ALSO KNOWN AS
Brassica Oleracea, Wild Cabbage
The overachieving superstar
You probably know her. She's THE modern-day superfood and deity of choice for vegans around the world. Why? Kale is one of the most nutrient-dense foods in existence. At only 33 calories, 6 grams of carbs (2 of which are fiber), and 3 grams of protein, Kale contains a whopping amount of Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, manganese, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
The vegetable is rich in antioxidants, including flavonoids quercetin and kaempferol, which have heart-protective, blood pressure-lowering, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral effects. Lutein and zeaxanthin, on the other hand, help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration. With about 4.5 times more Vitamin C than spinach, Kale also contains bile acid sequestrants that can lower cholesterol levels and potentially reduce your risk of heart disease over time. Studies show that Kale contains compounds that have protective effects against cancer too, including sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol.
The great thing about Kale is that there are so many ways to consume it, from detox juices and smoothies to raw salads and sauteed side dishes. We absolutely love Kale chips, and they're super easy to make. Toss the leaves in some olive oil and sprinkle some sea salt. If you like, you can add cumin, curry powder, chili powder, or garlic powder. Bake at 275°F or 135°C for 15–30 minutes to desired crispness, et voila!