“Kale this,” “kale that.” Why is everyone talking about kale these days? I thought the same thing until about two years ago. I could give you very scientific sounding reasons why kale is so healthy (and I will), but really the answer is: because it’s delicious! I was not a big vegetable eater growing up, but in my adult years, I have slowly introduced new vegetables to my diet and there are very few better than kale in terms of taste. It is similar to cabbage, but tastes earthier and fresher. Perhaps it is a completely psychological thing that I think kale tastes so good just because I know it’s healthy for me, but who cares? Real taste or psychological makes no difference — bottom line is I like it, and I think you will too.
According to WebMD, kale can help lower cholesterol and provide cancer protection. Loaded with vitamins A, C, and K (and I mean loaded with 206%, 134%, and 684% respectively of your daily needs), kale is also a good source of copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. Those three vitamins I listed — A, C, and K — are what people commonly refer to as antioxidants, which are usually associated with cancer prevention. Kale is also rich in lutein and zeaxanthin compounds which promote healthy eyes.
Dr. Drew Ramsey, author of the book, “50 Shades of Kale,” says, “I love recommending kale for three fundamental reasons: Kale tops the charts of nutrient density, possesses incredible culinary flexibility, and is easy to grow almost anywhere. My ultimate measure of a food is its power to support brain health, and it is clear that more kale in your diet means a happier, healthier, sexier you — all the basic signs that your brain is running well.”
So that’s a rundown of the basic health benefits and why you should eat kale. But we don’t want to eat things because we should, we want to eat them because they taste good. As Dr. Ramsey mentioned, kale as incredible culinary flexibility and can be adapted to just about any diet.
One of my personal favorite kale recipes in this Spicy Kale and Corn Stuffed Chicken Breasts from the Food Network. Add a side of quinoa and asparagus and you have got yourself one killer dinner. Another extremely quick kale recipe is to just throw some in a pan with hot olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss the kale around for about 5-10 minutes until it gets crispy and you have crunchy kale chips! It’s a nice substitute for potato chips that your body will thank you for.
So the next time you’re at the grocery store, make sure to pick up a big bunch of the new “queen of greens.”