Kale is one of my favorite dark leafy greens to use on a weekly if not daily basis, which are incredibly important to include in our diets. Several varieties of kale exist, lacinato kale, red kale, and regular kale; my favorite is lacinato “dino” kale! Kale is a dark leafy green with a dense and hearty texture, the taste is a bitter green flavor unless cooked or “massaged” when raw.
How to use | use in salads, sauteed in stir-fry dishes, add to soups/stews, use in smoothies (the Stripped Green Smoothie), juices, kale chips, salads, Nourish Bowls, etc. Some of my favorite Nutrition Stripped recipes include Massaged Kale Salad, Baked Eggs, Fall Harvest Superfood Salad, and much more!
Nutrient breakdown of KALE | *per 100g, ~ 1 1/2 cups
Fiber | 100g of kale contains 2g fiber
Vitamin A | 308% DV
Vitamin C | 200% DV
Vitamin K | 1021% DV
Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6
Folate | 7% DV
Manganese | 39% DV
Calcium | 14% DV
Phosphorus | 6% DV
Potassium | 13% DV
Copper | 14% DV
Iron | 9% DV
Carotenoids | beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin
Flavonoids | quercitin, kaempferol
Omega-3 fatty acids, linolenic acid (0.18g/100g)
Omega-6 fatty acids, linoleic acid (0.13g/100g)
Kale has many health benefits as most dark leafy greens contain, but kale also has benefits coming from the cruciferous veggie family including powerful detoxification properties. Kale and cruciferous vegetables have been studied in relation to their cholesterol lowering effect due to the fiber content and antioxidant compounds. Kale also lowers risk for certain types of cancer mainly due to the ITC content (a.k.a. isothiocyanates made from glucosinolates), these ITC’s are also responsible for kales support on the detoxification system. Kale is generally an anti-inflammatory food.
Note on thyroid health | Keeping your thyroid healthy. Cruciferous veggies like kale, when eaten in very large quantities raw may impair thyroid function and if you’re someone who suffers from thyroid disfunction or hypothyroidism it’s best to keep the cruciferous veggies limited in your diet when they’re in the raw state. You can however, cook or steam to inhibit the thyroid compound found in kale that may interfere with thyroid hormone synthesis, which is very important for the overall health and function of your thyroid! People who have no issues with their thyroid should still play it safe with limiting such large quantities (I’m talking in smoothies, juices, salads, and in snacks all day, everyday), most healthy individuals are perfectly fine to it throughout the day. Also be sure to incorporate selenium rich foods such as Brazil Nuts into your diet as well, selenium is great for thyroid health.
Where to purchase | health food stores, grocery stores, or farmers markets. Purchase organic as much as possible, kale and greens are one of several foods on the “dirty dozen” list from the EWG- meaning foods that contain the most pesticide residue (which isn’t a good thing!).
Tips and tricks | the key to eating raw kale is a process I refer to as “massaging”, check out my recipe for Massaged Kale Salad to get the full process.