Kale is a member of the cabbage family that is becoming more and more appreciated for its taste and for its rich vitamin and mineral content. In fact, kale is considered one of the healthiest foods in the world. Kale leaves bring extraordinary benefits to the body, and that’s why kale is called the queen of vegetables.
Cabbage belongs to the same vegetable family as broccoli, cauliflowers and Brussels sprouts. It is thought that the word comes for the Dutch “boerenkool”, which means “farmer’s cabbage”. There exist similar words in other languages such as “kal” in Danish, “cal” in Gaelic, and “kohl” in German, all meaning a kind of cabbage. There are several types of kale that all look different: with curly leaves, straight leaves, a combination of the two; there is even a type of kale with black leaves called “cavolo nero”, specific to Toscana, Italy.
The treasure full of antioxidants
Kale is extremely rich in vitamins A, K and C. At the same time, it also contains calcium, iron, potassium, copper, manganese, phosphorus, vitamin E, beta-carotene and lutein (important for the health of the eyes). A handful of raw, chopped kale only contains 35 calories, but 680% of the necessary intake of vitamin K, over 200% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin A which you need every day, and over 130% of the necessary vitamin C.
Healthy kale chips
Kale leaves are eaten raw in salads and side dishes, but you can also make healthy kale chips at home. For that, you need to tear the kale leaves into smaller pieces and sprinkle some oil and salt over them. Then, place them into the oven and bake them at medium heat for about 10 minutes. The resulting chips will be delicious!
Not recommended along with anticoagulants
Kale is not recommended if you are under a treatment with anticoagulants, due to its very high vitamin K content; this vitamin may interact with the medication. Also, you shouldn’t eat kale combined with dairy, as kale contains oxalates, which inhibit the absorption of calcium.
The benefits brought by kale are so numerous; next time when you see this vegetable in the grocery store, you should go ahead and give it a try!