Eating Kale Benefits have a lot. Kale is a nutrition superstar due to the amounts of vitamins A, K, B6, and C, calcium, potassium, copper, and manganese it contains. Kale is good for health because it packs nutrition in every bite. Here we are going to discuss the benefits of kale.
67 Grams Kale Nutrition
- Vitamin A: 206% of the DV
- Vitamin K: 684% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 134% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 9% of the DV
- Manganese: 26% of the DV
- Calcium: 9% of the DV
- Copper: 10% of the DV
- Potassium: 9% of the DV
- Magnesium: 6% of the DV
It also contains 3% or more of the DV for vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), iron, and phosphorus.
This is coming with a total of 33 calories, 6 grams of carbs (2 of which are fiber), and 3 grams of protein.
Kale contains very little fat, but a large portion of its fat is an omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid.
Given its incredibly low-calorie content, kale is among the most nutrient-dense foods in existence. Eating more kale is a great way to dramatically increase the total nutrient content of your diet.
Kale Benefits for Health
May support immunity
Kale contains four times the vitamin C content and twice the selenium content of spinach and nutrients like vitamin E and beta-carotene. These are all important for supporting a healthy immune system.
May support bone health
Kale contains many of the minerals our modern diets lack. It’s a good source of plant-based calcium, needed for strong bones and teeth, and has low levels of a natural compound called oxalate, which makes the calcium more available for absorption. Kale is also a good source of vitamin K, which studies suggest works with vitamin D to support healthy bone metabolism.
May protect against heart disease
Kale contains several nutrients that support heart health, including potassium, which maintains healthy blood pressure. Another benefit of kale is that it contains substances that bind to cholesterol to help manage levels. Studies suggest that even if you juice or steam kale, you will still benefit from these advantages.
May protect against cancer
As well as being nutrient-dense, kale is rich in cancer-protective substances such as sulforaphane and indol-3-carbonyl. Studies are promising, but there is still more for us to learn.
May support eye health
Kale is rich in two phytonutrients, lutein and zeaxanthin, that support the health of our eyes and vision. Consuming sufficient quantities of these nutrients lowers the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
Kale is filled with powerful antioxidants
Antioxidants offer up one of their electrons to free radicals, thereby neutralizing “oxidant” radicals and keeping them from stealing an electron from our cells. This strong network of warriors can stop up to 99 percent of free radicals from damaging our cells at their best. Antioxidants, such as carotenoids and flavonoids help protect against various cancers.
Kale contains high antioxidants—however, antioxidants are heat-sensitive, so be sure to also incorporate the leaves in smoothies or salads to best preserve the antioxidant function.
Kale is a portion of great anti-inflammatory food
One cup of kale is filled with 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids, which play a vital role in fighting inflammation in the body. The sulfur-containing phytochemicals in kale (called glucosinolates) can also help maintain the body’s normal inflammatory response.
Kale is great for cardiovascular support
One study that featured male participants found that eating kale regularly significantly improved their coronary artery risk factors (likely in part due to its anti-inflammatory properties). The participants juiced the kale, although you can also lightly cook the kale before consuming it if you suffer from thyroid issues.
Kale promotes liver health
Kale is filled with fiber and sulfur, both great for supporting your body’s natural detoxification process and keeping your liver healthy. Kale is part of the cruciferous vegetable family, which may promote healthy digestion and can remove pollutants from the bloodstream.
Side Effects of Eating Too Much Kale
May cause dry mouth and dehydration
The diuretic properties of kale increase urination frequency to help with detoxification. During urination we not only lose toxins and impurities but also lose plenty of water, thereby increasing the risk of dehydration and dry mouth.
Rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat, sunken eyes, dry skin, and drowsiness, etc are some common symptoms of severe dehydration.
Our vital organs like the liver, kidneys, digestive system and brain, etc need water to help perform various biological functions associated with them.
Water is important for our health, and our body is made up of about 70 percent water. In some vital organs like the liver and kidneys, this percentage is as high as 83 percent and 79 percent respectively. Our bones also contain water.
