Taste

So THAT'S The Reason We Should Be Eating Kale

And now you know.
02/03/2016 06:01am ET | Updated March 11, 2016

The past couple of years, the kale conversation has centered around making fun of how trendy this green is, or talking about how its popularity has finally peaked. (By the way, it hasn't.) When really, what we should all be focusing on is why this green became such a fixture in healthy eating (and trendy restaurants) at all.

Here's the reason: it's really, truly very good for you. Plus, it's pretty dang tasty. That's why it rose to be -- and has stayed -- one of the most popular greens on the market. But how, exactly? That's what we're here to answer.

Steve Gorton via Getty Images

Kale is often times called a super green, touted as being healthier than spinach -- our age-old standard of leafy health. Here's why folks say that:

1. Kale is chock full of vitamins. One cup of cooked kale contains over 1,000 percent of Vitamin K and nearly 100 percent of vitamins A and C. It also houses over 10 percent of manganese, copper and Vitamin B6. And 10 percent of your body's need for fiber.

2. One serving of kale contains 121 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids, a significant amount of the 500 milligrams recommended daily intake. Omega-3 fatty acids help your body remain healthy by aiding in building cell membranes and protecting you from heart disease and stroke.

3. The good nutrients in kale help support heart health. It's all thanks to the high fiber, potassium, vitamin C and B6 content kale contains. Potassium is a very important part of heart health -- high intakes of it are also associated with reduced risk of stroke.

4. Kale has risk-lowering benefits for cancer. Some studies suggest that eating kale can reduce the risk of bladder, breast, colon, ovary and prostate cancer. It's all thanks to their glucosinolates, which when broken down form isothiocyanates. Studies have shown that isothiocyanates have cancer-inhibiting benefits.

5. Kale has cholesterol-lowering abilities. The cholesterol-lowering ability of steamed kale was compared with the cholesterol-lowering ability of the prescription drug cholestyramine. Seriously. It's all thanks to its bile acid sequestrants.

6. Plus, kale has so many antioxidants. Not only does it contain alpha-lipoic acid, an antioxidant that has been shown to lower glucose levels in diabetics, but it's also loaded with flavonoids like quercetin and kaempferol. These have been studied intensely for their anti-inflammatory and blood-pressure lowering abilities.

See? Seriously good for you. Now that you know, the whole kale's-too-trendy issue might not seem as important. Instead, let's all put that aside and just dig in. These recipes will help you do just that.

1
Taleggio Ravioli With Garlicky Butter Kale And Wild Mushroom Sauce
Half Baked Harvest
2
Roasted Kale And Fennel Salad With Avocado Caesar Dressing
Foodie Crush
3
Crispy Kale Grilled Cheese With Fried Eggs
How Sweet It Is
4
Hide Your Kale Smoothie
The Minimalist Baker
Get the Hide Your Kale Smoothie recipe from The Minimalist Baker
5
Simple Caramelized Butternut Squash And Kale Florentine Lasagna
Half Baked Harvest
6
Cheesy Garlic Kale Chips
The Earthen Table
Get the Cheesy Garlic Kale Chips recipe from The Earthen Table
7
Kale And Wild Rice Casserole
Half Baked Harvest
Get the Kale and Wild Rice Casserole recipe from Half Baked Harvest
8
Kale And Ricotta Stuffed Shells With Butternut Squash Sauce
Completely Delicious
9
Baked Eggs With Feta, Kale And Cherry Tomatoes
What Should I Have For Breakfast Today
Get the Baked Eggs With Feta, Kale And Cherry Tomatoes recipe from What Should I Have For Breakfast Today
10
Crunchy Thai Kale Salad
The Minimalist Baker
Get the Crunchy Thai Kale Salad recipe from The Minimalist Baker
11
Simple Grilled Kale And Red Pepper Tuscan Pasta Salad
Half Baked Harvest
12
Kale Breakfast Sandwich
Happy. Healthy. Life.
Get the Kale Breakfast Sandwich recipe from Happy. Healthy. Life.
13
Sweet Potato Cream Pasta With Crispy Kale
How Sweet It Is
14
Portobello Mushrooms With Kale Pesto Guacamole
Bev Cooks
15
Spinach And Kale Greek Yogurt Dip
How Sweet It Is
Get the Spinach and Kale Greek Yogurt Dip recipe from How Sweet It Is
16
Kale And Bacon, Caribbean Style
Steamy Kitchen
Get the Kale and Bacon, Caribbean Style recipe from Steamy Ktichen
17
Crispy Kale Roasted Autumn Salad
Half Baked Harvest
Get the Crispy Kale Roasted Autumn Salad recipe from Half Baked Harvest
18
Cauliflower And Kale Salad
Steamy Kitchen
Get the Cauliflower and Kale Salad recipe from Steamy Kitchen
19
Cheddar Kale Skillet Cornbread
The View From The Great Island
Get the Cheddar Kale Skillet Cornbread recipe from The View From The Great Island
20
Gnocchi With Sausage And Kale
Bev Cooks
21
Kale Pesto
Little Leopard Book
Get the Kale Pesto recipe from Little Leopard Book
22
Quick Curried Chickpeas With Tofu And Kale
Bev Cooks

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