Friends. I’m so excited to share a new corner of my blog that I’ll be bustin’ out from time to time called Wellness Profiles.
Wellness Profiles will focus on one plant, herb, food, beverage, etc., and share the unique things about this healing edible that make it so wonderful! Think of it as Show-and-Tell for natural healing foods :)
On today’s very first special installment of Wellness Profiles, I’m sharing the many fine attributes of one of my favorite foods: KALE!
I know, I know, kale has somehow become a bit of an Instagram tramp of late, but regardless of its trendiness now, it has timeless benefits that will outlast its social media fame.
Benefits of Kale:
1.) Kale is anti-inflammatory.
This is a big one, considering that much of our health (or lack thereof) depends on keeping inflammation in the body to a minimum. As you may or may not know, inflammation is associated with higher risk of cancer and various other forms of illness.
Both vitamin K and omega-3 fatty acids – which kale is rich in (see #4 & #5) – have been associated with reducing inflammation in the body.
2.) Kale is nutrient dense.
Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, potassium, fiber, calcium, are some of the nutrients that make an appearance in this leafy green. Eating kale is a great way to get lots of goodness into your diet quickly, easily, and inexpensively while keeping your caloric intake low (if ya care about that stuff ;) ).
3.) Kale is a natural detox food.
One particular phytonutrient (beneficial substance found in plants) by the name of sulfurophane travels to the liver where it “amps up your body’s natural detox power” (source).
4.) Kale is loaded with Vitamin K.
So what? Vitamin C is all the rage after all, right? Wrong! Well, sort of. Vitamin K is lesser-known but very important. It is a powerful antioxidant also associated with heart health. Vitamin K also helps the body absorb calcium, which kale is also rich in.
5.) Kale is a brain food.
Seriously, this stuff’ll keep your noggin alert. Since the brain is 60% fat (yeah, say goodbye to “fat-free” as synonymous with “healthy” – our bodies need fat!), the health of our brains depends on the kind of fats we feed ’em. Omega-3s are a vital fat that most Americans need more of, and guess what? Kale is rich in omega-3s!
6.) Kale promotes gut health.
Because of its healthy dose of fiber, kale is a great food to eat to make your gut happy. Who cares about your gut? Well, we all should, especially considering that the gut health has been linked to mental and emotional health.
Our bellies are powerhouses of bacteria, and by creating conditions in which good bacteria can thrive (eating fermented & other gut-friendly foods), we are setting our whole body, mind, & spirit up for success. Read more here and here.
7.) Kale is super-easy to grow.
This last one’s for the gardeners. . . and the not-so-gardeners. Whether you’re a veteran farmer or a novice in the soil, kale is a great vegetable to cultivate. Not only because it’s so darn good for us, but also because it’s so darn easy to grow. Plant it outside in spring and it will be producing food for you until early winter. When most other crops have come & gone and come & gone again, kale is still kicking, and even thrives after a frost or two. Try it out – you won’t be disappointed!