Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Call on Kale

I wanted to introduce you to one of my favorite leafy green: KALE!

("this is my faaaavorite!" -Denise Austin, when referring to about 50% of her exercises or stretches)

Look at that beautiful stuff :) Ahhh, like looking a the Garden of Eden (or Jurassic Park - whichever you prefer!) So dark, lush, and earthy looking!

Well, this is just one version of it - that's Dinosaur Kale.

There's also Curly Kale and Red Kale:

http://www.bestinseason.ie/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/GreenCurlyKale.jpg http://www.peoriagardens.com/images/specialty/KaleRedBor.jpg

You can see the curled edges - these little nooks and crannies are great for holding pockets of flavor, if you use dressing, toss with some extra virgin olive oil, or other seasonings. You can tear the leaves off, toss with a little flavoring, then dehydrate (or bake at 350 for 15 minutes) to make kale chips! Of course, you may lose some of the nutrients with that high heat, but it's better than potato chips!

Kale is super rich in vitamins K, A, and C, (remember - that A and C combination is great for healthy skin!) It also has good manganese. Manganese is a component of many enzymes and antioxidants; it also helps with protein and carbohydrate metabolism.

Kale will deliver a wollop of cancer-fighting phytonutrients. Hoorah! It has glucosinolates and cystein sulfoxides that help activate detoxifying enzymes of the liver - which is your main fat-burning, cleansing organ.

In one way or another, make sure the kale is really well crushed - chew it well or add it to a green smoothie where the blender will really break down those cell walls and release the health benefits lurking in the cell! As the kale is chopped or chewed, sulforaphane forms, and then triggers the liver to produce even more detoxifying enzymes to help kill those cancer-causing chemicals! In animal studies, it essentially caused colon cancer cells to "commit suicide." Wow!

Let's give our liver all the help we can in clearing our bodies of years of built-up pollutants and toxins!

A word of caution - kale has a rather deep "green" taste, so start lightly. I like to add a leaf or two to a green smoothie, or a few leaves to salad. I hope to work up to being able to use the kale as my salad base, rather than the lighter Romaine!

So give Kale a try! Your body will thank you :)



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  2. I have been going Kale crazy the last 10 days and haven't eaten meat in 5 days now, just veggies breakfast, powerbar lunch and big salad with kale for dinner. and my body doesn't know what the hell is going on. just attempting to change all of my eating habits. I'm glad I saved this link Kate

  3. haha! It can be hard to transition to a vegetarian diet -- make sure to get plenty of water, enough calories, and still good protein :)