Written by Emily Majorkiewicz
If you were logged onto social media within the last few years or so, you can probably recall seeing posts about a certain species of Brassica oleracea, or leaf cabbage, better known as kale. This leafy green vegetable, previously only used to adorn fancy platter dishes, suddenly skyrocketed into popularity. While the origins of this trend remain unknown, food and beauty companies alike were quick to develop an assortment of kale products such as kale soda, kale face cream, and even kale nail polish. But what makes this particular type of cabbage so special? Can it really be classified as a “superfood” or miracle vegetable?
You can probably guess that as a vegetable, kale contains vitamins. To say this, however, would be an understatement as less than three ounces of kale actually contains nutrients that are not commonly found in most foods, such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, and vitamin B6 just to name a few. However, the amount of Vitamin A within this near-cup of kale makes up over 200% of the recommended daily value. The amount of vitamin K is nearly 3.5 times greater than even this, at a whopping 680% of the recommended value ! Consuming this vegetable, which is extremely low in fat but high in vitamin density, is an excellent way to boost your nutrient intake.
Incorporating kale into the diet has also been shown to be an astounding method of reversing and preventing the onset of certain diseases. As one study demonstrated, the addition of a kale juice supplement to everyday meals significantly reduced the risk of coronary heart disease in males with hyperlipidemia, a condition marked by abnormally high concentrations of fat within blood . The incorporation of kale into the diet also reduced cholesterol levels and boosted antioxidant levels . The preventative aspects of kale are also currently being explored. A certain subspecies of kale known as Brassica carinata, or Ethiopian kale, has been found to reduce DNA damage within liver cancer cells . Such findings provide substantial insight into potential preventative properties that kale has to offer.
The health benefits of kale, both long and short-term, are still being researched, but the fact remains: this vegetable provides immense health benefits. So the next time you’re at the grocery store, you might want to reconsider rolling your eyes at the kale soda. After all, you need to get your daily dose of vegetables from some place.