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What Kale Can Do For You — and Why It’s Anything But Boring

kale-1321908-1278x855image via James Wilsher/freeimages.com

by Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD

As you know, my philosophy is “eat kale and cupcakes.” This being National Nutrition Month, I thought it would be a good time to look at the “kale” portion of my favorite phrase. We are all aware that kale is a nutritious food, but what kind of nutrition does it provide? Let’s take a closer look.

Kale has many vitamins, including A, C, K and E, plus protein, iron, magnesium, potassium and fiber. It is also low calorie. In a side-by side comparison of kale and spinach on Prevention.com, kale comes up the winner in terms of “an extra-powerful nutritional punch,” and is recommended as a great way to get calcium for those who can’t eat or don’t enjoy dairy. Kale also has phytochemicals that help the eyes, beta carotene and antioxdants. Little wonder then that kale has grown to become a hugely popular food in the American diet.

One of the most enjoyable ways to get kale into your diet is to use it as a base for salads. In the Women’s Health Body Clock Diet, I explore the “anatomy of a healthy salad.” Pomegranate seeds, nuts, and cheese are all great ingredients to add to liven it up. Oil and vinegar is an easy and healthy dressing.

One of my favorite kale-based salads is a kale and fennel caesar, created by Candice Kumai; you can find the recipe on Mom Dishes It Out.

But what if you are not a salad person?

This Fox News article, which I was a source on, includes 8 ways to use kale in your diet. These include sauteeing, smoothies, kale chips and steaming.

Kale can also be a nice add-in for homemade veggie burgers.

You can even eat kale at fast food restaurants like McDonald’s and Panera.

Nutrition and versatility — what more can you ask for from a food? So give kale a try and see how you can incorporate it to become a regular part of your diet. And don’t forget the cupcakes!