Everything You Should Know About Kale (and Some Delicious Recipes)

By Mark Williams, www.rootandsprouts.com
September 1, 2015 Updated: September 1, 2015

This hardy green leaf has taken center stage in the health food revolution. With popular phrases like hail to the kale, and an abundance of research touting kale’s health benefits, it’s clear that kale is here to stay.

It even made the list of trendiest foods of 2014. A member of the brassica family, kale shares genetic heritage with broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage and collards.

Kale was the most common vegetable in Europe until the middle ages. Folks were encouraged to grow kale during WW2 as it provided important nutrients and was so easy to grow.

Consumed all over the world, every region with a different culinary take, kale is ubiquitous as it’s grows in abundance and is highly nutritious. Traditionally, many cultures consume kale with potatoes and sausage.

Good news for vegetarians and vegans, kale is actually a superfood, as it contains all the essential amino acids, along with nine non essential ones.

A perfect protein that also brings copious other benefits along for the ride. Very few vegetables contain this impressive amino acid structure.

Typically humans rely mostly on animal sources for their protein, which require far more energy to digest than kale and other superfoods.

The Wonderful Benefits of Kale

Alkalizing

The standard american diet (SAD) is highly acidic, and disease thrives in an acidic environment. The more dark magnesium rich leafy greens we consume the more alkaline our bodies will be and our capacity to fight off illness just skyrockets.

Kale is a highly alkaline plant which helps to rebalance the acid-alkaline balance when consumed in abundance. People with plant based diets typically have no trouble maintaining this balance, it’s how our ancestors ate for millennia.

The recent shift to an overabundance of acidic foods has resulted in modern diseases like diabetes and obesity skyrocketing.

Detoxifying

Not only does kales fibrous nature helps to move things along, its capacity to detoxify goes even deeper than that. Studies show kale to sulforaphane, a phytochemical in kale can rapidly detoxify polluntants.

While kales green goodness nourishes and strengthens our cells, its high sulforaphane content helps to induce our livers main detoxification enzyme, glutathione.

Isothyocyanates (ICTs) are compounds rich in kale which help our bodies to detoxify and support both phase one and two of the detoxification process. This is important in a world bogged down with environmental pollutants.

Anti-inflammatory

A bountiful plant source of omega 3 fatty acids, the unique structure of kale is immune strengthening and helps relieve inflammation.

Inflammation is at the root of every disease, if we can tame the inflammatory response we can initiate deep healing. An overly acidic diet is another cause of inflammation in the body, the chlorophyll rich plant medicine in kale is completely alkaline and helps to nullify inflammation.

Woman pouring green smoothie from a mixer jar into a glass. Isolated on white background.
Kale is incredibly hardy and filling, making it a great addition to your morning shakes. (DenizA/iStock)

Vitalizing Kale Power Smoothie

1 C kale, chopped

1 C spinach

1 C frozen berries

1 banana

1 Tbs almond butter

1/2 C apple juice

water to cover

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend for two minutes until smooth.

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