Kale Nutrition Facts
Are you pumped up to learn some kale nutrition facts? I know I was. But everybody knows kale is good for you, so what good is it to repeat that information? Instead, I want to give you some ideas of ways to sneak a little extra kale into your diet, and how to cook it in order to maximize your kale nutrition!
The Best Salad Base
Kale is a great green to use as a base for your salad. (So is spinach, by the way.) Many people use iceberg lettuce, and they're really wasting an opportunity to use something more healthy. You can also use kale to replace lettuce on burgers and sandwiches. You can toss in some kale with a stir-fry, or cook it with some rice or pasta. You can also use kale as a substitute for bread; put some meat, sauce, and veggies in between two big pieces of kale, and voila—a healthy, low-carb snack or meal. There are tons of ways to sneak more kale nutrition into your diet.
Kale Nutrition Data: Nutrient Density
Why should you bother to go to these extremes to sneak kale into your diet? Because kale is full of nutrition! Just skim over some of these kale nutrition facts: it contains indole-3-carbinol, good for colon cancer; zeaxanthin and lutein, good for your eyes; and dietary fiber, good for your cholesterol levels. It's good for your stomach, liver, and immune system. It's good for lung congestion, which makes it a great food for allergy season. It's a good source of iron, phosphorous, magnesium, folate, riboflavin, and thiamin. It's a very good source of manganese, potassium, copper, calcium, and vitamins A, C, K, and B6. (Particularly vitamin K—70 grams of kale contain almost 700% of your RDA!) It's also a great source of chlorophyll, which is one of the ingredients for which wheatgrass is praised.
Do you want the secret to cooking this vegetable for maximum kale nutrition? Cook slowly, at low temperatures, using moisture. This can mean the difference between increasing the nutritional content or your kale, or destroying it completely. If you cook kale a little bit, you can actually break down the nutrients just enough to make them more bioavailable. But if you cook it too much, you'll break the nutrients down completely, ruining the whole point of eating kale in the first place. How you cook your kale—steaming it, frying it, roasting it, sautéing it—isn't as important as making sure not to overcook it. (Although steaming it may confer some additional benefit.) Another tip is to eat some healthy fat (like almond butter) along with your kale. This will help your body to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins in kale.