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Why Kale Is More Important Than You Think
The general rule when it comes to choosing vegetables high in nutrients is that the richer and more vibrant the color, the more benefits the food can deliver. This rule of thumb is shown most accurately when looking at Kale. Kale is a leafy green vegetable, well known for its deep green leaves and stands out among other leafy green vegetables for its high fiber content as well as being one of the best natural sources of beta-carotene and other nutrients and minerals.
One of the reasons Kale has become such a popular food, aside from its well rounded delivery of nutrients, is its versatility. Kale can be used as a replacement for lettuce or spinach in salads and sandwiches, can be cooked into soups, incorporated into pesto recipes and even baked into crispy chips. This versatility makes it relatively easy to incorporate Kale into many different dishes which makes it easier to use than many other vegetables and so is easier to incorporate into almost any diet.
A single one cup serving of Kale delivers 5 grams of fiber, 40% of the daily requirement of magnesium, 180% for Vitamin A and 200% for Vitamin C. An orange, by contrast, delivers about 90% of the daily requirements for Vitamin C. Kale stands out also because of its high concentration of carotenoids and flavonoids, which are antioxidants associated with anti-cancer health benefits.
Kale is most abundant as an in season vegetable throughout the summer months, though it can also be found in cooler weather, though not with the variety seen when in season. Fresh Kale has firm, deeply colored leaves and hardy stems. The leaves themselves can range from dark green to purple or red in color and the more deep and vibrant the colors, the fresher it is. Kale should be stored unwashed in an airtight plastic bag or container and can keep for up to 5 days.
Kale can play an important role to overall health when incorporated into the daily diet. As a versatile leafy green vegetable it can be used in entrees and side dishes for meals as well as baked in order to create Kale Chips as a snack food. As it delivers Vitamins A, C and K in abundance as well as other vital nutrients such as fiber, manganese, calcium and Vitamin B6, Kale stands out as one of the most nutrient rich foods on the planet. As research with Kale continues, nutritionists expect to find more connections to digestive and cardiovascular health in addition to its cancer prevention properties.