20 Feb Why Is Kale Classed As A Superfood?
The term ‘superfood’ is one that gets a lot of use today but not always with complete accuracy.
There’s no clear definition as to what a superfood is but if there was, there’s a good chance that kale would be used as the textbook example.
This innocuous looking little green plant is so packed full of goodness that it deserves the term superfood.
Here are a few examples of why.
Kale – the facts
Kale is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet.
Every cup of the stuff has more benefits for your body that virtually any other food.
Kale is a member of the cabbage family so is in the same family as broccoli, collard greens and Brussel sprouts.
There are also several different types of kale including curly kale and purple kale.
In a single cup of raw kale (say about 60 grams) there is:
• 684% RDA vitamin K
• 206% RDA vitamin A
• 134% RDA vitamin C
• 26% RDA manganese
• 10% RDA copper
• 9% RDA vitamin B6
• 9% RDA potassium
These are just a few of the notable nutrients in each piece of kale.
That same amount of the vegetable will provide 33 calories, 6 grams of carbohydrates, of which 2 grams are fibre and also 3 grams of protein.
If there’s an enemy lurking in our bodies that we can do little about, it would be the free radicals.
These are unstable molecules that cause damage to the body and are responsible for degeneration at a cellular level – such as ageing.
The good news is that there is a way to combat these free radicals: with antioxidants.
And on the list of foods with the most antioxidant content is kale – in fact, it is one of the very top.
Kale has one of the highest ORAC ratings.
ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity and this is a rating of the ability of food to scavenge for those free radicals with its antioxidant content.
Because kale has so many of these antioxidants, it has a very high ORAC rating alongside foods such as garlic, sweet potatoes and beet greens.
These antioxidants also have a positive effect on the skin and help to offset the damage caused by ultraviolet rays from the sun.
UV rays are responsible for ageing skin, increasing wrinkles and fine lines as well as being connected to skin cancer.
The antioxidants in kale can help offset this damage and give skin a helpful boost.
Other health benefits
As well as being packed with nutrients and antioxidants, kale can also help with a number of health issues that we commonly experience.
For example, it can help to reduce cholesterol and the risk of heart disease because it contains a substance that binds to cholesterol and helps remove it from the body.
It is also one of those foods that help you feel full so if you want to lose weight and find you eat too much, then it can help fill you up, give you lots of healthy stuff and contains a high water content to help with hydration.