Kale has been around for many centuries. It was famously eaten by the Ancient Greeks and Romans, being particularly popular among soldiers. Kale is a member of the Brassica family, which includes broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. It's considered to be an important part of the human diet due to its high nutritional value. This is particularly true in the case of cancer prevention because kale provides protection against several different types of cancer.
What Nutrients Does Kale Contain?
Kale is rich in iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K1, and vitamin B6. It's also a very good source of dietary fiber, manganese, folate, calcium, potassium, copper, and omega-3 fatty acids.
It also contains important phytonutrients, including carotenoids, glucosinolates, and flavonoids. These compounds have been shown to possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and other protective effects that can help reduce the risk of cancer.
The anti-estrogenic compounds diindolylmethane and indole-3-carbinol are also found in kale. They have the ability to regulate estrogen metabolism, which can help prevent hormone-dependent cancers like breast cancer. These compounds also help reduce the risk of other types of cancer by inducing apoptosis (cell death) in precancerous cells before they develop into tumors.
What Can Kale Do For You?
Cancer Prevention: Kale is a very good source of antioxidants that fight free radicals, which are unstable molecules that damage cells and sometimes lead to cancer. Free radicals can be introduced into the body by environmental factors such as pollution and ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Antioxidants help fight these free radicals, so people who eat a lot of antioxidants have a lower risk of developing cancer. And- as previously mentioned, kale can play an important role in reducing the risk of estrogen-dependent cancers as well.
Digestion: Kale contains soluble and insoluble fiber that helps promote regularity and prevent constipation and other digestive issues. It also has antimicrobial properties, which can help fight off harmful bacteria in the intestines and prevent illness.
Lowering Blood Sugar: Kale is a very good source of fiber, manganese and omega-3 fatty acids. All of these nutrients help slow down the digestive process and reduce blood sugar levels after eating. They also help decrease insulin resistance to enhance management of diabetes.
Eye Health: The high amounts of vitamin A and lutein in kale play an important role in protecting the eyes from age-related problems. Vitamin A is an antioxidant that can help prevent free radical damage, while lutein is a carotenoid that gives eye tissue its support structure and strength.
Weight Loss: Kale contains only 33 calories per 100 grams of raw weight or 134 calories per cooked cup. It's also high in fiber, which makes you feel fuller and eat less throughout the day.