March Superfood: Kale

Kale, the dark green leafy cabbage is March’s featured superfood! Kale is a superfood because it is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables on the planet, carrying powerful antioxidants like quercetin and kaempferol.  Kale is a member of the cabbage family and is related to cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. Curly kale, or Scots kale, is the most popular type of kale although there are a variety of kale to choose from.  Leaves can be purple or green in color with a curly or smooth shape.

Ways to Prep Kale

Although it may sound silly, there is serious science behind massaging your kale before you eat it.  Cruciferous vegetables and leafy greens contain intense disease-fighting phytochemicals, or messengers that deliver antioxidants, hidden in the fibrous stems.   Massaging, chopping or blending kale will break the nutrient-dense cell walls and will release antioxidants that heat can’t perform alone.  Massaging your kale will also soften the fibers of the leaves.

Kale-Friendly Ideas:

  • Blend kale into a smoothie
  • Incorporate kale with your salad greens
  • Bake kale until crisp to make kale chips
  • Wilt kale into your favorite curry
  • Stir kale into your favorite soup

What are the Health Benefits?

A single cup of raw kale (about 67 grams or 2.4 ounces) has 33 calories, 6 grams of carbohydrates, and 3 grams of protein.   

  • Vitamin A: 206% of the RDA (from beta-carotene).
  • Vitamin K: 684% of the RDA
  • Vitamin C: 134% of the RDA
  • Vitamin B6: 9% of the RDA
  • Manganese: 26% of the RDA
  • Calcium: 9% of the RDA
  • Copper: 10% of the RDA
  • Potassium: 9% of the RDA
  • Magnesium: 6% of the RDA

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