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Kale

It is no surprise this green leafy vegetable is often referred to as a 'super food' as it is highly nutritious as it is full of vitamins, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. It also makes a great vegetable side dish if you are following the low FODMAP diet (up to 75g is green on the Monash Low FODMAP app).

 

Kale is a hero ingredient in our new Cottage Pie.

Interesting facts

 

The dark leafy green has been on dinner plates since the Roman times and is common across much of Europe. Kale is a member of the mustard or Brassicaceae family, as are cabbage and broccoli and cauliflower.
 
Kale is a crisp and hearty vegetable, with a hint of earthiness. The flavours and nutritional content can vary between types. Younger leaves and summer leaves tend to be less bitter and fibrous.

Rich in

 

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K
  • Calcium
  • Glucosinolates

Key health benefits

 

 

  • Multiple health benefits. Vitamin K is also important for blood clotting, heart health and helps prevent diabetes and cancer (1).

  • Strengthens immune system. Vitamin C rich kale can also reduce inflammation, strengthen the immune system, fight oxidative stress, which in turn can help prevent the common cold (2).

  • Anti-ageing. High in antioxidants which reduce inflammation. High inflammatory levels cause premature ageing (2).

  • Protects against cancer. Kale also has cancer-fighting properties called glucosinolates. These sulphur containing compounds breakdown during digestion to form the active compounds indoles and isothiocyanates. Both of these compounds help detoxify the body and may hinder the growth of cancer by functioning as anti-inflammatory compounds and protect the DNA cells from damage (2)(3).

  • Improves vision. The high levels of vitamin A in kale help support skin health and vision. In addition, Kale contains an antioxidant combination (lutein and zeaxanthin) that have been reported to reduce age-related macular degeneration (2).

  • Builds and supports healthy bones. Kale is a top source of vitamin K. Vitamin K is required for healthy bones and several studies have shown that a diet deficient in vitamin K is linked to increases risk of fractures and osteoporosis. Kale is also one of the best plant based sources of calcium as it contains lower amounts of oxalates which are compounds found in plants that cause less of the calcium to be absorbed by the body (1).

Sasha Watkins

Registered dietitian and co-founder of Field Doctor

IG: @sashadietitian

Key Nutrients: