad cholesterol and raise your good cholesterol.
Does kale make urine smell?
We couldn’t find anything scientific that would suggest that kale makes your urine smell, the way that asparagus is known to. There may be a few anecdotal reports here and there, but nothing conclusive.
Does kale make you pee?
Kale as well as other leafy greens are known to be natural diuretics, which means that they help with the production of urine and will likely make you pee more. Kale contains a good amount of water, so it’s a hydrating vegetable as well.
Does kale make you poop?
All else being equal the fiber in kale should help your digestive system process the foods you’re eating along with the kale you eat. This means that if you generally don’t get enough fiber and start eating kale on a regular basis you should be more regular.
Does kale make you sleepy?
One serving of kale provides a full day’s worth of Vitamin A, a vitamin known at helping to keep you alert and clearheaded. There’s no reason to believe that eating kale would make you groggy or sleepy.
Does kale promote hair growth?
The Vitamin A and Vitamin C are known as being especially beneficial to hair growth. Running a deficit in these vitamins is like giving two strikes against your hair and not providing the optimum conditions for it to grow. Since kale provides a full day’s supply of both of these vitamins it’s one way to make sure that you are doing your part to help your hair grow to its full potential.
Does kale reduce inflammation?
Kale is listed as an anti-inflammatory food and can therefore be counted on to help reduce the symptoms associated with inflammatory conditions. These can range from arthritis to heart disease to cancer, so it’s an important part of a healthy lifestyle to make sure that you’re getting plenty of these types of foods.
Does kale slow down your metabolism?
Nothing about kale would suggest that it would lead to a sluggish metabolism. On the contrary, because of its small amount of calories, and high amounts of vitamins and minerals it stands a strong chance of helping to boost your metabolism as long as you are staying active while incorporating it into your diet.
Does kale smell bad?
Kale has a distinctive smell to it that some don’t care for, while others find it quite pleasant. It appears that aroma is in the nose of the beholder. It also depends on how you’re cooking the kale, and what sort of recipe you’re using it in. Raw kale smells differently than cooked, and it tends to get lost in the spices and seasonings and other ingredients in recipes.
Does kale taste good in smoothies?
Usually when you add kale to a smoothie, you’ll be mixing it up with other fruits and vegetables. Certain fruits do a great job of overpowering the taste of kale so that all you really taste is the sweetness, but you get all of the benefits that kale provides.
Does kale taste like spinach?
Kale is often compared to spinach because of the way it looks, and the nutrition it provides. But it has a different flavor makeup, so while it may remind you of spinach for its look, it has a different texture and taste. It can still be used as a substitute in many recipes calling for spinach.
Does kale thicken or thin the blood?
Because of the relatively large amount of Vitamin K in kale it acts to thicken the blood, not to thin it. This is important to note for those that are taking medication to thin the blood. Consult with your doctor as to the best foods to eat to achieve your blood thickening and thinning goals.
What Is It?
Is escarole kale?
No, escarole is in the endive family, while kale is a cruciferous vegetable in the same family as broccoli and cauliflower.
Is kale a brassica?
Yes. Brassica is the Genus that houses the species that kale is in: brassica oleracea.
Is kale a laxative?
While kale shouldn’t be thought of as a laxative, it does aid the digestive system because of its fiber content. Eating a lot of kale in one sitting might give the same result as taking a laxative, but this would not be a recommended way of loosening the stool.
Is kale a lettuce?
Although kale is often used in salad, and often used as a lettuce replacement, it is not in fact part of the lettuce species. or even in the same Order. The connection they share is they’re both part of the plant Kingdom.
Is kale a superfood?
Kale simply must be considered a superfood due to the large amount of vitamins and minerals it provides per ounce. Few vegetable put up the same sort of numbers in regards to important vitamins like A and C, as well as important minerals like potassium, magnesium, and iron.
Is kale a zero calorie food?
Kale contains a scant amount of calories, and can’t be considered a zero calorie food. Per serving it has 33 calories, which is almost unheard of in regards to low calorie foods.
Is kale acidic?
Kale is listed as an alkaline food on most alkaline food lists. This means that regardless of the way it tastes, it has an alkaline forming effect when consumed. Proponents of alkaline diets say that by eating specific foods you can put your body in an alkaline state and make it so certain diseases cannot form or proliferate.
Is kale bitter?
Fresh, organic kale should not taste bitter. When kale goes bad it does take on a bitter taste. If you buy conventional kale you may be tasting some residual pesticide or herbicide that is giving it a bitter taste.
Is kale cabbage?
