Kale is known for its pungent and peppery flavor. It contains calcium, iron, fiber, antioxidants, vitamin C and K and other essential nutrients that can help prevent a range of health problems.
This nutrition superstar leafy-green vegetable offers health benefits, including potentially reducing the risk of various types of cancer.
Kale and Cancer
Cancer is a terrible disease characterized by the uncontrolled growth of cells. Kale is one of the best foods that we can try that can provide us with compounds that are believed to have protective effects against cancer.
Present in this nutritious leafy green is a substance called sulforaphane which has been shown to help fight the formation of cancer at the molecular level. Aside from this, its indole-3-carbinol content was also found to help prevent cancer.
Kale and other leafy vegetables contain chlorophyll which can help prevent our body from absorbing heterocyclic amines, chemicals obtained when people grill animal-derived foods at a high temperature. Experts have associated these chemicals with cancer. Since our body can’t absorb much chlorophyll, the consumption of kale may help. To limit cancer risk or reduce the negative impact, we can pair a chargrilled steak with green vegetables like kale.
Moreover, the cruciferous vegetable is also loaded with antioxidants including beta carotene, selenium, and vitamin C. These antioxidants help prevent the free radical damage that is associated with cancer. Its high concentration of vitamin C and Vitamin K has been shown to be powerful against prostate and colon cancer, lung cancer, and breast cancer. Moreover, its various flavonoids (quercetin and kaempferol) and polyphenols have also powerful heart-protective, blood pressure-lowering, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-depressant, and anti-cancer effects.
Lastly, kale is also a fiber-rich food. According to a study from 2015, high consumption of fiber may help reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
How To Incorporate Kale Into Our Diet
Kale can be roasted, steamed, stir-fried, or eaten raw. We can also wilt it into soup, turn it into smoothies or into pesto, kale chips, or mash it with potatoes. Always remember to remove its middle rib before using it as it tends to be overly tough and fibrous and gives a more bitter taste when eaten. Remove the rib by hand or with kitchen shears.