A Healthy You: Kale is Truly The Queen of Greens
Kale is a member of the headless cabbage family, which also includes broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Kale can be curly or flat leaved and also is a popular landscape plant but can be a tasty side dish, too.
Kale is one of the healthiest foods we can add to our diet. One cup of kale contains only 36 calories, but 5 grams of fiber, 180 percenty of Vitamin A, 200 percent of vitamin C and 1,020 percent of vitamin K. Since kale is very high in vitamin K, it should be avoided for those taking Coumadin. It also is a good source of calcium, iron and folate. Since kale is a member of the cruciferous family, it’s a great cancer fighter. It also is high in antioxidants, which are great cancer fighters. Kale is rich in lutein which is beneficial for the eyes.
It’s a great time to pick up some kale at the farmers market. Look for firm, deeply colored leaves with hardy stems. Smaller leaves will be more tender and milder in flavor. Store kale unwashed in an air-tight zipped plastic bag for up to five days in refrigerator.
Quick cooking this vibrant vegetable preserves its nutrients, color and flavor. Rinse kale and chop it finely, and add to soups, Salads, casseroles and egg dishes. You can also eat as a salad. Tasty kale chips can be made by slicing kale chips into bite-size pieces, toss with a drizzle of olive oil and add a pinch of salt, and bake for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees in the oven.
A Healthy You is a regular column about nutrition, healthy living and cancer care. It is written by Cindy Gates, RD and LD and the Cancer Center’s Oncology dietitian, herbalist and Certified Wellness Coach.