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10 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Kale [And Side Effects]

Next time when you order a burger, make sure to pay for extra strips of shredded Kale. Not only will you have a healthy appetizer, but you will also win many benefits of Kale!

The benefits of Kale are offering nutritional aids, anti-cancer properties, heart safety, eye health, strong immunity, and bone strength along with shiny skin, managing body weight, improving digestive health, and enhancing brain function.

Want to know more about the benefits of Kale? Stick to the article and learn to leverage the hearty perks of this healthy veggie!

10 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Kale

Generally, green leafy vegetables are a no-no for most people, but Kale is highly nutritious, like all veggies.

Let’s briefly view some benefits of the Kale plant.

1. Full of Nutrition

Steamed Kale has a low quantity of saturated fat and is very low in cholesterol content.

An article states that Kale is also a good source of fiber, minerals, and calcium. Also, the calcium content in Kale is even higher than in milk.

Additionally, one gram of Kale contains 1 gram of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, vitamins (A, C, and K), and additional minerals such as potassium and manganese.

Also, each serving of Kale has folate (a type of vitamin B) and omega-3 fatty acids, which are crucial for mental progress.

2. Anti-Cancer Properties

Kale is one of the beneficial green vegetables with many phytochemical compounds providing extra immunity boosts.

The carotenoids found in Kale fortify the body’s natural defenses against Cancer.

Kale is also an important vitamin C source which is an anti-carcinogenic agent.

Moreover, Kale is loaded with polyphenolic compounds with high antioxidant activity in both raw and cooked form.

According to the National Library of Medicine, Kale juice has phytochemical compounds effective against the Cancer of nerve cells.

Kale also contains chlorophyll that prevents the body from soaking heterocyclic amines, which are linked to the causes of Cancer.

3. Supports Heart Health

The primary reason for deteriorating heart health is cholesterol.

Kale keeps the cholesterol level in check by releasing certain chemical substances which bind with the cholesterol in the bloodstream.

This is the same benefit you will get from other heart-healthy fruits like Avocados.

A study reveals consuming 14 grams of Kale powder for eight weeks can significantly reduce cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.

Not to forget, Kale consists of omega-3 fatty acid, which fights against heart inflammation.

To add to the benefits, consuming Kale also helps you eliminate low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and prevent it from sticking to the walls of the heart’s blood vessels.

Additionally, Kale has potassium which is pivotal in subsiding blood pressure.

4. Good for Eyes

Kale contains carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin that fortifies the retina.

Research has proposed that lutein and zeaxanthin prevent Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD).

The carotenoids also subside the glare, improve eye contrast, and reduce the risk of cataracts.

Furthermore, Kale has beta-carotene, which transforms into vitamin A in the human body and improves eyesight.

However, these carotenoids are not found in the human body and must be consumed from Kale.

Image represents stir frying Kale plant with mushrooms
Chop up some mushrooms, shred some Kale leaves, and stir fry them in low heat till golden brown to enjoy the health benefits of Kale.

5. Boosts Immunity

Kale contains many essential vitamins, but vitamin C is the one that is good for your immunity.

Vitamin C helps produce white blood cells, defending us against harmful diseases.

A review mentions that people consuming foods with high Vitamin C had 30-50% less chance of catching colds.

According to FoodData Central, 100 grams of Kale provides 93.4 milligrams of vitamin C.

Also, a cup of cooked Kale provides 23% of the daily value (DV) of vitamin C. However, a cup of raw Kale is more packed with vitamin C than the cooked one.

6. Making Bones Stronger

Milk and dairy products provide calcium, crucial for strengthening your bones and decreasing the risk of bone diseases.

But Kale may be the new winner here as it has more calcium than milk.

Additionally, Kale contains vitamin K, which is proven vital for improving bone health.

Eating Kale can also provide vitamin K (68% of the daily value).

Also, one cup of boiled Kale provides a whopping amount of 177 mg of calcium.

