6-Health Benefits by Kale

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The Kale History

Kale is a popular vegetable and a member of the cabbage family.

It is a cruciferous vegetable like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens and Brussels sprouts.

There are many different types of kale. The leaves can be green or purple, and have either a smooth or curly shape.

The most common type of kale is called curly kale or Scots kale, which has green and curly leaves and a hard, fibrous stem.

The nutrients in kale can help boost well being and prevent a range of health problems.It contains fiber, antioxidants, calcium, and vitamin K, among others.Even the chlorophyll in kale may have health benefits.It is also a good source of vitamin C and iron.

Kale is a dark green, leafy vegetable that is part of the Cabbage Family. In addition to dark green, kale is also available in a variety of other colors such as purple, white, and even pink. Although part of the cabbage family, kale does not grow in a tightly bound head, on long, fibrous stalks that cascade out from the center of a bunch.This easy to grow vegetable can withstand cold temperatures and is therefore grown in many climates.

Like other dark green leafy vegetables, kale is high in calcium, iron, beta-carotene, and vitamin C. Kale is part of the cruciferous group of vegetables (along with cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and others), which have been studied for their cancer-fighting properties. Kale is also a good source of dietary fiber.

1. Diabetes

The fiber and antioxidants in kale may offer protection against diabetes

Fiber: Studies have shown that a high intake of fiber may lower blood glucose levels in people with type-1 diabetes.Those with type-2 diabetes may see improved blood sugar, lipids, and insulin levels.

One cup of chopped fresh kale, weighing about 16 grams (g), provides 0.6 g of fiber.

A cup of cooked kale (about 130 g) provides 2.6 g of fiber.

Antioxidants: Kale contains an antioxidant known as alpha-lipoic acid.

Studies suggest that this can help lower glucose levels, increase insulin sensitivity, and prevent oxidative stress-induced changes in patients with diabetes. It may also decrease peripheral  neuropathy and autonomic neuropathy in these patients.

Most studies have used high doses of alpha-lipoic acid administered intravenously, rather than dietary sources. Nevertheless, kale can contribute to a healthy daily intake of this nutrient, which is also produced in our bodies naturally.

2. Heart disease

The fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 found in kale all support heart health. Increasing potassium intake while decreasing sodium intake is recommended to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

In one study, participants who consumed 4,069 milligrams (mg) of potassium each day had a 49 percent lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease compared with those who consumed around 1,793 mg per day.

A high potassium intake is also associated with a reduced risk of stroke, protection against loss of muscle mass, preservation of bone mineral density, and reduction in the formation of kidney stones.

3. Cancer

Kale and other green vegetables that contain chlorophyll can help prevent the body from absorbing heterocyclic amines. These chemicals are produced when grilling animal-derived foods at a high temperature, and they are associated with cancer.

Although the human body cannot absorb much chlorophyll, the chlorophyll in kale binds to these carcinogens and prevents the body from absorbing them. In this way, it may help limit the risk of cancer.

4. Bone health

Some research has suggested that a low intake of vitamin K is associated with a higher risk of bone fracture.

While the human body creates most of the vitamin K it needs, adequate vitamin K consumption is
important for good health. It helps modify bone matrix proteins, improves calcium absorption, and may reduce the amount of calcium excreted in urine.

Kale is a good source of vitamin K.

5. Digestion

Kale is high in fiber and water. Both of these help prevent constipation and promote regularity and a healthy digestive tract.

It also contains B vitamins, and vitamin C, which promotes iron absorption. These are essential for the release of energy from food.

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