Information for a healthier you.
Dr. Steven L. Snodgrass, M.D., F.A.C.S. is a former Chief of Surgery, member of the American Medical Association, Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, father of two athletic sons, and the son of a cancer survivor. Because of his experiences, he created a healthy protein snack to help both athletes and patients meet their specific needs. His new product, Nutri Snax will be available, soon.
Kale is a cruciferous, leafy green vegetable which belongs to the Brassica family. This also includes cabbage, collards and Brussels sprouts. There are different types of kale which include Curly (strong flavor), Ornamental, (mellow flavor), and Dinosaur, (sweeter flavor).
It was thought to originate from Asia and was brought to Europe around 600 BC. It was first found in the United States in the 17th century.
Kale contains a significant amount of nutrients and is often hailed as a “Superfood.” It is praised for its anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer nutrients.
Some say the carotenoids, (lutein, Beta Carotene) and the flavenoids, (kaempferol, quercitin), especially give kale anti-cancer properties. Additionally, cruciferous vegetables also contain substances known as glucosinolates, which are sulfur-containing chemicals. During preparation, chewing and the digestive process, glucosinolates are broken down to form active compounds such as indoles and isothiocyanates. These chemicals have been found to inhibit the formation of cancer in lab animals. There are some human studies which associate a higher intake of cruciferous vegetables with a lower risk of some cancers, specifically those of the colon, prostate, lung and possibly breast. Genetics and a person’s environment are also strong influences concerning prevention of disease. Obviously, there is a great deal of work to be done in humans concerning consuming cruciferous vegetables and cancer research, but I did want to call this to your attention. This needs to be stressed: The combination of nutrition, exercise, genetics and a person’s environment constitutes what is considered “health.” Feel free to make any additions you want to this statement, but I think this covers it for the most part.
Kale also is a significant source of omega three fatty acids, vitamins A, C, B6 and K.
It is also a good source of fiber. A healthy dose of minerals such as copper, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus also contributes to the nutritional value of this vegetable.
Each cup of kale contains 33 calories, as well as three grams of protein.
Steaming is the best way to prepare kale if you want to maximize the nutritional value. However, it can be eaten raw or with salads. Kale chips are also available and very convenient. Personally, I add other ingredients along with kale, such as olive oil, broccoli, cabbage, onion and garlic to make a great-tasting vegetable stir fry.
Kale is a very healthy nutritional choice for you and your family.