Vitamin K is that it is helpful for people with osteoporosis. On top of that, they increase bone density by balancing calcium levels.

7. Making Skin Healthy

Among the many benefits of Kale, skin protection involves shielding harmful UV rays falling on the skin. 

Harmful UV rays from the sun can damage topical skin components like collagen.

However, a research review points out that vitamin C helps to protect the skin from damaging sun rays and spikes collagen synthesis.   

And Kale has plenty of vitamin C that can improve skin health.

An article states that applying ascorbic acid (vitamin C) can enhance your skin and repair photodamages.

Kale also has vitamin A, which helps to heal your skin faster and keeps your skin full of vigor.

Also, beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A, is present in Kale.

In research Kale when consumed with peanut butter, can enhance the value of vitamin A and increase the availability of vitamin A for the body.

8. Helping Weight Loss

Most weight gains usually happen because people are unaware of how many calories they should consume in one day.

However, you can consume Kale without worrying about gaining some weight. One cup of Kale has about seven calories, which is very low.

Kale is one of those vegetables that has extremely low energy density and high water content. Low energy density foods are associated with weight loss, research proves.

Let us suggest one of the essential Kale recipes if you are going to lose weight.

  • Half a cup of almond Greek or plain Greek yogurt
  • One teaspoon of honey
  • Two cups of Kale leaves
  • One sliced banana
  • Ice according to your need

Blend well and drink. It will taste good, be healthy, and feel full for a few hours.

9. Good for Digestion

Indigestion can pose a more significant threat to ulcers in the long run if not handled properly.

However, Kale contains high fiber and water that prevents constipation and helps to keep a healthy digestive tract.

According to WebMD, a cup of raw Kale has about 1.02 grams of fiber with only 8.75 calories.

Additionally, a research article mentions that constipation is associated with low magnesium levels.

But Kale has high magnesium levels, as a cup of freshly chopped Kale (100 grams) serves about 20-100 milligrams of magnesium.

So, why not eat one leaf of Kale daily to stop spending too much time in the bathroom?

10. Supports Brain Health

Have you heard about omega-3 fatty acids? Behind their fancy name, they are crucial in improving brain cognition and function.

According to the School of Public Health, Kale contains alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), one of the omega-3 fatty acids. 

Thus, consuming a Kale leaf daily keeps you sharp and increases your brain power.

Image illustrates the use of Kale in different ways
Kale can be used in different ways, from gardening to cuisines.

Side Effects of Kale

Although there are many benefits of Kale, this leafy crucifer also has some harmful facets.

Below are a few of the adverse effects of Kale.

  • Kale contains goitrogens, which hinder thyroid functions.
  • It is a very good accumulator of heavy metals like thallium and cesium, which can poison humans.
  • Some people may be allergic to cruciferous vegetables, and Kale belongs to the same plant family Cruciferae.
  • It contains low amounts of FODMAP carbohydrates, which is difficult to digest for some people.
  • According to Time, Kale secured third place on the dirtiest fruits and vegetable list.

FAQs on the Benefits of Kale

What happens if you eat Kale daily?

Regularly consuming Kale helps to flush out all the dangerous toxins from the body.

Kale has a unique molecule that controls the detoxifying properties of our body cells.

What are the benefits of Kale juice?

The benefits of Kale juice include healthy bones, skin protection, and slow aging. 

Besides, drinking Kale juice in the morning will give you strength for the day. 

Who shouldn’t eat Kale?

People suffering from thyroid abnormalities or sensitivities shouldn’t consume Kale.

What is the healthiest way to eat Kale?

The healthiest way to get all the nutritional benefits from Kale is by eating the veggie raw and adequately washed.

Wrapping Up…

Kale, your favorite burger dressing, not only serves as a flavor-enhancing garnish but also proffers many health benefits.

It’s a nutritious vegetable you can eat as finger food without even cooking.

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