Kale is a leafy member of the Brassica genus. As a dark, green leafy vegetable, it is rich in vitamin K. In addition to the Benefits typical of the cruciferous vegetables, kale also provides a flavonoid called kaempferol that appears to reduce the risk of heart disease. In one 8-year study, kaempferol, in combination with the flavonoids quercetin and myricetin, reduced the risk of pancreatic cancer by 23 percent.
Kale is rich in the antioxidant vitamins A and C, as well as several carotenoids, including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. These compounds help protect vision and lower the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. It is also a good source of B vitamins, including thiamine, riboflavin, and B6, and the minerals calcium and iron.
Kale is one of a small number of foods that contain measurable amounts of oxalates, so over-consumption can cause problems for those with kidney disease, gout, vulvar pain, rheumatoid arthritis, or other conditions that may require a lowoxalate diet.Nutritional Facts
One-half cup of cooked, chopped kale provides 21 calories, 3.7 g carbohydrate, 1.2 g protein, 0.3 g fat, 1.3 g dietary fiber, 4810 IU vitamin A, 27 mg vitamin C, 9 mcg folic acid, 148 mg potassium, 15 mg sodium, 18 mg phosphorus, 47 mg calcium, and 12 mg magnesium.