After an amazing yoga class and a more amazing cooking class, I got home pretty late last night craving something light and healthy. I had already eaten in my cooking class but since the portions were tiny I was still craving a little somethin somethin. I had great salad fixins so I whipped up an easy massaged kale salad in all of 5 minutes! If you haven’t tried kale like this you have no idea what you’ve been missing. Kale is a super duper super food and everyone should be adding it to part of their healthy balanced diet.
Here are nine fun facts about some of the health benefits of this wonder veggie :
(from health diaries)
Diet and Digestion
One cup of kale has only 36 calories and zero grams of fat, which makes it a great diet aid. Furthermore, one cup contains nearly 20% of the RDA of dietary fiber, which promotes regular digestion, prevents constipation, lowers blood sugar and curbs overeating. Finally, kale contains the glucosinolate isothiocyanate (ITC) that fights the formation of H. pylori (Helicobacter pylori), a bacterial growth in the stomach lining that can lead to gastric cancer.
Kale is a superstar in the arena of carotenoids and flavonoids, two powerful antioxidants that protect our cells from free radicals that cause oxidative stress. The key flavonoids kaempferol and quercitin (not to dismiss the 45 other distinctive flavonoids in kale) have also been shown to specifically fight against the formation of cancerous cells. With the addition of high doses of well-known antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A, and manganese, kale is certainly a smart choice in the battle against cellular oxidation.
One cup of kale provides about 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids that helps regulate the body’s inflammatory process. A megadose of vitamin K further aids to fight against excessive inflammatory-related problems, such as arthritis, autoimmune disorders, and asthma.
Not only do kale’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities work together to prevent and even combat cancer, a healthy diet of kale also provides glucosinolates, which have been shown to prevent colon, breast, bladder, prostate, ovarian cancers, as well as gastric cancer.
The high fiber content of kale lowers our cholesterol by binding with bile acids that the liver produces from cholesterol for digesting fat. Because many of these bile acids are coupled with fiber, the liver is charged with producing more bile acid to digest fat, and therefore requires more cholesterol to so, ultimately lowering the amount of cholesterol within our bodies.
The isothiocyanates (ITC) from glucosinolates found in kale aid in both phases I and II of the body’s detoxification process. The high sulfur content of kale has further been shown essential for phase II of detoxification.
Kale provides a whopping dose of vitamin K (providing 1327% of the RDA in one cup), which is necessary for the synthesis of osteocalcin, a protein that strengthens the composition of our bones. Vitamin K also prevents calcium build-up in our tissue that can lead to atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease and stroke. Finally, vitamin K is essential for synthesizing sphingolipid, the fat needed to maintain the myelin sheath around our nerves, and therefore our nervous system as a whole.
With over 192% of the RDA of vitamin A, one cup of kale is an effective antioxidant, boosts immunity, maintains healthy bones and teeth, prevents urinary stones, and is essential to our reproductive organs.
Vitamin C, which one cup of kale heartily provides (over 88% of our RDA), is not only a powerful antioxidant, but also lowers blood pressure, ensures a healthy immune system, and fights against age-related ocular diseases, such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
And now for my fab recipe!!
EASY PEASY KALE SALAD
1 bunch of green or purple curly kale
2 handfuls grape tomatoes
Handful of hemp seeds or pine nuts (or both if your feeling fancy)
1/2 – 1 whole lemon, depending on your taste
Good quality olive oil
Himalayan pink salt
A few drops of stevia (optional)
Wash the kale and pat dry. Use your hands and rip off the leaves from the stems in bite sized pieces.
Drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil over the kale and use your hands to massage the kale until it shrinks in size and is soft and well coated.
Cut grape tomatoes in half and add to the salad. Cut your avocado length wise and twist open. Save half, and cut the other half into bite sized chunks by scoring the inside lengthwise and then horizontally and scooping out the flesh. Add to salad.
For the dressing roll your lemon on your counter or cutting board (this releases the juices!) and then cut in half. Squeeze the juice into your salad. Sprinkle your pink salt over your salad and use less than you normally would as pink salt is extremely potent! Add a few drops of stevia to sweeten things up a bit. Mix again with your hands or a fork of your feeling civilized. Sprinkle your hemp seeds or pine nuts on top. Let the kale “marinate” for about 10-15 minutes before eating and it will be that much more delic!
I love kale and it loves me. Seriously. It told me so, so don’t be jello. Mmmmm mmm mmmmm (make out noises).
Your Vegan Girlfriend