Health Benefits of Kale

Health Benefits of Kale

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Kale is an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K, and a good source of calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and vitamin C, while being low in sodium. It's low in calories too -- one cup of chopped kale has 34 calories and a little over one gram of fiber.

Kale also contains large amounts of phytochemicals. Lutein and zeaxanthin are related to vitamin A, so they have strong antioxidant potential. Eating more kale may help lower your risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration as you get older, and it’s good for your blood vessels.

Studies on large populations of people also suggest that eating kale and other cruciferous vegetables may help to prevent some forms of cancer, due to the antioxidant ability of glucosinolates.

Kale can be served raw, but cooking reduces the bitterness and tenderizes the leaves. To prepare, rinse the kale and remove the stems. Slice the leaves into strips and use in salads. Kale can be chopped and boiled or steamed or used as an ingredient in soup or stew. You can also make baked kale chips, a nutritious snack that's low in calories.