Kale and cabbage are both cruciferous vegetables, and share many characteristics, but are not the same thing. Both are known for being high in fiber and other nutrients, as well as providing anticancer benefits and helping with weight loss, so there’s reason for the confusion.
Is kale chard?
Although they have a similar resemblance kale and chard are two distinct vegetables under different species of plants.
Is kale collard greens?
Collard greens and kale are often mistaken for each other because they are very similar looking. Collard greens are also in the same species as kale, so they do have many more similarities on a fundamental level.
Is kale cruciferous?
Yes, kale is a cruciferous vegetable. Cruciferous vegetables that you may be familiar with are broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and bok choy. The reason cruciferous vegetables get so much press is because of their many healthy benefits, including showing signs of helping to prevent and fight back cancer.
Is kale from the sea?
Kale is not from the sea, but its name sounds a lot like kelp when spoken in a sentence, and the two are often confused with each other. Kelp comes from the ocean, while kale grows in the ground like cabbage and lettuce.
Is kale healthier than spinach?
The debate rages on as to which is healthier, spinach or kale. It’s a pretty pointless debate really, since you shouldn’t eat either one exclusively. The body depends on a variety of healthy foods being consumed, and mixing things up between kale, spinach, and other leafy greens means that you’re running the gamut on different vitamins and minerals that each provide.
Is kale low glycemic?
Yes, kale can be considered a low glycemic food. It makes low GI food lists along with its cousins cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. It shouldn’t spike blood sugar levels and is a low calorie food.
Is kale low in potassium?
Kale is actually high in potassium, providing nearly as much potassium per serving as a banana. This is very unique because many vegetables do not contain potassium, which is why many turn to fruits like bananas and avocados to meet their potassium needs.
Is kale more nutritious than broccoli?
Let’s size them up: Kale has more potassium than broccoli, and more Vitamin A. They match each other on the Vitamin C and protein, and they’re neck and neck on the fiber as well. Pretty much they are about equally nutritious, and it’s a good idea to get both on a regular basis to keep your body super happy.
Is kale Paleo?
Kale can definitely be considered a Paleo friendly food since it is something early man would have been able to find growing wildly and easily pick and consume without having to cultivate it.
Is kale purple?
Kale can have either green or purple leaves, so it’s quite possible to find purple kale listed simply as kale when you go to purchase it. The taste should be the same, and the nutrition levels should also remain unchanged. Some green-leaved kale will have purple stems, so you’ll seen both green and purple on the same plant.
Does all kale taste the same?
Different varieties of kale taste different. Baby kale has a different taste than regular kale, and there is even a type called dinosaur kale that has a flavor that is different than all the others. It can be fun to experiment with the different tastes and see which one you like best, although it’s a good idea to follow a recipe exactly if they are asking you to use a specific type of kale.
Does cooking kale destroy nutrients?
Any cooked food will lose some of its nutrients in the process. That’s why it’s a good idea to only lightly cook kale to soften it up a bit and make it easier to eat. There’s no need to cook kale for long periods of time, unless a specific recipe calls for it.
Does kale cook down like spinach?
Kale does reduce during cooking, but does not cook down as much as spinach tends to. You can add an extra handful or so to a batch of kale to account for this reduction, since it will lose some of its nutrients during the cooking process as well.
Does kale need to be organic?
It’s recommended to buy organic kale if at all possible. Since it has big, thick leaves that absorb the rain and other moisture that hits the plant while it’s growing, you want to be sure that the only thing being sprayed on it is rain. You don’t want to negate the good things that kale does for the body by ingesting herbicides and pesticides along with it.
Does kale go bad?
Yes, kale will go bad if left uneaten, even if it is properly stored. It’s best to eat all fresh fruits and vegetables within days after purchase to insure that you’re consuming them while they’re at their best.
Can kale be eaten raw?
While kale can be eaten raw, it’s best to cook it when first starting out on it. This makes it easier to digest and will result in fewer digestive problems. There are many recipes for green smoothies that require raw kale, and it can also be eaten as the base of a salad. It’s often recommended to not eat the stems, since those can be especially tough to chew and digest.
Does kale need to be washed?
All vegetables should be washed before you eat them, including organic. Even though you are doing your best to try to avoid chemicals and other additives you’ll still want to give your veggies a good wash before you use them to make sure they’re as clean as can be before you eat them.
Will kale make soup bitter?
Kale has the tendency to add a nice texture and flavor to soup without making it bitter. Use fresh kale to avoid any bitter taste, as only kale that is past its prime will have a bitter flavor.