By Raúl Martínez
Eating kale is beneficial for maintaining healthy skin, hair, and strong bones, as well as aiding digestion and reducing the risk of heart disease. The consumption of kale allows to control blood glucose in diabetics, prevents the risk of developing cancer, reduces blood pressure and the risk of developing asthma.
Kale is a green leafy vegetable that belongs to the Brassica family, a group of vegetables that includes cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, which can be found in markets from mid-winter to early spring, being in spring when it tastes sweeter and is more widely available. Kale has dark green leaves, a stringy stem, and a slightly spicy flavor that makes it delicious.
Like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, kale is descended from wild cabbage, a plant believed to have originated in Asia Minor and arrived in Europe around 600 BC brought by Celtic migratory groups. It was an important crop during Greek and Roman times, being a very popular vegetable in the Middle Ages.
A 100-gram serving of kale provides 49 calories and is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, folic acid, and manganese. It is a good source of thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, vitamin E, and various minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, copper, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Among its medicinal properties, its great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power stands out. In addition to conventional antioxidants such as vitamin C, beta-carotene and manganese, it also provides us with a minimum of 45 different flavonoids, among which kaempferol and quercetin are worth mentioning. It is known that the flavonoids in kale not only have a powerful function as antioxidants but are also compounds of great anti-inflammatory power, being essential for the prevention of chronic inflammation and cellular oxidative stress.
Kale provides significant amounts of omega-3s in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is an essential polyunsaturated fatty acid that the body cannot synthesize. But it is also an important source of natural fiber that will allow us to enjoy good digestive health.
It is rich in glucosinolates that once ingested are used by the body as cancer preventive compounds. They have properties against bladder, breast, colon, ovarian and prostate cancer.
Kale provides comprehensive support for the body's detoxification system, as isothiocyanates (ITCs) are the molecules that regulate detoxification thanks to glucosinolates and help control the detoxification process at the genetic level.
Include kale in your diet, introduce it as a vegetable of regular consumption, and you will obtain the magnificent health benefits that this cruciferous provides.
Author: Raúl Martínez, dietetics and diet therapy Homo toxicology