Health benefits of kale come from being in the top ten nutritional foods.
This page updated on 30th October, 2018.
Let's face it, you don't eat kale because it's delicious like a bar of chocolate or cheese hamburger; you train your mind to enjoy it because you don't want to get breast and prostate cancer, you don't like spending what seems like hours groaning on the toilet and you simply want to be healthier; period.
Oh, and because you don't like pain; and then the premier reason for having kale regularly - we enjoy it daily from the garden - is your eyes; macular degeneration and cataracts are no fun.
Those three little baby leaves on the left at 11 o'clock are the kale.
Flavonoids are the so called phytochemicals that improve our health and lessen our susceptibility to disease; they are found in so called functional foods.
Forty five flavonoids in kale have been identified. Two of the most important are lutein and zeaxanthin; they are found in the main in very high concentrations in the retina of the eye, and in the brain.
Kale is the richest source of lutein and zeaxanthin, but to absorbe them into the bloodstream you need some fat; so enjoy them on salad with olive oil and when cooked with a dollop of butter. Personally I shun margarine.
If you eat plenty of functional foods like kale you need have no fear of raised cholesterol.
There are many different varieties of kale; basically they are easy to grow and bear for a very long period. Every day you can pick a few leaves off each plant to make up a meal. Lightly steamed in one way or another is best.
Health benefits of kale include protection against many cancers including breast and prostate; it's all in their anti oxidant properties, mopping up free radicals.
Both breast and prostate cancer tend to metastasize to the spine, hence our particular interest as chiropractors. It's exceptionally painful because the pedicle or vertebral body tends to collapse. If training your tongue to simply love kale is what it takes to avoid these horrific diseases, then we just do it, or suffer.
There's no denying one of the greater miseries, often experienced once or twice a week, is time spent on the toilet, grunting and groaning, and praying a haemorrhoid won't burst.
One of the great health benefits of kale is that, eaten daily, it means that the loo becomes an easy two minute affair.
Even more important, though it only tends to occur when we get older, so we ostriches tend to dismiss it; constipation is the cause of a great many miseries like polyps and colorectal cancer.
The fibre in kale gives us a great measure of protection against these miseries just by virtue of its mucopolysaccharides.
Despite all the interventions by medicine, inflammation in the body continues to increase. Cardiovascular surgeons relate that the inner lining of blood vessels become ever more red and angry looking. The same could be said for pain in joints and muscles, keeping chiropractors, physiotherapists and surgeons in business.
Much of it has to do with our love affair with refined carbohydrates; they cause raised blood glucose and ultimately insulin resistance; that means inflammation. The fibre in kale is fermented in the colon where it doesn't produce glucose.
A determination to enjoy your greens, including kale, on a daily basis would change all of this.
To get the maximum benefit from your kale it needs to be chopped, and lightly steamed with some fat; don't over cook it, and don't add too much water.
Eggs Florentine made with a mixture of kale and spinach, lightly steamed on an onion fried in butter, is a wonderful way to make sure you are getting sufficient fibre, vitamin B12 and folate, magnesium and all the carotenes that give protection against a host of diseases including macular degeneration.
Our version we call eggs Hilton; spice it up with a little chilli and garlic, and perhaps even some beans like favas or limas; they keep you sated and you don't feel famished at 11 o'clock.
Perhaps surprisingly, kale is a rich source of an omega 3 fatty acid known generally as ALA; it's a large part of its anti inflammatory properties.
If you are suffering from chronic pain, consider the health benefits of kale, and omega-3 in general. The best known source is fatty fish like salmon or mackerel.
Not that we don't also have a responsibility to exercise our bodies; in particular that part which we know is weak. Simply because there is an epidemic of lower back pain, I recommend you give a few minutes attention to the lumbar spine and sacroiliac joints every morning before arising from bed; that plus a diet rich in omega-3 means less lumbago.
Back pain in those suffering from the inflammation associated with insulin resistance doesn't respond nearly as well to any form of treatment, including chiropractic.
More about what is kale good for?
About ten million Americans are blind from age-related macular degeneration. Whilst it's a complex subject, simply making sure we get sufficient of two carotenoids, namely lutein and zeaxanthin which are found in very high concentration in the fovea of the eye would prevent nearly half of these cases, and ameliorate the other half. The health benefits of kale is a large part of the solution.
Lutein and zeaxanthin macular degeneration is a subject for each of us to consider. It's one of the simply huge health benefits of kale; it's the richest source. Enjoy it daily with spinach and free range eggs and you're home and dry.
Bernard Preston is a retired chiropractor with a passion for healthy, green living, and protecting the environment. He enjoys the health benefits of kale and spinach every morning for breakfast in his eggs Hilton. On a slice of toasted 100% sourdough bread, with ample butter to increase the absorption of the phytochemicals, it's absolutely delicious.
His optician says that's the reason why he has not a sign of macular degeneration or cataracts, and the urologist gives the greens and tomatoes the credit for a PSA of only 0.9; that's astonishingly low at 70.
Bernard Preston's basic eggs Florentine comes from a free range hen, on a bed of lightly steamed spinach. Because of the health benefits of kale and beet greens, he generally tosses in a leaf or two of other vegetables, a slither of jalapeno for its anti inflammatory effects, and always some tomato for the prostate. It's absolutely delicious. Never use margarine on your toast because of the trans isomers; they are deadly; butter is back.
More recipes for cooking kale.
One of the less pleasant chores I have every week is finding enough food for the worm farms; it means a visit to the green grocer for fruit and veg that has past its sell by date; the kale is appalling and it's no wonder folk don't like to buy it; it looks so unappetizing. Grow your own kale; it's really not difficult. Sprinkle the fine seed thinly in a box, water regularly and set out the plants when they are about three inches high. Within a month you'll be picking delicious young leaves for your salads and eggs Florentine.
Yesterday we set out 150 plants in a couple hours! We'll have enough to supply the green grocer; but they are all behind bars; the hens would demolish the seedlings in half an hour. Once the plants are mature, we'll allow the hens into the sanctum for ten minutes every day.
You will have to find out about starting a compost pile if you want healthy kale plants.
If you have chickens in the garden you'll have to protect your kale; along with the green beans they'll be the number one target for your hens; they simply adore it, desperately needing the lutein, same as we do. A blind hen is a dead hen.
If you want healthy eggs full of vitamins and phytochemicals, then they need a rounded healthy diet. Actually just the healthy benefits of kale and the produce of the worm farms would probably suffice, though ours get so much more.
What is a worm farm you may be asking? They will clean up all your kitchen waste and, if you're lucky enough to have chickens in the garden, provide all the protein the birds need, reducing your feed bill substantially.