Super foods and fad foods may come and go but the kale revolution looks set to stay. And it's no wonder considering the punch this nutrient-dense, leafy vegetable packs. But is kale really that good for you?
As per any nutritional issue, there are several schools of thought with overlapping or outright opposing theories on the various health benefits of kale; never eat it raw versus raw is best, or it has minimal oxalates versus it is high in oxalates (considered by some to be an anti-nutrient, oxalates which are present in certain foods bind to minerals such as iron, calcium and magnesium rendering them unavailable to the body for absorption).
an excellent source of vitamins and minerals particulary vitamins A, C and K, and iron and calcium; per calorie kale has more iron than beef, more calcium than milk and ten times more vitamin C than spinach.
cholesterol free it contains essential fatty acids (omega 3 and omega 6).
contains protein and fibre.
low levels of oxalates compared with other leafy greens.
nutritional components aid the body's bone building, eye sight and immune system.
strong anti-inflammatory properties - helps to prevent and ameliorate chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis.
When adding a new element to the diet for health benefits, some people find it easier to integrate the food slowly - with kale, suggestions include adding small chopped amounts to salads, casseroles, stews, pasta, and vegetable dishes, gradually increasing the amount you use until you're accustomed to the taste. My personal favourite uses for kale are in a green super smoothie, roasted kale chips and My Kitchen Rules contestants Luke and Scott's Coconut Kale Salad which would surely convert anyone!
Homemade roasted kale chips
Please note, kale and other leafy green vegetables are on the Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen list (produce with the most pesticide residue) and should be purchased organically where possible.
If you have a favourite use for kale please share it with our readers in the Comment Box.