Auburn, Ala.—The popularity of kale has sky-rocketed the last couple of years. Most people think of kale as a fad. Recently, restaurants have started carrying more kale. For example, Chick Fila switched from selling their classic coleslaw to a new side item called the super food.. The super food side is a blend of chopped kale and broccoli tossed in a maple vinaigrette dressing and topped with dried sour cherries. Dr. Tamara Warren, an Alabama Cooperative Extension System specialist in human nutrition, diet and health, suggests that this sudden spike in popularity is because people are trying to increase their consumption of nutrients and are looking for a better flavor. The main question asked is, why kale? The better question is, why not?
There are multiple benefits of having kale in your diet. It has low calories and is high in fiber. It has loads of fiber and other essential nutrients. Dr. Warren explained,” Kale has an abundance of nutrients, vitamin K and A. There are health benefits to eating these green leafy vegetables such as decreasing the chances of getting cancer, diabetes and heart disease.”
Kale is one of the top healthy foods due to the amount of nutrients it holds. One cup of raw kale contains Vitamins A, K, C and B6, Manganese, Calcium, Copper, Potassium and Magnesium. Kale has 33 calories, 6 grams of carbohydrates and 3 grams of protein. If you are looking to increase your nutrient intake, kale is the way to go.
Besides having an abundance of nutrients, there are multiple health benefits to consuming this super food. Kale contains substances that can help reduce cholesterol such as bile acid sequestrates.
You can mix kale into your diet in a variety of ways. Kale chips are a popular, nutritious snack. This can be prepared by drizzling olive oil on top of your kale, add some sea salt and then bake until crispy. Another tasty way consumers add kale to their diet is by adding it to smoothies. These are just a few of the way to incorporate this nutrient filled food into your diet.
According to Dr. Warren,” You always need to eat fruit and vegetables in your diet, you always need a rainbow of colors on your plate. A general vegetable recommendation intake should be two to three cups a day, four to five times a week. Kale can be a perfect choice for vegetable intake.”