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5 Health Reasons to Eat Kale: Eat Your Colors – Green!

5 Health Reasons to Eat Kale: Eat Your Colors – Green!

Kale has gotten a lot of exposure in the press over the last few years. Is it all hype or is there good reason for all the accolades? This brightly colored vegetable is indeed worthy! Let’s talk about the health benefits of kale.

I really did not fully appreciate the power of kale in my own diet until we started growing kale in our home garden. It has been a huge mom win to see our cherubs reach for leaves to snack on while outside playing and ask for kale in their tacos on taco night.

So here is the scoop…

5 Health Benefits of Kale

  1. Folate Rich. Folate is essential for proper development of the neural tube of a growing baby. Expectant moms are encouraged to have good folate intake during the critical development period early in pregnancy as it helps form the neural tube, the face, the heart and proper body size of the baby. Folic acid is essential for the body to make DNA, RNA and metabolize amino acids which are required for cell division (or cell splitting). We humans cannot make folic acid, it is required from the diet,  which makes it an essential vitamin. Folate is essential for fertility for both genders but for men it plays a role in sperm generation. Folate may play a role in reducing risk of heart disease and stroke by regulating the production of homocysteine. If you are missing folate in your diet, you can have a specific anemia (low hemoglobin, oxygen carrying molecules in the blood) as a result.
  2. Vitamin K. It is important that you don’t ingest this food if you are on a medicine called Coumadin or Warfarin as it will reverse the effects of the medicine on your blood. No matter whether a bone is broken or whole, the fact is that nutrients like calcium, vitamin C, and vitamin K will help it become stronger. Since kale is one of the biggest vitamin K and calcium sources that exist in nature, everyone in the process of bone healing should incorporate this vegetable into their diet. Regardless of bone condition, athletes should eat kale almost every day. Studies show that those with a regular kale intake are much less likely to have a fracture, and even if that happens, their bones usually heal much faster. As women, having a good supply of vitamin K and calcium is key to replenishing that natural decease in calcium intake in woman 25 years and older. As a person that does not drink milk, I was pleased to find out the presence of these bone fortifying vitamins in yummy kale.
  3. Iron. Several years ago, I was anemic due to iron deficiency. This means that my red blood cells did not have enough iron to help support my hemoglobin (oxygen carrying molecule in the blood) so I was fatigued and my body was able to function at maximum capacity. Making a concerted effort to ingest foods that are iron rich rectified this problem. Kale is one of the foods that provide a great source of iron that is just so yummy.
  4. Vitamin A. Who doesn’t want great looking skin?  Vitamin A consists of retinal, retinol and retinoic acid, all of which are found in great amount in small quantities of kale. Vitamin A has benefits such as protection against UV damage, aging reduction, encouragement of healthy cell growth and infection prevention. This is not to say that you can eat a bunch of kale and then go out into the sun for unlimited amount of time and expect total protection.
  5. Vitamin C. We tend to reach for oranges when we have a cold because unconsciously or maybe mom mentioned it to you that vitamin C can help to boost our immune systems. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is one of the few that our bodies do not store. Instead, we need to maintain a diet that incorporates vitamin C into our eating habits. Our bodies need vitamin C to rebuild all kinds of tissue, from salivary glands to the bones and teeth. Kale is one of the best sources of vitamin C in vegetables, so potent that one decent portion of it is enough for the entire week. So go ahead reach for some kale at least once a week.

All in all, kale is a delicious and power packed food. If you are able to eat it (not taking Coumadin or Warfarin) then it is well worth it. You can make a salad, drop some leaves in your smoothie, or sautee kale with other nutrient rich foods like mushrooms.

Feel free to check out this kale recipe as well. Perhaps you can add kale to your shopping list this weekend, strong momma. Download my complimentary meal planner just for you, busy strong momma.

Thanks for your time in reading this blog post. Please feel free to share it and comment below.

Be strong. Be brave. Unleash your greatness!

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Charmaine Gregory

I am a nocturnist Emergency Physician, wife, mom to three vivacious cherubs as well as a greatness and virtual fitness coach. I help busy women like myself reclaim their fitness and wellness mojo and unleash their greatness! Watch my story and get a complimentary health assessment here: My Story If you are like me and have picky eaters in your fold, join my Facebook group, Picky Eaters Strong Mom here: Picky Eater Strong Mom Facebook Group

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