10 Benefits of Kale : Increase Immunity to Prevent Diabetes

Kale is a type of green leafy vegetable that belongs to the cabbage family such as broccoli, cauliflower, and collards. Like other siblings, kale contains various vitamins and minerals that are good for the body.

One glass of raw kale contains 33 calories, 3 grams of protein, 2.5 grams of fiber which helps digestion, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid and B vitamins which are important for brain development, alpha-linolenic acid and omega-fats. 3 which are good for heart health, lutein, zeaxantin, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and zinc.

There are various types of kale, there are kale with curly leaves, flat leaf kale, or even kale which is bluish green and each type of kale has a different taste.

Nutritional Content of Kale

Kale leaves are actually better known as kailan. This vegetable is often used as a menu in several restaurants. Just like vegetables in general, kale brings many health benefits. The benefits of kale leaves cannot be separated from its nutritional content.

Health expert Kriss Gunnars says about the nutritional content of superior kale which consists of:

1. Beta-Carotene

The beta-carotene content of kale leaves can meet more than 100 percent of adult daily beta-carotene needs. Beta-carotene itself is one of the most important nutrients in kale because this antioxidant is the "embryo" of vitamin A.

2. Vitamin C

Another nutritional content of kale that is no less important is vitamin C. Consumption of 67 grams of kale leaves can meet almost all of the body's daily vitamin C needs. In fact, one cup of kale contains more vitamin C than oranges.

3. Vitamin K

In every 67 grams of kale leaves (or the equivalent of 3-4 tablespoons of kale leaf vegetable), there are 389 mcg of vitamin K. This figure meets more than 200 percent of an adult's daily vitamin K requirement.

4. Minerals

The mineral content of manganese, calcium, potassium and magnesium in kale leaves can meet more than 5% of the body's daily needs. This mineral content is the most complete compared to other types of vegetables.

Benefits of Kale for Body Health

This vegetable that is still 'siblings' with cabbage and broccoli is known as a superfood because of its various benefits:

1. Increase Immunity

The first benefit of kale is to increase body immunity. This is because kale contains vitamin C. According to many studies, vitamin C is a type of vitamin that has been shown to improve the quality of a person's immune system.

2. Controlling Cholesterol Levels

Cholesterol is divided into two, namely "good" cholesterol or HDL fat and "bad" cholesterol or LDL fat. HDL fat is needed by the body. Conversely, LDL fat should not be excessive because it can lead to diseases that endanger the body.

Well, according to research, kale leaves are effective for controlling cholesterol levels. Eating kale every day for 12 weeks is said to increase HDL fat levels by 27 percent and reduce LDL fat levels by 10 percent.

3. Minimizing the Risk of Heart Disease

Vitamin K contained in kale turns out to meet about 680 percent of vitamin K needs in one day. If you cook kale by boiling it and not adding salt during the cooking process, the vitamin K value in kale increases by up to 1300 percent.

Research conducted for 10 years on 4,500 adult patients, proves that there is a reduced risk of death in heart disease patients if extra vitamin K supplementation is given. However, if you are taking blood thinning drugs, such as warfarin, you should consult your doctor how much vitamin K which is recommended for consumption.

4. Prevent Cancer

Like other dark green leafy vegetables, kale is also high in antioxidants. Apart from vitamin C, kale leaves contain the antioxidants quercetin and kaempferol.

The presence of antioxidants makes this vegetable is predicted to prevent you from deadly cancer. The reason is, antioxidants have an important role in warding off radical attacks that lead to damage to body cells. As is well known, cancer begins with damaged cells in the body.

5. Maintain Eye Health

In addition to being high in vitamin K, kale also contains high vitamin A, namely one glass of raw kale contains 6,600 IU, where the Ministry of Health recommends consuming 2400 IU of vitamin A per day for adults.

Vitamin A is known to be very good for eye health, boosts the immune system, and plays a role in cell formation. Research conducted at the National Institute of Health states that people who eat foods rich in vitamin A regularly will avoid the risk of developing various eye diseases and maintain vision abilities. In addition, kale has various types of colors such as green, white, purple, and bluish green which are caused by lutein and this substance is good for maintaining eye function.

6. Accelerate Wound Healing

One of the nutritional content of kale, vitamin K, is a type of vitamin that has many uses. One of the uses of vitamin K is to speed up wound healing.

Vitamin K plays an active role in optimizing the blood clotting process in the event of an injury. According to research, people who are deficient in vitamin K tend to experience slowed blood clotting when injured.

7. Helps Lose Weight

For those of you who are struggling to lose weight, there is nothing wrong with including kale leaves in your daily healthy menu list while undergoing a weight loss program.

Kale is included in a low-calorie diet. In addition, this vegetable also contains a lot of water, so eating it doesn't make you fat fast. Plus the fiber content it has produces longer satiety so that the frequency of eating can be suppressed.

8. Caring for Bone Health

Returning to the nutritional content of kale, namely vitamin K, this vitamin turns out to also produce other benefits of kale leaves, namely treating bone health and preventing them from damage.

Not only vitamin K, the use of kale to treat bone health is also obtained from its mineral content in the form of calcium and phosphorus. One cup of kale meets 15-18 percent of daily calcium needs and 7 percent of daily phosphorus needs.

9. Preventing and Treating Diabetes

Another type of dangerous disease that can be prevented and treated by consuming kale leaves regularly is diabetes. Again, this is because kale is rich in fiber and antioxidants.

According to research conducted in 2018, fiber can control blood sugar (glucose) levels in the body, thereby reducing your chances of suffering from diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes, in the future.

Meanwhile, antioxidants such as vitamin C and alpha-linocelic acid (ALA) can prevent free radical attack which is also commonly caused by high body glucose levels.

10. Overcoming Constipation

This last benefit of kale is related to the digestive system. Yes, it turns out that consuming these leaves is also effective for overcoming one of the digestive problems that we often experience, namely constipation, aka difficulty defecating.

The fiber content in kale plays an important role in maintaining optimal bowel movements so that the activity of removing body waste runs smoothly.

How to Cook Kale?

You can cook kale by sautéing it or making a kale salad. Or you can make a healthy snack, namely kale chips by removing the kale roots from the stems, cutting them according to taste, sauteing with a little salt and pepper. then bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius.

Those are some of the benefits of kale leaves for health. If you have certain medical symptoms, consult your doctor before using kale leaves for health.

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