Why is Kale so Good for You?

Fresh kale growing on stalks outside

By: Karen Ilhardt, Home Economist, Kroger Customer Connect

Have you been introduced to kale? If not, allow me to have the honor. I think you will soon be enjoying kale for many delicious, healthy meals as you become more acquainted with each other. You will embrace its bounty of nutrients, versatile styles of preparation and convenient availability.

Close relatives of kale include cabbage, collards, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. With lineage like that, kale has to live up to a lot of good nutrition - and it doesn’t disappoint! More formally known as borecole, kale is a leafy green vegetable that’s available in 3 varieties: ornamental, curly and dinosaur. Kale tends to thrive in cooler weather and may be available when other dark, leafy greens aren’t in season. Look for the small, tender and milder leaves. Simple Truth® selects the best for you for its Organic Baby Kale. Colors naturally vary from dark green to purple to a deep red, and the leaves will have a curly edge.

Like its relatives, kale is a powerhouse when it comes to packing nutrients. I’ve read that it’s the “Queen of Greens.” What a fabulous title! So exactly what does this Queen of Greens bring to the table? Let’s look at what each one-cup serving offers:

  • 36 calories (cooked)
  • 2.5 grams fiber
  • 9% daily value of calcium and Vitamin B6 (94 mg calcium, 0.18 mg B6)
  • 6% daily value of magnesium (23 mg)
  • 192% daily value of Vitamin A (9620 International Units)
  • 88% daily value of Vitamin C (53 mg)
  • 1318% daily value of Vitamin K (1054 micrograms)

Simple Truth Organic™ Baby Kale provides great levels of antioxidants and fiber with a crisp, young texture. Kale has also been cited by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition to have anti-cancer health benefits. While kale is on its way to becoming a “super food” there are some limitations. Since it has such a large amount of Vitamin K, people taking anticoagulants (heart patients) should consult their doctor before eating it. Also, kale should not be eaten with calcium-rich foods such as dairy products. The naturally occurring oxalates in kale can interfere with calcium absorption.

So, now that you know the 411 on kale, I hope you’re comfortable inviting it to lunch or dinner. Still not sure how to use it? Kale can hang out in your refrigerator, unwashed, in an air-tight plastic bag for up to 5 days. This gives you some time to get inspired. Try it as a substitute in a favorite collard greens recipe. Slice it thinly for a salad topped with red peppers, raisins and your favorite dressing. Are you a fan of pasta? Toss some chopped kale with whole-grain pasta and then top with pine nuts, feta cheese and a splash of olive oil. The possibilities are endless…enjoy!