We bet you just cringed at the headline! ‘Kale’ seems to be the buzzword in any article talking about health and wellness, right? To be honest, we too had similar reactions reading about kale until recently when we started including it in our diets. It was during one grocery shopping visit at Walmart, when we said what the heck, let’s see what the fuss is about. After a week of having kale salads and smoothies, we have fallen in love with this wonder vegetable. Benefits of kale are indeed enormous. Plus, it isn’t as ‘boring’ in taste as it sounds!
Are you wondering why it is talked of so much? Read on to know its various health benefits. Before that though, let’s take a look at the history of this amazing vegetable.
Brief History of Kale
Although it seems like the latest fad, kale has been a popular vegetable all over the world through centuries. Its exact origin is unknown, but it is believed that ancients Greeks used to grow leafy greens and use it as a cure for ‘inebriation. Historians have found references to cabbages and kale like plants in early Roman manuscripts. It is known that by the Middle Ages, kale was found through Europe and Asia. Early records in Russia also show that kale could survive in the snow and hence was a popular vegetable. Russian traders took kale into Canada and then introduced it into the United States of America in the 19th century.
During World War II, cultivation of kale was encouraged in the UK since it was easy to grow and it offered vital nutrients which were missing due to food rationing.
Health Benefits of Kale:
- It is High in Iron
The importance of iron in your diet cannot be overstated. Essential for formation of hemoglobin and enzymes, a good dose of iron is a must for properly transporting oxygen to various parts of the body, cell growth, good liver function and more. Kale’s benefits include taking care of your body’s iron requirement.
- Has Powerful Antioxidants
Rich in antioxidants, kale leaves help you prevent early signs of ageing. Kale contains antioxidants like beta-carotene, vitamin C, and polyphenols that are helpful in counteracting the damage caused by free radicals. These antioxidants are also helpful in cancer prevention and are associated with treatment benefits. In fact, research suggests that kale may be most helpful in preventing bladder, breast, colon, ovary, and prostate cancers.
- Helps You Detoxify
If you are trying to detoxify, be sure of adding this veggie in your diet. Kale contains power compounds that not only help to detoxify your body but also fight against the growth of tumors.
- Improves Quality of Skin and Hair
Being an excellent source of vitamin C, kale is helpful in keeping your skin and hair healthy. The iron in Kale prevents hair loss while vitamin C helps collagen production, which keeps skin youthful.
- Keeps Your Heart Healthy
Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential for keeping heart healthy, are present in good balance in Kale. Also, it is a good source of vitamin K, which prevents hemorrhages. A recent study showed that people who regularly drank kale juice, recorded a gain in “good” cholesterol, which is essential for a fit heart.
Known as the “queen of greens”, kale is a superfood, known to be a nutritional powerhouse. Loaded with several essential nutrients, this leafy can be included to your diet in the form of salad, as a side dish or can be your main dish as well.