41 Kale Nutrition Facts About the Curly Leafy Vegetable | Kidadl


41 Kale Nutrition Facts About the Curly Leafy Vegetable

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Are you particular about what you eat?

If you love experimenting with healthy food and like to keep fit, you need to be including kale in your diet! Kale is a nutrient-rich vegetable that is high in fiber and low in calories.

It is also a good source of vitamins A, C, and K. This green leafy vegetable has a long and interesting history, so move over spinach and broccoli, because there's a new green vegetable in town! So, let's dive in and explore the kool world of kale, shall we?

Fun Facts About Kale

Kale was first cultivated in Europe in the Middle Ages. It was first brought by European settlers to North America in the 1600s. It was grown primarily as livestock feed and only began to gain popularity as a human food source in the 19th century.

  • This is thanks to the introduction of Russian kale, which made its way to Canada, and then subsequently to the United States in the 19th century- courtesy of Russian traders. Before becoming popular for its nutritional value, kale was widely used as a leafy decoration!
  • Prior to being introduced to the Americas, kale was extremely popular in Croatia. Seen as a cheap, abundant, and healthy crop, the curly kale became a staple in the everyday Croatian diet.
  • The word 'kale' comes from the Latin for cabbage- 'caulis', which comes as no surprise as it is part of the cabbage family. Kale is sometimes even called 'borecole' or 'cow cabbage'.
  • It is also part of the group of cruciferous vegetables, which contains bok choy, turnips, cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and collard greens.
  • This leafy vegetable can have either ruffled or curly leaves- and even smooth ones! The most common varieties of kale come in green and purple.
  • There are quite a few different types of kale out there. Curly kale, also known as Scots kale is the most widely consumed type of kale- having ruffled leaves. This is followed by red kale, named after its red-tinted leaves.
  • Another type is dinosaur kale, which is softer and easier to eat raw than traditional kale. It comes in a deeper green than the Scots variety. Baby kale is the best type to add raw to salads, and you can even munch on it by itself while on the go!
  • There are even flowering varieties of kale- the purple flowering kale and white flowering kale. The purple variety is quite bitter, whereas white flowering kale has a sharp, peppery taste that goes well in cooked dishes and soups. Along with the fun colors, they both have ruffled leaves.
  • Kale is a cool-weather crop, so it's usually harvested in the fall. This member of the cabbage family is usually ready to pick when the leaves have grown to about the size of your palm.
  • In the United States, kale is most popular in the Northeast and the Pacific Northwest.
  • Kale chips are popular as a low-calorie snack. This makes them great for people trying to watch their daily caloric intake! Kale chips are quite easy to prepare- simply bake the raw kale and season it with the flavors of your choosing!
  • In fact, kale has been named a superfood because of the immense amount of vitamins and minerals it contains! One cup of kale is said to exceed the amount of daily recommended vitamins and minerals needed by a person. So adding just a bit of this leafy vegetable to your diet will have you set for the day!
  • Kale can also be used to make green smoothies or juiced for a healthy drink. They also make a great addition to any salad and can be sauteed and mixed with spices for a quick and tasty dish.

Nutritional Facts About Kale

Kale is rightly known as a superfood- it's one of the most nutritious vegetables around- with some saying it's even healthier than spinach. Kale is chock full of important nutrients like vitamins and minerals and is even said to have medicinal properties!

It can help guard the body against cancer and heart disease, aid in skin health and bone health, and even facilitate weight loss. With the recent boom in people becoming more health-conscious, it's no wonder that kale is such a popular vegetable today! It is recommended that you eat around a cup of kale daily to reap its maximum benefits. So, let's learn more about how kale can improve your lifestyle today-

