Health benefits of kale

Health benefits of kale are so good that it is listed in the top-ten nutritional foods.

You do not eat kale let's face it because it is delicious like a bar of chocolate or a cheeseburger; you train your mind to enjoy it because you do not want to get breast and prostate tumours. And you do not like spending what seems like hours groaning on the toilet. You simply want to be stronger; period.

Oh and also because you do not like pain.

But the the prime reason for eating kale regularly is for your eyes; whether you like it or not. Macular degeneration and cataracts are no fun; this is not small beer. It is a profoundly important food if you want to enjoy a life without medication.

This page  was last updated on 9th March, 2024.

We enjoy it daily from the garden. We are that serious about not going blind; or even having doctors poking sharp instruments into our eyes. Those three little baby leaves on the left at 11 o'clock are the kale; there are many different varieties.

Health benefits of kale.

Flavonoids are the phytochemicals that improve our wellness and lessen our susceptibility to disease; they are found in so-called functional foods. Quercetin and kaempferol[2] are just two of these important nutrients in kale.

Forty-five flavonoids in kale have been identified.

Two of the most important carotenoids are lutein and zeaxanthin; they are found in the main in very high concentrations in the retina of the eye.

Kale is the richest source of lutein and zeaxanthin but to absorbe them into the bloodstream you need some fat; so enjoy your salad with olive oil and when cooked with a dollop of butter. Personally I shun margarine.

And it needs to be properly chopped or chewed thoroughly; it aids in the release of these important nutrients.

Surprisingly scientists have found that chewing our food thoroughly also delays the onset of dementia; perhaps it is the improved release of these flavonoids.

If you eat plenty of functional foods like kale you need have no fear of raised cholesterol.

There are many different varieties of kale, flat and curly; basically they are easy to grow and bear for many years. 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.

The leaves are sweeter in colder weather but the plants will grow year round in a mild climate.

“People are wasting money thinking there has to be a magic set of pills that will keep them healthy; we should all rather be following the evidence-based practices of eating properly and exercising.”

- Journal of the American Medical Association

Benefits of kale

Benefits of kale include protection against many tumours including the breast and prostate; it is all in their anti-oxidant properties, mopping up free radicals. 

Both breast and prostate tumours tend to metastasize to the spine, hence my particular interest as a DC. They are exceptionally painful because the pedicle or vertebral body tend to collapse. If training our tongues to simply love kale is what it takes to avoid these horrific diseases, then we just do it; or suffer.

There is no denying that one of the greater miseries is time spent on the toilet, grunting and groaning; and praying a haemorrhoid will not burst.

One of the great benefits of kale is that, eaten daily it means that the loo becomes an easy two-minute affair.

Even more important though, is that these diseases only tend to occur when we get older, so we ostriches tend to dismiss thoughts about what we should eat, like these foods or not; constipation is the cause of a great many conditions like diverticulitis, polyps and colorectal neoplasms.

The fibre in kale gives us a great measure of protection against these miseries just by virtue of its muco-polysaccharides.

Despite all the interventions by medicine, inflammation in the body continues to increase. Cardiovascular surgeons relate that the inner linings of blood vessels become ever more red and angry-looking. The same could be said for pain in joints and muscles, keeping doctors of various ilks in business. 

Much of it has to do with our love affair with refined carbohydrates. They cause raised blood sugar and ultimately insulin-resistance; that means inflammation. The fibre in kale is fermented in the colon where it does not produce glucose; instead it feeds the friendly bugs that are so profoundly important for our immune systems.

A determination to enjoy your greens, including kale on a daily basis would change all of this; if for no other reason than kaempferol and tumour prevention.

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 do not 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, garlic and turmeric. You could also perhaps even add some beans like favas or limas. They keep you satiated so that you will not feel famished at 11 o'clock.

Perhaps surprisingly, kale is a rich source of an omega 3 fatty acid known generally as ALA; it gives the plant a large measure of its anti-inflammatory properties. Scientists have shown that alpha linolenic acid is especially important for those in cardiac failure[3].

If you are suffering from chronic pain, consider the benefits of kale; and omega-3 in general. The better known sources are fatty fishes like salmon and mackerel.

Not that we do not 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 spine and sacroiliac joints every morning before arising from bed; that plus a diet rich in omega-3 will mean far less lumbago.

Back pain in those suffering from the inflammation associated with insulin-resistance does not respond well to any form of treatment, including spinal manipulation.

Here is more about what kale is good for?

Macular degeneration

About ten million Americans are blind from age-related macular degeneration. Whilst it is 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 50%. The many benefits of kale contribute in large measure to the solution.

Lutein and zeaxanthin macular degeneration[1] is a subject for each of us to consider. It is one of the simply huge health benefits of kale; it is the richest source. If you enjoy it daily with spinach and free-range eggs then you will be home and dry.

Bone strength

A cup of kale contains thirteen times the daily requirement of vitamin K; and because it is so alkalising it is particularly bone-friendly.

Along with vitamin D, mainly from sunshine, these are nutrients that control osteoclast activity; the cells that are so important in remodelling of your bone.

We recommend that you eat kale or spinach every single day, especially if there is any talk of osteoporosis.


Roughly 10% of the population tends to form oxalate kidney stones; green leafy vegetables amongst many others are rich in this "anti-nutrient." For this reason those suffering from the disease were advised for many years to avoid foods like kale and spinach. However it has now been categorically established that they are not the villains of the peace.

Bernard Preston

Bernard Preston is a retired DC 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-percent sourdough bread, with ample butter to increase the absorption of the phytochemicals, it is absolutely delicious.

His optician says that is the reason why he has not a sign of macular degeneration nor cataracts. The urologist gives the greens and tomatoes the credit for a PSA of only 0.9; that is astonishingly low at 70.

Eggs Florentine

Eggs Florentine on a bed of spinach.
  • Fry a little onion in butter or olive oil.
  • Add some garlic and perhaps half a peppadew.
  • Toss in the deveined kale and few tablespoons of water. Steam for a few minutes with the lid on.

Bernard Preston's basic Eggs Florentine comes from free range hens, on a bed of lightly steamed greens. Because of the health benefits of kale and beet tops, 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 is absolutely delicious. Never use margarine on your toast because of the trans-isomers. They are deadly; luckily butter is back.

More recipes for cooking kale.

Grow your own 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 have passed their sell-by date. The kale is appalling and it is no wonder folk do not like to buy it; it looks so unappetizing.

Grow your own kale; it really is 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 will be picking delicious young leaves for your salads and eggs Florentine.

Yesterday we set out 150 plants in a couple hours. We will have enough to supply the green grocer. But they are all behind bars; the hens would demolish the seedlings in minutes. Once they are mature, we will allow the chickens 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 will have to protect your kale; along with the green beans they will be the number one target for your hens; they simply adore it, desperately needing the lutein just as we do. A blind fowl is a dead bird.

If you want nutritious eggs full of vitamins and phytochemicals, then the hens too need a rounded diet; substantially better than that found in a cage or barn. Actually just the health 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.

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56 Groenekloof Rd,

Hilton, KZN

South Africa