Kale: The Vegetable of the Gods

KaleKale reigns supreme in the vegetable kingdom and if you have even a faint hope of reaching super immunity you need to become familiar with this leafy, cruciferous green right now. That might sound rash, but there is no substitute to kale. It literally stands alone at the top of the vegetable kingdom. Kale is so abundant in vitamins and minerals, that just one cup can supply you with more than 100% of many important daily vitamins.

In a single cup, Kale can provide the below % Daily Value based on a 2000 calorie diet. [1]

Vitamin A: 206%

Vitamin C: 134%

Vitamin K: 684%

This is a super charged mix of 3 powerful antioxidant vitamins that will ensure your immune system is firing on all cylinders within minutes.

Why should you care?

Vitamin A

Vitamin A helps form and maintains healthy skin, teeth, skeletal and soft tissue and mucus membranes. It is also known as retinol because it produces the pigments in the retina of the eye. [2]

Vitamin A promotes good vision, especially in low light. It may also be needed for reproduction and breast-feeding. [3]

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is needed for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body. It is used to:

Form an important protein used to make skin, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels

Heal wounds and form scar tissue

Repair and maintain cartilage, bones, and teeth [4]

Vitamin C is one of many antioxidants. Antioxidants are nutrients that block some of the damage caused by free radicals.

  • Read more on free radicals and how to combat these aging atoms that attack your body over time right here.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is crucial for healthy blood circulation and allows for healthy blood clotting to occur.

There are two main types of Vitamin K. Vitamin K1 and Vitamin K2. Kale and other cruciferous greens fall into the vitamin K1 family.

An article on Betterbones.com, authored by Dr. Susan E. Brown, PhD, wrote, “For example, studies document that for optimization of the bone protein osteocalcin adults would do well with a daily K1 intake of 1000 mcg. Currently the average K1 intake in this country is only 75 to 125 mcg.”

Add a little kale to your life and this problem goes away fast.

The American Journal of Clinical Eating took it a step further, when it released a study that claimed, a diet rich in the powerful antioxidant vitamin K can reduce the overall risk of developing or dying from cancer.

Kale’s Greatness

Kale

One cup of kale contains roughly 35 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) along with 6% magnesium, and almost 10% of your daily calcium and potassium needs. It is also a good source of minerals such as copper, potassium, iron, phosphorus and a stunning 26% of your daily value of manganese. [5] Although manganese is a little known mineral compared to the perennial all stars of iron and calcium, the body needs it to function properly.

Some sites will claim kale actually offers higher daily values in many of these minerals, but I went with the most trusted and conservative of the sources out there.

Kale vs. Broccoli

Although the comparison in health benefits between these two green vegetables is over before it begins, it’s worth highlighting.

The fact 67 grams of raw kale can give you 206% of vitamin A, 134% of Vitamin C and 684% of Vitamin K is even more exceptional when you consider its comparison to broccoli, a more well-known, established healthy green food.

It takes 91 grams of raw broccoli to obtain only 11% of your daily value of vitamin A, a solid 135% of Vitamin C, but only 116% of your daily value of vitamin K. [6] Nothing stacks up against kale when it comes to dark leafy greens, not even spinach which gives a closer fight, but still falls way short.

Although kale’s immediate health benefits can be seen clearly in the above statistics, kale contains something else, perhaps even more important, that few focus on or understand. Within each leaf of kale live an abundance of sulphur-containing phytonutrients.

Phytonutrients

Plant foods contain thousands upon thousands of natural chemicals, known as phytonutrients. These chemicals are used by plants to protect themselves from germs, fungi, bugs, and other natural threats.

Guess what? Once ingested, phytonutrients begin doing the same thing for you.

Phytonutrients are packed with antioxidant properties that help prevent damage to cells throughout the body. Without listing the endless facts and functions associated with phytonutrients and their benefits (I’ll save that for another post), here are some quick facts:

  • Some phytonutrients have positive effects on the immune system and hormones. [7]
  • Phytonutrients may also act as antibacterial or antiviral agents. [8]
  • Phytonutrients can be harnessed to help protect and strengthen your immune system.

At the end of the day, no matter how healthy your diet, you want more phytonutrients in your body, strengthening your immune system and enhancing the power of your cells.

Kale, Rich in Carotenoids

Dietary intake of certain carotenoids has been associated with reduced risks of specific cancers and chronic eye diseases. Kale has been reported to contain the highest levels of the carotenoids lutein and carotene among green leafy vegetable crops. [9]

An 18-month study from the University of Southern California found that in a group of 480 men and women aged 40 to 60 with no history of heart disease, those with the lowest serum lutein concentration had a five-fold greater increase in carotid artery thickness, a risk factor for heart disease, compared with those who had the highest serum lutein concentrations.[10]

Carotenoids act as antioxidants in your body. This means they tackle harmful free radicals that damage tissues throughout your body.

Carotenoids and flavonoids are the specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits. Your immune system craves these anti-oxidants and uses them to fight off various forms of bacteria.

 

Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids

Kale delivers a powerful punch of 121 mg and 92.4 mg of omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, respectively. This is significant considering it is found in just one cup of raw kale. Remember healthy fatty acids are what your body needs, whereas saturated fats found in processed foods and meat products are not.

Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are essential nutrients. [11] The human body cannot create these acids and we must obtain them from food. Health benefits are never ending when it comes to these healthy fatty acids. They have been documented to support protection against heart disease and potentially stroke. [12] Inflammatory bowel disease, cancer and even rhematoid arthritis have all been the focus of studies which show a potential benefit in consuming omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. [13]

 

Enter Fiber

The fiber content found in kale, is not huge at 1.3 grams per cup, but is thought to bind bile acids and help lower blood cholesterol levels, thus reducing the risk of heart disease.[14]

The Western Regional Research Center, based in Albany, CA released a study that stated, Bile acid binding potential has been related to lowering the risk of heart disease and that of cancer. [15] The study looked specifically at cooking dark greens and the benefits of regular consumption.

 

Kale has your immunity’s back on so many levels it is an absolute must for the super human in all of us. While there were probably a few dozen incredible health building facts in this article, when it comes to kale and other super foods, it is never a simple story. One positive effect leads to another and before you know it you have a hundred reasons to be eating a certain super food. Kale is a superstar among super foods and is the foundation of my dark green diet.

Although the benefits are many, if you can remember just a few key facts, or better yet implement kale into your diet from time to time, your body will thank you later.

Remember there are no quick fixes in the super immunity game; it’s a beautiful grind of simple, easy decisions, compounding on each other day after day, week after week. Including kale in your diet will support a healthy lifestyle and lead to weight loss. This is just a taste of the great ideas and information that will be shared on reaching super immunity.

 

To your immunity and future super immunity which always leads to super freedom,

 

Alex

 

Instant Impact – That’s what this site is about. If you didn’t get immediate impact from reading this once, read it again.

The immediate benefit of opening your mind to nutritional information you otherwise would not have known about is why runhighgofar.com exists.

Leaf Man

 

 

 

 

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About Alex Smith

Founder of RunHighGoFar, Alex is passionate about breaking the barriers of what it means to be healthy. I believe every change in respect to health and life comes from within and that the human body and mind are the most powerful forces in the universe. There are 100 trillion cells in the human body and I want all of them firing on a combination of super foods. If I can shine the light of Super Immunity on just one person, my mission will have been successful.

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