  • The first and most obvious benefit of kale is how low it is in calories! This makes it an ideal food for people striving for weight loss. Kale can be eaten raw, as well as cooked in a variety of ways- making consuming it an extremely versatile and tasty way to lose weight!
  • Kale is extremely rich in vitamin A, which is great in maintaining bone health. It's also great for the eyes and helps build the immune system. People who constantly find themselves falling sick or breaking bones should consider adding this cruciferous vegetable to their diet- it will work wonders on your strength!
  • Vitamin A also encourages collagen generation in the body, which helps keep the skin soft and supple. So, adding kale to your diet can help maintain good skin health.
  • Kale is also very rich in vitamin C and antioxidants like beta carotene and selenium, which protect the person's body from free radicals which are harmful and may cause cancer.
  • The chlorophyll in kale and other vegetables with green leaves also contributes in guarding the body against cancer. The body can only absorb a limited amount of chlorophyll, so the remainder binds itself to carcinogens- making it impossible for the body to absorb them.
  • It also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which help guard against eye problems like cataracts and macular degeneration, which can affect people later in life.
  • Kale contains a lot of fiber- which helps keep the digestive tract working smoothly, and maintains the blood sugar in the body. This makes it a very useful food for people prone to, or suffering from diabetes.
  • Kale contains a number of essential minerals like potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and calcium, which help to keep the body's fluid retention system and nervous system healthy and working. The protein in them also helps to regenerate muscle mass, which makes it a great food for people who work out with heavyweights!
  • Consuming kale on a daily basis can help to lower cholesterol significantly. This in turn guards the body against cardiovascular disease.
  • Kale is also extremely high in vitamin B, which contains folate. This helps to keep the brain sharp and healthy. So, kale not only helps to keep the body young but the mind too!
  • However, there are a few risks that come with consuming too much of this dark green vegetable.
  • Kale is extremely rich in vitamin K, which helps clot blood. People having unusually thick blood may be prescribed blood thinners to help the movement of blood through the veins and arteries. In this case, eating kale may negate the effects of the medicine, making it harmful for the patient.
  • Kale is also quite high in oxalic acid, which can cause kidney stones in large amounts. It is best to eat this vegetable in moderation to prevent this painful side effect!
  • Another group of people who should eat kale in moderation is those who are the risk of heart disease. Doctors may provide medical advice or prescribe them beta-blockers to improve their heart health, which increases the level of potassium in the bloodstream. Kale also has a lot of potassium, because of which it may not be wise for such people to consume this vegetable.
Making kale smoothies and juices is a fun and healthy way to add this vegetable to your daily diet.

Facts About Kale Juice

Do you want to incorporate more kale into your diet but can't stand the texture or feel of raw kale? Not a fan of salad? Then maybe you could stand to gain by adding kale juice to your diet!

  • That's right, this leafy green vegetable holds a lot of moisture, and juicing it or adding it to smoothies can work wonders for your health.
  • Kale is among the healthiest leafy vegetables- in fact, it is even healthier than spinach! Kale contains twice the amount of calcium, vitamin C, and vitamin K than spinach, making it the undisputed king of leafy vegetables.
  • Kale juice is extremely low in calories, and juicing the vegetable makes it easy to consume while on the run. Juicing kale is an amazing way to get all the required vitamins and minerals into your body in a quick and inconvenient way.
  • If you do not prefer the bitter taste of kale, you can even add flavors like lemon, honey, and other fruits to improve the taste as well as add a variety of other nutrients to your smoothie or juice.
  • Kale juice is the perfect drink for smooth and glowing skin. It contains a ton of antioxidants which helps to slow down aging, by destroying free radicals that can harm the skin cells. vitamin A present is extremely good for the hair and nails, keeping them strong and healthy. The omega-3 and 6 fatty acids also help keep hair thick and elastic and reduce the chances of hair fall and dandruff by enriching the scalp with nutrients.

Funny Facts About Kale

  • Did you know the Ancient Greeks boiled a concoction of kale and other leafy greens as a home remedy after a wild night out? That's not surprising, as the multitude of nutrients it contains would no doubt soothe a headache.
  • Despite being seen as the health icon of foods, kale has even made its way into the fast-food world! McDonald's has recently started selling a breakfast salad bowl filled with leafy goodness containing a lot of- you guessed it- kale!
  • There is even a Scottish proverb on kale! The way it goes- 'Dry sunny weather was best for 'maetin' (ripening) the corn and drying the peats; wet, misty or rainy weather grew the best kail (kale)'.
  • In fact, kale has been a staple in the Scottish diet for a long, long time- there are a ton of other phrases the Scottish people use that reference the green leafy vegetable.
  • The Scots even called their kitchen gardens kaleyards- that's how important this vegetable was to them!
  • Kale has become so popular in the last two decades that its production grew over 60% between the years 2007 and 2015! No doubt that's thanks to the rising popularity of health and fitness bloggers, and the growing importance of healthy eating.
  • Kale is not only used as food- you may find traces of kale in your nail polish and many other skin and beauty products! It contains a number of good vitamins that work wonders for skin and nail health, giving you a natural glow!
  • Though it is an inherently bitter vegetable, kale actually gains a slightly sweeter taste after the freezing winter! Maybe trying sweet kale may finally turn you to the healthy side, or not.
Written By
Lydia Samson

<p>A diligent and driven mass communications graduate from Caleb University, Lydia has experience in media and a passion for digital marketing and communications. She is an effective communicator and team-builder with strong analytical, management, and organizational skills. She is a self-starter with a positive, can-do attitude.</p>

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