Is Kale All It’s Cracked Up To Be?

The Queen Of Superfoods

Organic farm to table healthy eating concept on soil background.

If you haven’t tried kale yet, you have probably seriously considered it. Pinterest is littered with recipes for kale, anywhere from smoothies to chips. The internet is buzzing, claiming this greenery is a nutrient dense superfood. If you are a skeptic like I am, you’ve probably asked yourself, “Is kale really all it’s cracked up to be?” I’m not one to follow the crowd most of the time; I like to do my own research and try new fads on my own time. So there was no way that I was going to eat leaves by the pound without being educated first.

Turns out, kale is pretty dang awesome. Seriously, what can’t it do? Surprisingly, kale that is cooked has more iron per ounce than beef. Not only that, but it has over 600% of your daily dose of Vitamin A, and over 900% of your daily dose of Vitamin K. It also has more Vitamin C than an orange does. On top of that, kale is loaded with other vitamins and nutrients, like Calcium and Magnesium. In

It doesn’t stop there! Kale is very high in antioxidants, which help undo oxidative damage in the body. Oxidative damage is one of the main factors that cause aging and other diseases like cancer. Free radicals can react with cell components in our bodies by stealing electrons and causing a chain reaction of destabilization. Antioxidants can donate an electron to the free radicals, which prevents the potential oxidative stress.

Kale is also good for your heart. With a perfect balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, the risk of coronary heart disease is lowered. Kale is also good for your heart because of its potassium content, which has been linked with lower blood pressure and less risk of cardiovascular disease by 37%. Vitamin K has been linked with heart health benefits as well, mainly through the formation of blood clots. Although it hasn’t been proven conclusively, studies have suggested that Vitamin K may reduce risk of heart disease.

Although it seems like kale is the perfect vegetable, and it can do no wrong, but that’s not true. There have been issues linked with too much Vitamin K, especially for those who take blood thinners. Kale also contains oxalates, which have been linked to cause kidney stones and gallstones in labs. Eating kale raw is not advised, as it can cause bloating and thyroid issues. However, cooked kale is fine and can be consumed as often as you like. Even though there are potential disadvantages to eating a lot of this vegetable, the good outweighs the bad.

I guess the answer to my question is yes, kale is all it’s cracked up to be. This leafy superfood is rich in vitamins and minerals, providing benefits for our eyes, heart, and cholesterol levels. It is also effective in helping our bodies prevent cancer and other diseases. If you weren’t convinced before, maybe you are now. There is a reason this vegetable has taken the world by storm, and can be found in almost every fridge across the country. By having a serving of kale everyday, you are giving your body an excellent source of preventative self defense tools for your body.

Gabrielle Pfeiffer
Written by:  Gabrielle Pfeiffer