Dr. Clayton Lawrence, CEO, shares his thoughts in a weekly column focused on overall wellness in an otherwise toxic world. (Always consult with your own physician before beginning any new diet/exercise routine).
We hear all the time about the benefits of making dark leafy greens a part of our daily diets and it’s no wonder – doing so offers incredible nutrients, from magnesium and calcium to fiber and antioxidants. Kale is one of those superfoods that is said to provide jaw-dropping benefits, in fact, some would even say that the veggie offers more iron than a portion of beef. The bad news? Not enough people are eating it. The good news? It’s August, which means it’s readily available in its freshest form right now. Read on to discover four reasons you need to get to know kale.
K – Vitamin K – If you’re looking for a way to encourage healthy bones and normal blood clotting, you need to seek out ways to get more Vitamin K. There is no better way to do so than to add kale to your diet. This super veggie is said to contain one of the highest amounts of Vitamin K from a natural source. As we age, our bones could certainly use the extra support since they begin to lose their density after age 40 – that means our risk of broken bones increases and could potentially become a problem. Kale is simple to prepare and can be consumed in various ways, like steamed as a side or baked as a chip. It’s easy to find ways to add a dose of kale to your diet, so get creative and enjoy the benefits.
A – Antioxidants – Who couldn’t use more antioxidants? Eating foods that are rich in these substances is like a back-up for our immune system. Protecting the cells against the effects of free radicals is critical in preventing cancer and diseases that affect the heart. Environmental pressures are all around us, whether it’s in the form of first- or second-hand smoke, in the products that we use or in the foods that we consume. If protection comes in the form of delicious smoothie or savory soup, then we say: “why not!?”
L – Lose that unwanted weight. Kale has the potential to aid in weight loss, since it’s high in protein and fiber, and low in calories, which means you’ll feel full after eating it. A few of our favorite ways to add some of this veggie favorite to your everyday diet? Add some to your banana-strawberry smoothie, steam a few leaves in a pot of boiling water before mixing it with pasta and topping it with an olive oil-garlic drizzle. Chop some up with your regular salad or mix it with broccoli, shredded carrots, onion and a dash of salt and olive oil.
E – Eye health – Aging comes with all sorts of concerns, but as mentioned above, kale has the potential to help prevent some of life’s age-related setbacks, like broken bones and diseases related to the eyes. Nutrients found in kale are believed to help reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts, not only improving vision and retina health, but offering a positive effect for the long-term, as well.