I have been starting my day with a kale smoothie for breakfast over the the last month or so, and I must say that I think I am hooked. You probably didn’t know it, but kale actually has more vitamins than oranges, is rich in nutrients, and tastes pretty darn good if I say so myself. Eating natural unprocessed vegetables like kale can provide significant health benefits including fighting cancer and helping to lower cholesterol.
Check out this video for 12 more little known benefits of kale.
Also, I have listed a few of my favorite kale inspired recipes. Here are a few recipes for you to try if you are interested in getting into the kale craze like the rest of us.
Basic Kale Smoothie
1 tbsp fresh ginger
1/2 cup apple juice
3 leaves kale
1/2 bag frozen pineapple chunks
Peel and chop ginger, put in blender.
Chop cucumber, put in blender.
Pour apple juice into blender and blend ingredients.
Peel banana, put in blender.
De-stem kale leaves, tear into chunks and put in blender.
Pour pineapple chunks into blender.
Blend ingredients and enjoy!
Kale Orange Banana Smoothie
1 orange, peeled
1/2 cup water
1 leaf kale, torn into several pieces
2 ripe bananas, peeled
Blend the orange in a blender until mostly juice.
Add the water and kale; blend again on High speed until kale is liquefied.
Break the bananas into chunks and add to the blender. Start blending on a lower speed until the banana is incorporated. Increase speed to blend the mixture into a pudding-like texture.
Serves 2 (makes about 3½ cups)
3 ice cubes
1½ cups light coconut milk
2 cups torn, stemmed kale leaves, packed
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1½ cups roughly chopped pineapple, frozen; thawed to soften a bit
½ banana, sliced and frozen
Place the ice in the blender and pulse to crush. Add the coconut milk, kale, lime juice, and a tiny pinch of salt; pulse to begin breaking up the greens and then blend, at first on medium and gradually adjusting to high, to liquefy the solids, 20 seconds to 1 minute (depending on your blender). Add the pineapple and banana, and blend until the mixture is uniform, thick and moves easily in the blender jar, about 45 seconds, and serve.
MindBodyGreen has a list of 10 of the top health benefits that kale provides.
1. Kale is low in calorie, high in fiber and has zero fat. One cup of kale has only 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber and 0 grams of fat. It is great for aiding in digestion and elimination with its great fiber content. It’s also filled with so many nutrients, vitamins, folate and magnesium as well as those listed below.
2. Kale is high in iron. Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef. Iron is essential for good health, such as the formation of hemoglobin and enzymes, transporting oxygen to various parts of the body, cell growth, proper liver function and more.
3. Kale is high in Vitamin K. Eating a diet high in Vitamin K can help protect against various cancers. It is also necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions including normal bone health and blood clotting. Also increased levels of vitamin K can help people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
4. Kale is filled with powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants, such as carotenoids and flavonoids help protect against various cancers.
5. Kale is a great anti-inflammatory food. One cup of kale is filled with 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids, which help, fight against arthritis, asthma and autoimmune disorders.
6. Kale is great for cardiovascular support. Eating more kale can help lower cholesterol levels.
7. Kale is high in Vitamin A. Vitamin A is great for your vision, your skin as well as helping to prevent lung and oral cavity cancers.
8. Kale is high in Vitamin C. This is very helpful for your immune system, your metabolism and your hydration.
9. Kale is high in calcium. Per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk, which aids in preventing bone loss, preventing osteoporosis and maintaining a healthy metabolism. Vitamin C is also helpful to maintain cartilage and joint flexibility
10. Kale is a great detox food. Kale is filled with fiber and sulfur, both great for detoxifying your body and keeping your liver healthy.