How Kale Helps Promote a Healthy Lifestyle

Nutrient Content

Vitamins

Excellent Source of: 

  • Vitamin K – 684%
  • Vitamin A – 206%
  • Vitamin C – 134%

Also a Source of:

  • Vitamin B6 – 9%
  • Thiamin – 5%
  • Riboflavin – 5%
  • Folate – 5%
  • Niacin – 3%

Minerals

Excellent Source of: 

  • Manganese – 26%

Good Source of: 

  • Copper – 10%

Also a Source of:

  • Calcium – 9%
  • Potassium – 9%
  • Iron – 6%
  • Magnesium – 6%
  • Phosphorus – 4%

Other

Also a Source of:

  • Fiber – 5%
  • Protein – 4%
  • Antioxidants – Flavonoids, polyphenols
  • Bile Acid Sequestrants

*Nutritional Info From (1)

How Kale Prevents Chronic Disease

Kale contains a number of compounds that help improve your long-term prognosis for chronic disease.

How Kale Prevents Cancer

Kale is loaded with antioxidants and has been shown to decrease risk of several different cancers. Cancer is often caused by oxidative stress and chronic inflammation. When there is an excess of free radicals–unstable molecules that attack your tissues–in the body, there is an increased risk of cancer cells proliferating and spreading to different parts of the body. As a result, the cancer becomes increasingly dangerous over time, greatly reducing survival-rate. (2)

  • Similar to other leafy greens, kale is high in antioxidants like vitamin C, beta-carotene, flavonoids, and polyphenols. These antioxidants help battle against free radicals. (3)

  • Vitamin C protects your immune system by promoting white blood cell production. White blood cells protect your body from foreign agents and against several malignant cell types, including cancer cells.

    • Vitamin C has been shown to protect against many cancers, such as lung, breast, and colorectal cancer. (4, 5, 6)

  • Kale is particularly loaded with two antioxidants, sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol, which have been shown to prevent cancer.

    • Sulforaphane is able to fight against the formation of cancer cells and prevent them from proliferating. (7)
    • Indole-3-carbinol also fights against cancer by promoting the apoptotic capabilities of immune cells. (8)
  • Studies have shown that several cruciferous vegetables can prevent and reduce the risk of several cancers. (9)

How Kale Prevents Diabetes

Kale has been shown to prevent type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is caused by chronic increases in blood sugar levels. As your blood sugar levels fluctuate and increase after a carb-loaded meal, your insulin resistance increases–a prediabetic condition.

  • Kale has sufficient magnesium content. Magnesium has been shown to regulate blood sugar levels in the body by reducing the absorption of sugar. Ultimately, this can help reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes. (10)

  • Also, kale has high water content and is low in calories; kale can fill you up and has been shown to reduce weight and blood sugar levels.

How Kale Prevents Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death in the world. Cardiovascular deaths can often be attributed to buildup of bad LDL cholesterol and high blood pressure. Excess of LDL cholesterol clumps together and blocks blood flow. As a result, LDL cholesterol plaques can cause stroke or heart attack. It is essential to consume foods with good HDL cholesterol, which combats LDL cholesterol.

  • Kale contains compounds called bile acid sequestrants. Bile acid sequestrants can prevent bile acids from reabsorbing into the digestive system. Typically, your liver will turn cholesterol into bile acids, which are then released into the bloodstream whenever you have a carb-loaded meal. The cholesterol stays in your body throughout any meal that you have – however, kale helps eliminate these bile acids. In turn, this lowers your cholesterol level and reduces your risk of heart attack or stroke. (11)

    • One study found that having kale juice for a few months helped increase HDL cholesterol by up to 25% and lowered LDL cholesterol by 10%. (12)

    • Similarly, another study showed that kale increases bile acid sequestrant effects. Kale was about half as effective as a cholesterol-lowering drug. (13)
  • Furthermore, kale is extremely rich in vitamin K. Vitamin K has been shown to reduce your risk of heart diseases by minimizing the probability of blood clots. Kale is one of the richest sources of vitamin K, so be sure to incorporate this into your diet for all the benefits laid out above. (14)

Kale Promotes a Number of Health Benefits

How Kale Promotes Bone Health

As mentioned above, kale is absolutely loaded with vitamin K. Kale is also an adequate source of potassium and calcium. All three of these nutrients have been shown to improve your overall bone health. Specifically, they each act and contribute to your bones’ overall strength, durability, and density. By consuming kale, you reduce your risk of bone-related disorders, such as osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. (15, 16, 17)

How Kale Promotes Eye Health

Kale is very rich in lutein and zeaxanthin. Lutein and zeaxanthin have been shown in many studies to preserve eye health. Many studies have shown that lutein and zeaxanthin can reduce your risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. (18)

Kale is also rich in vitamin A and beta carotene (the precursor for vitamin A). Vitamin A has been shown beneficial for eye health, as it improves your night vision. (19)

As you age, it is essential to receive lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamin A through diet to minimize risk of debilitating diseases and permanent damage.

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