Kale (Brassica oleracea) is a much-discussed vegetable with green or purple leaves. Its closest relative is considered to be wild cabbage. Many “foodies” often refer to kale as a superfood, and more and more smoothie bars and restaurants are offering kale on their menus. Below are five things you need to know in order to be “in the know” about kale.
1. Eating Kale is not new. Despite the recent hype, kale was one of the most common green veggies in all of Europe during the Middle Ages. It was also an important food source during World War II because it was easy to grow and was packed with nutrients.
2. Kale is considered a “superfood” because it is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, and calcium. Just one serving has about 85 percent of our daily requirement of vitamin A, over 700 percent of our daily requirement of vitamin K, and 50 percent of our requirement of vitamin C.
3. Kale also contains sulforaphane, a chemical with potent anti-cancer properties. However, boiling kale before eating it decreases the level of sulforaphane, but steaming, microwaving, or stir frying is fine.
4. Kale is a very low calorie food. One serving size of kale (3.5 oz) contains less than 30 calories. Some like to bake it until it dries into a chip form for easier snacking.