This week’s Superfood: KALE
Hopefully kale has become a staple in your diet, as it has in mine. It’s super nutritious and easy to incorporate into various recipes including smoothies, soups, and as a healthy snack (ref our kale chip recipe below!
I know I’ve blogged about Kale before (ref link above) but there is just so much to say about it, one blog isn’t enough! Many of you have written to tell me all of the creative ways you’ve used kale. From adding them to meatballs, spaghetti sauce, various soups, muffins, and even mac and cheese, some of you have been able to work them into your regular recipes without your kids even knowing the difference. However, the vitamins and nutrients they get from the kale is making a huge difference in their health. If you haven’t answered this week’s Facebook question, and you have a creative way of incorporating kale into your meal, please share it with the rest of us!
According to webMD: One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. The great thing about kale is that its vitamins and minerals are directly absorbed by the body – this is especially important in regard to calcium.
Here’s an excerpt from my Nov 13th blog about calcium absorption:
One important reason for increasing your plant based proteins is CALCIUM. Most healthy calcium sources are actually beans and leafy green vegetables- like broccoli, kale, collards, and brussel sprouts. These veggies pack a lot of highly absorbable calcium! But what about milk? Isn’t milk a good source of calcium? That’s what all of the ads say! Actually, milk does provide calcium, BUT in combination with the animal proteins in the milk, it actually promotes calcium loss. Animal proteins actually escort calcium out of your bloodstream and out your body via urination. If you are an AVID meat eater who gets a majority of calcium through milk, you can lose up to 50 percent of the calcium you ingest.
Studies are now showing that the answer to osteoporosis is actually a nutritious diet centered on fruit, vegetables (especially broccoli!), grains and legumes, as well as exercising three or more times per week, rather than the ingestion of more milk. Check out the following article that goes into more detail on the relationship b/w protein and calcium, and the importance of natural, rather than synthetic Vitamin D, to the calcium absorption process: Protein, Calcium, and Vitamin D
Slowly but surely, I hope the nutrition information I pass along is making you THINK about what you’re eating and CONSIDER diet changes to become a healthier version of yourself. My goal is to educate you so that you can make the right choices for your family. Knowledge is power and we are all on a journey together… a journey toward building healthier bodies and ultimately, healthier lives!
Lastly, I recently found this blog which is all about kale. You will find TONS of great recipes for experimenting with kale. I encourage you to check it out and get creative with this awesome superfood!! Check it out here: 365 Days of Kale
This week’s Recipe: KALE CHIPS
1. Preheat oven to 275. Take about 5 large stems of kale leaves, wash, thoroughly dry, remove tough stems and tear them into pieces.
2. Drizzle with about 2 T of grape seed oil (be sure to rub the oil on every piece between your thumb and forefinger; really get in all the little ripples of leaves) and season with sea salt. *You can substitute olive oil for the grape seed oil and also add some paprika for added spice!
3. Place in a single layer on baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping once halfway through cooking. They’re done when they’re all light, flaky and crispy.