Discover the many health benefits of kale. Juicing kale is a potent way to get a power house of nutrients into your body. It may not tickle your taste buds straight away but when juiced with the right fruits and veggies this will soon become your seasonal favorite!
Here’s a secret: up until just a few years ago, I only had a vague idea of what kale was (and sometimes confused it with kelp—the seaweed?). Also, I never was a huge fan of greens. Today, kale is my favorite vegetable. (I’ve also evolved to enjoy collards, spinach and chard, among others—but kale is my favorite.) I often eat it as a side dish, a big pile taking up more than half of the dinner plate, and I nearly always throw a handful or more in whatever juice I may be making—vegetable, fruit, it doesn’t matter.
Here are some of the benefits of kale that, in addition to the taste, won me over whole (and healthy!) heartedly:
Kale Helps Lower Cholesterol
Studies of kale and kale juice consumption have found that kale can help raise good (HDL) cholesterol and lower bad (LDL) cholesterol. LDL reduction is the result of the phytonutrient indole-3-carbinol, which helps to reduce the liver’s secretion of an LDL-cholesterol transporter known as apolipoproteinB-100.
It Reduces Cancer Risk
Kale has been shown to reduce the risk of developing five different—and common—types of cancer: bladder, breast, colon, ovary and prostate. This is in part due to the isothiocyanates that result from the hydrolysis of glucosinolates found in cruciferous vegetables like kale. These isothiocyanates promote the elimination of potential carcinogens from the body and help to suppress tumors. Since cooking can decrease the bioavailability of isothiocyanates, freshly juiced kale is the best way to ensure this benefit.
Kale is also able to raise blood levels of the antioxidants lutein and beta-carotene, which are also implicated in lowering cancer risk.
It Contains Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The anti-inflammation effects of omega-3 fatty acids are well known. Omga-3 fatty acids can help prevent against heart disease, lower triglycerides and reduce or prevent chronic inflammation in the body. One cup of raw kale provides over 120 mg of omega-3 in the form of alpha-Linolenic acid.
It Helps with Blood Clotting and Bone Health
One cup of raw kale provides nearly 700% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin K, an essential element for both proper blood clotting and for building and maintaining healthy bone density.
And It Helps Detoxify Your Body
We are exposed to a heady amount of toxins, both through our environment and our food supply, on a daily basis. The isothiocyanates (ITCs) made from kale's glucosinolates, the high sulfur content of kale, and the chlorophyll that is abundant in green vegetables such as kale work to detoxify our bodies at a cellular level and purge those toxins and heavy metals that we’ve been exposed to.
Now that you know all the good things kale can do for your body, I hope you’ll join me in raising a glass to the many benefits of that delicious, cruciferous green, kale!
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