benefits and properties of kale


Introduction

Among the healthiest vegetables, we undoubtedly find kale, or kale, rich in all kinds of beneficial compounds, some of which have powerful medicinal properties. Kale is a popular broad-leafed vegetable belonging to the cabbage family, more specifically cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. Its leaves can be green or purple and have a smooth or curly, ridged shape. The most common type of kale is also called kale, and has green, curly leaves and a tough, fibrous stem.

Properties of Kale

Kale is a food that contains few calories, even if, in the varied world of vegetables, it is considered a medium-energy product. Calories are provided mainly by carbohydrates, followed by proteins and finally by almost non-existent quantities of lipids. Cholesterol is absent and fibers are abundant. Kale is a mine of mineral salts: it contains high quantities of potassium, calcium and iron. Among vitamins, we find ascorbic acid (vitamin C), carotenoids (pro vitamin A) and folates. Kale is also rich in phytosterols and polyphenols, powerful antioxidants, and many purines.

Kale fiber…

The fibers contained in kale are able to prevent and combat constipation; they also contribute to modulating intestinal absorption, decreasing the uptake of fats and cholesterol, and regulating the glycemic-insulin surge. Consuming kale is therefore beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

Antioxidants and Vitamins in Kale

Kale or kale, like other leafy green vegetables, is very rich in antioxidants. These include beta-carotene and vitamin C, as well as various flavonoids and polyphenols. Antioxidants are substances that help counteract the oxidative damage of free radicals in the body, i.e. the main factors of aging and many diseases, including some forms of cancer. Among flavonoids, quercetin is found in relatively generous quantities in kale. This substance, according to numerous research, would have heart-protective, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-tumor, and hypotensive effects, among others.

Kale also boasts an interesting vitamin profile. Vitamin C, present in fair quantities, is, as is known, an important water-soluble antioxidant that carries out many vital functions in the body, such as the synthesis of collagen, the most abundant structural protein in the body. Kale is much richer in vitamin C than most other vegetables, containing about 4.5 times as much as spinach. Another essential vitamin present in kale is vitamin K, which is fundamental, for example, for blood clotting, in the prevention of osteoporosis and some heart diseases, the protection of the urinary tract, and the natural anti-aging action . The form of vitamin K in kale is K1, which is different from vitamin K2, which is mostly found in fermented soy foods.

Did you know that…

Kale is an ally in weight loss. With only 20-30 kcal per 100g and a very respectable nutritional value, kale is used in diets that promote weight loss. This broad-leaved vegetable, in fact, boasts several properties: being very low in calories, it provides water, proteins and fibre, with a high satiating power.

Reduces cholesterol and heart disease

The liver turns cholesterol into bile acids, which are then released into the digestive system whenever a high-fat meal is consumed. When all the fat has been absorbed and the bile acids have done their job, they are reabsorbed into the bloodstream and used again. Substances called bile acid sequestrants, widely found in kale, can bind bile acids in the digestive system and prevent their reabsorption. This reduces the total amount of cholesterol in the body. Eating kale therefore helps lower cholesterol levels, which can lead to a reduced risk of heart disease over time.

Kale in the Kitchen

The flavor of kale, a real super food, is less sweet and delicate than black cabbage, vaguely bitter and quite earthy. In the kitchen it is used in the preparation of side dishes, salads, as a condiment for first courses and appetizers (pasta with kale, orzotto with kale, grass pea and kale soup) in soups such as the traditional Tuscan ribollita, but also as pesto or velvety. Given the choice, it is advisable to consume kale raw, or cook it by steaming it or saving its cooking water for the preparation of soups or as water in which to boil pasta or rice, avoiding boiling (or drowning), which determines the loss of many water-soluble nutrients, especially minerals.


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