If your goal is to substantially boost your overall health, eating kale and other cruciferous vegetables two or three times a week is just the way to do it. For the best results, incorporate them into your diet four or five times a week.
A single cup of kale is filled with large amounts of disease-fighting vitamins, including A, C, and K, as well as respectable amounts of B vitamins, calcium, copper, fiber, manganese, and potassium.
Each serving of kale has over 45 unique flavonoids (a family of nutrients) that have both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. While all green leafy vegetables are good for you, kale has definitely earned its reputation as “king of veggies.”
As an added bonus, one cup of kale provides 90 mg of calcium in a highly bioavailable form. One study on calcium bioavailability found that the calcium from kale was 25% better absorbed than calcium from milk.
What other benefits can you expect from eating kale?
Plant-based omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for building cell membranes, regulating blood clotting, and heart disease.
Anti-inflammatory properties have been found to help prevent autoimmune diseases, arthritis, and heart disease.
A wide array of valuable flavonoids, including 3 hydroxycinnamic acids and 32 phenolic compounds that help support healthy cholesterol levels and search for free radicals.
On a final note, here’s something you might not know. After it is exposed to a frost, kale’s flavor gets sweeter. This means that winter is the best time of year to eat it. Of course, you may not feel like eating it raw with it being so cold outside. So, why not have it as a soup?
The following recipe is from the George Mateljan Foundation. Not only does this soup have plenty of nutritional value, but it will keep you warm and give you a great boost of energy.
Energy-Boosting Kale Soup
- One medium-sized carrot, diced into about quarter-inch cubes (one cup)
- One medium-sized chopped onion
- 1 cup diced celery
- Three cups of kale, carefully rinsed and without stems. They must be chopped in tiny pieces.
- Two red potatoes, carefully diced into half-inch cubes
- 5 cups chicken or bone broth
- 4 cloves chopped garlic
- 2 tsp. thyme
- 2 tsp. sage
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Take the onions and chop them together with the garlic and let them sit for 5 minutes. (This brings out their medicinal properties.)
- Take one tablespoon of broth, pour it in a mid-sized soup pot and heat it
- Over medium heat, sauté onion for about 5 minutes, being sure to stir frequently.
- Put the garlic and keep the sauté for about 60 seconds.
- Add celery, carrots, and broth and wait until they start boiling
- After they reach a boiling point, decrease heat to simmer and cook for about five minutes. Add potatoes. Cook until potatoes get soft (around 15 minutes).
- Put the kale and remaining ingredients. Cook for five more minutes. To increase the flavor and richness, the simmering of the soup should last more. However, it is a good idea to put a small quantity of l broth in addition.