To avoid excessive water loss through urination, eat diuretic foods such as kale in moderation.
Too much dietary fiber is bad for the stomach
When consumed in moderation, dietary fibers in kale improves digestive health and keeps our stomachs healthy. Their laxative properties improve bowel movement and aids in the efficient elimination of stool from the body.
This relieves constipation and other digestive problems like abdominal pain, irritable bowel syndrome, bloating, and flatulence. Dietary fibers also aid in regulating cholesterol, regulating sugar, and promoting weight loss.
However, excessive dietary fibers should be avoided as they may cause malabsorption and digestive issues like indigestion, intestinal gas, and intestinal bloating.
Excessive intake of dietary fibers without drinking plenty of water may cause dehydration, and also increase the risk of constipation.
May develop allergic reactions in some individuals
Vital nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and dietary fibers in kale provide several health and beauty benefits.
However, if you are allergic to cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and asparagus, etc, then you are likely to be allergic to kale and should avoid this vegetable.
Swollen eyes, runny nose, itchy throat, itchiness in eyes, skin rashes, nausea, and dizziness are common kale allergy symptoms. If you are experiencing any such symptom after eating kale then discontinue the consumption and consult a doctor.
Not so good for pregnant and nursing women
Essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and dietary fibers in Kale are good for pregnant and lactating women. Antioxidants and relevant compounds protect the mother and the fetus growing in her womb from free radical damage.
Folate or folic acid in kale improves brain development in babies and protects them from neural tube defects like spina bifida. Other nutrients like zinc, iron, selenium, and magnesium, etc in kale also promote a healthy pregnancy. Dietary fibers in kale promote digestive health.
However, excessive dietary fibers may cause stomach discomfort and digestive issues like abdominal pain, bloating, intestinal gas, etc in infants and mothers. So, eat kale in moderation and after consulting with your doctor.
Too many antioxidants are bad for our health
Kale is loaded with antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K, and other antioxidant compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols that are good for us.
Antioxidants and other relevant compounds in kale protect our cells and tissues from the oxidative stress of the free radicals and minimizes the risk of various cancers.
It also provides other benefits such as helps with detoxification, improves cardiovascular health, strengthens immunity, and improves cognitive functions. However, in large quantities antioxidants may do more harm than good.
As per a study published by the Journal of the Cancer Institute, smokers who took large doses of beta carotene supplements were at higher risk of developing lung cancer in comparison to others who didn’t.
Another study conducted by the office of dietary supplements states that vitamin E may increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke in large doses.
In large quantities, antioxidants not only target the cancer cells but also the healthy cells around them. This causes oxidative damage to healthy cells and tissues and increases the risk of various cancers.
May increase the risk of hypoglycemia
Kale is good for people with diabetes because of its low glycemic index and dietary fibers. With a glycemic index of 15, kale releases sugar into the bloodstream at a slow pace, prevents sudden spikes in blood sugar levels, and aids in managing diabetes.
Dietary fibers in kale slow down the absorption of sugar by the bloodstream and regulate blood sugar levels. Excessive intake of kale may drop blood sugar levels to an abnormally low level and increase the risk of hypoglycemia.
If you are on diabetic medication, consult your doctor before adding kale to your diet to avoid food-drug interference. To stay safe, eat kale in moderation.
May cause hypotension
The vasodilating properties of potassium, a vital mineral in kale relax our blood vessels, improves blood circulation, and relieve hypertension or high blood pressure.
By managing blood pressure it reduces the risk of cardiovascular problems like heart attack, heart stroke, and irregular heartbeat, etc.
However, in large quantities potassium may drop blood pressure to an abnormally low level giving rise to hypotension or low blood pressure.
Fatigue, lightheadedness, dizziness, clammy skin, depression, and blurry vision, etc are some common symptoms of hypotension. Eat kale in moderation to avoid the risk.
Also, eating kale while being on blood pressure medication should be done only after consulting with a doctor to avoid possible food-drug interference.