All vegetables are good for you, but some are more beneficial than others. Kale in particular is one of the biggest rockstars of the veggie world. Even though kale looks a lot like lettuce, it’s totally different in terms of nutrition. Kale is a nutrient dense “super food” that should be an integral part of your juicing diet.
We recently did some research to find out why so many experts recommend that dieters eat more kale. During our quest to know all there is to know about this famously healthy leafy green, we found information that totally debunked the recent “kale scare” that was sparked by a few misleading, poorly researched blog posts that went viral. We also discovered 3 excellent kale recipes to add to your daily juicing routine. Enjoy!
10 Amazing Nutrition Facts About Kale
10. Kale contains more antioxidants than any other green food.
You probably already know that antioxidants prevent or slow cell damage and help the body work more efficiently. But did you know that scientists measure Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) to determine the antioxidative impact of any given a food source? Kale is the highest ranking food on the ORAC list.
9. Kale reduces the risk of cancer.
Phytonutrients help protect plants against germs, fungi, insects, and other invaders. In the human body, phytonutrients help guard against cancer. Kale is one of only a handful of vegetables known to man that contains the powerful phytonutrient glucosinlate.
8. Fiber galore!
A mere 36 calories worth of kale yields an entire gram of fiber. A half slice of multi-grain bread also contains 1 gram of fiber, but it has twice as many calories and not nearly as many nutrients.
7. Kale is a great source of calcium.
Many vegans substitute kale juice for milk to get their calcium needs met. One cup of kale contains 100 milligrams of calcium.
6. Kale is an anti-inflammatory.
People suffering from autoimmune disorders use kale to calm their overactive immune systems and get healthy again. Kale contains a key omega 3 fatty acid called alpha-linoleic acid, or ALA. ALA is essential for brain health, plus it reduces Type 2 diabetes risk and improves heart health.
5. Kale has more vitamin C than an orange.
A cup of kale weighs just 67 grams, yet it has twice as much vitamin C as a small orange that weighs 131 grams. Calorie-wise, kale and oranges are about the same.
4. Kale has more vitamin A than any other leafy green food.
One serving of kale is more than enough to satisfy your daily recommended dose of vitamin A. Vitamin A produces “visual purple” in the retina, which allows you to see better in dim light. Vitamin A is also good for your general health because it helps protect the body from daily wear and tear.
3. Organic kale is safer than normal kale.
Though it is one of the healthiest vegetables in the world, the unfortunate thing about kale is that it’s also one of the most likely vegetables to contain trace amounts of pesticides. If you spend a little extra money and buy organic, you won’t have to worry about man-made chemicals counteracting all the many health benefits of your kale.
2. Kale has more iron than beef.
100 grams of beef has five times more calories than kale and the exact same amount of iron– 1.5 milligrams. Yet another reason why vegetarians love kale.
1. Kale is low in fat, carbs and calories.
Kale has lots of good stuff in it and hardly any bad stuff. Like all leafy greens, kale is very low when it comes to fat, carbs and calories.
The “Kale Is Poisoning You” Viral Rumor, Debunked
In July of 2015, several “clickbait” articles about the supposed dangers of kale went viral and took the Internet by storm. The sketchy health blogs Delish, Mother Jones and Inhabitat all jumped on the bandwagon, suggesting that the thallium contained in kale is dangerous.
Rumor-busting website Snopes looked into the sources that the blogs used to come up with the idea that kale is unhealthy. As it turns out, all three blogs got their source info from Craftsmanship magazine. Craftsmanship magazine is a publication about “people who work with their hands,” not a medical journal.
The Craftsmanship article covered a one-man experiment conducted by a single scientist with a hunch that thallium could be the root of many different health problems. One guy with a weird feeling that kale is bad for you just isn’t solid science. That’s why the “Kale is killing you” rumor earned an unproven rating on Snopes.
As long as you don’t eat mounds of kale from breakfast, lunch and dinner, you will not get thallium poisoning from kale. According to the CDC, the best way to keep thallium out of your body is to stop smoking. Smokers have twice as much thallium in their bodies compared to nonsmokers.
Scientific Studies Prove Kale’s Health Benefits
Now that we’ve blown the thallium rumor out of the water, let’s take a look at what real science has to say about kale.
It seems like every other week, a new scientific study comes out that proves that kale is the ultimate superfood. Here are just a handful of convincing scientific studies that showcase the many health benefits of kale.
- According to cancer.gov, several case-control studies have found that people who ate lots of kale and other cruciferous vegetables had a lower risk of prostate cancer.
- A 1990 study from Creighton University showed that the human body can easily absorb the calcium in kale. The calcium in spinach, however, is harder to process.
- According to studies referenced by a 2012 Washington Post article, kale has been proven to lower cholesterol and inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells.
- A study from Vanderbilt Medical Center showed that people who eat cruciferous veggies like kale have 22% less oxidative stress in their bodies.
How to Add Kale Juice to Your Diet
Now that you know the facts about kale, read on to discover three great kale-based juice recipes.
1. The Peanut Butter and Kale Smoothie
Some people don’t like the bitter, leafy taste of kale. But when you combine kale with peanut butter in a blender, the result is amazing. This smoothie tastes a lot like peanut butter ice cream.
½ cup rice milk
1 small banana
1 large handful of organic kale
1 tbs all natural peanut butter
½ cup ice cubes (optional)
Just throw all the ingredients in a blender, blend on high for 30 seconds and enjoy! Be sure to consume the smoothie as soon as it’s ready to drink to maximize your health benefits.
2. Coconut and Kale Power Juice
The previous recipe is designed to be an after-dinner dessert or a mid-day snack. This recipe, however, is perfect for a hot summer day. Coconut water is low in calories, yet tastes delicious and is great for hydrating your body before or after exercising.
1 frozen banana
? cup yogurt
1 cup plain coconut water
1 large handful kale
½ cup water
Again, just throw all the ingredients in a blender and blend on high for 30 seconds. As usual, drink your smoothie while it’s fresh to maximize your health benefits.
3. Rise-and-Shine Kale Juice Cocktail
Drink this juice down in the morning and enjoy a jolt of energy that will sustain you until lunchtime.
5 small carrots
1 large cucumber
3 handfuls of cilantro
2 handfuls of kale
1 small lime
Blend all the ingredients together using a high quality juicer.