True or false: Before 2012, Pizza Hut was the largest purchaser of kale in America, and they only used it to garnish salad bars. As wild as it sounds, a fact that crazy has to be true. It’s hard to remember a time before the reign of kale as the king of health, but it’s another superfood that has just recently crazed the country. We can’t get enough- whether it’s blended into our smoothies, pressed into our juices, marinated in our salads or dehydrated into our chips- there are a million ways to enjoy the health benefits of kale. If you’re not already a kale enthusiast, here are a few facts to show you why we we’re so crazy for kale in the first place!
- Extremely high in vitamins in minerals
Like other dark colored veggies, kale is an excellent source of many different vitamins and minerals. But kale surpasses most other vegetables because it not only has a large variety of different vitamins and minerals, but also some of the highest concentrations of them per serving. A one cup serving of raw kale packs more than 100% of your daily recommended vitamin C, more than 200% for vitamin A, and almost 700% of your vitamin K. It also includes some iron, copper, manganese and more to help round out your diet.
- Fiber and protein may aid in weight loss
Kale is also very low in calories, with the one serving totaling only 33 calories, while also packing 1.3 grams of fiber and 2.2 grams of protein in only one cup. Though it may not sound like much, that ratio of calories to fiber and protein is a big deal and perfect for those looking to lose weight and still feel full. Your body will be satiated by the protein and fiber without adding in a lot of calories, making it a great weight loss food.
- Potential to lower risk for some cancers
The National Cancer Institute cites cruciferous veggies, including kale, as having the potential to inhibit cancer growth in humans based on the findings so far found in rats and mice. Cruciferous veggies contain compounds that, according to NCI, have been “found to inhibit the development of cancer in several organs in rats and mice, including the bladder, breast, colon, liver, lung, and stomach.” Those these findings aren’t certain to affect humans the exact same way, research done so far has found some possible links between high cruciferous consumption and lower risk for some cancers. And when the possible prevention is this delicious, we really don’t mind eating it like our lives depend on it!