11 Reasons We All Need to Eat More (of this Leafy Green Vegetable!)

By now most of you know that I'm a bit obsessed. If I can find a way, I'll add kale to just about everything, including these delicious sweet greens muffins! I've also been known to demolish an entire bowl of these crispy kale chips in one sitting!

So it's no surprise to me that kale is not only a beautiful and delicious green leafy vegetable, but it's also one of the most nutritious.

Let's review the 11 reasons we all need to eat more kale:

1. Taste and Texture

Let's be completely honest. None of these benefits mean anything if we don't it kale and eat it often. So it's mighty fortunate that this crunchy leafy green tastes pretty good and offers such a great base for leafy green salads, sautes and a welcome addition to smoothies, sides and soups.

2. Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Kale provides omega-3 fatty acids that help regulate the body’s inflammatory process. Kale also supplies vitamin K that helps to prevent excessive inflammatory-related problems, related to autoimmune disorders (such as my own), arthritis and asthma.

3. Diet and Digestion 

One cup of kale has only 36 calories, loads of fiber and zero grams of fat, all of which make this leafy green a perfect food to choose for applying the crowding out theory just one method for eating healthy taught at my nutrition school. These leafy greens packed with fiber promote regular digestion, prevents constipation and lowers blood sugar. Kale has even been shown to prevent the formation of bacterial growth in the stomach lining that may lead to gastric cancer.

4. Antioxidant Protection

Kale contains two powerful antioxidants, carotenoids and flavonoids, that protect our cells from free radicals. Kale holds over 45 key flavonoids, including kaempferol and quercitin that have been shown to fight against the formation of cancer cells. Joining in the mix are kale's high doses of vitamin C, vitamin A, and manganese, all of which prevent against cellular oxidation and the aging process. 5. Cancer Combatant

Including kale in our daily healthy choices provides glucosinolates, which have been shown to prevent colon, breast, bladder, prostate, ovarian cancers, as well as gastric cancer. Not to mention, kale's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers, which also help to boost immune response and prevent cancer.

6. Cardiovascular Support

Kale lowers our cholesterol by binding leafy green fiber with bile acids to digest fat, ultimately helping to lower the amount of cholesterol within our bodies, which supports better heart health. Kale also provides a healthy dose of vitamin K which prevents calcium build-up in our tissue that may lead to atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease and stroke.

One bunch of kale packs a nutrient powerhouse!

7. Detox Aid

Ready for a cleanse? Kale contains isothiocyanates (ITC) and sulfur which are essential for detoxification.

8. Bone Strengthener

Kale provides vitamin K , a protein essential in the process of strengthening our bones.  Finally, vitamin A assists in maintaining healthy bones and teeth.

9. Immune Booster 

Kale supplies vitamin A, an effective antioxidant which coupled with kale's supply of vitamin C over 45 key flavonoids boosts immunity.

10. Nerve Shield 

Vitamin K helps to strengthen the protective sheath around our nerves offering an effective shield for our nervous system.

11. Eyesight Defense 

The daily dose of Vitamin C in one cup of kale acts as a powerful antioxidant and fights against age-related ocular diseases, such as cataracts and macular degeneration.

Eat Inspired Today Tip: Eat more cruciferous vegetables, such as kale and eat them often!

What are your favorite ways to eat kale?

By the way, can I ask a favor? Please stop by and cast your vote for my photo in the What's On Your Plate? photo contest sponsored by my school, Integrative Nutrition.

Be well,

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