Dr. Drew Ramsey sings the praises of this green leafy veggie
In a recent post on their blog, the folks at Oscar Health talked with Drew Ramsey, MD, one of the founders of National Kale Day, about the many amazing qualities of kale. The plant-based community has known for years just how amazing kale is, but the facts about its nutritional and culinary prowess are still trickling into the mainstream.
Dr. Ramsey declares,
Through my research, I’ve become convinced that kale isn’t just another fad, but rather a key foundational food.
In the post, he outlines five of the many qualities that make kale a super vegetable to start including in your daily diet (if you haven’t already). I’ve recapped them here as an ode to kale’s awesomeness:
One cup of chopped kale has about 33 calories, but packed into those calories is an amazing list of nutrients:
- 684 percent of the RDA for vitamin K
- 134 percent RDA for vitamin C
- 206 percent RDA of vitamin A (in the form of carotenes, which the body converts to vitamin A)
Believe it or not, kale also contains omega-3 fatty acids and protein–two grams of protein per cup, to be exact. Tell that to the next person who asks where plant-based eaters get their daily dose! Another bonus: kale’s fiber content helps you feel full longer so you don’t wind up reaching for a candy bar because you have the midnight munchies.:
“Just try to name another food that you can serve for breakfast, lunch, and dinner,” says Dr. Ramsey. “Or as a smoothie, salad, soup, chip, sauté, or cocktail. Kale even stores well, lasting much longer than other greens,” so you can stock up and know that it’s still going to taste amazing next week.
In addition to vitamins and minerals, kale delivers an amazing amount of phytonutrients. One, sulfurophane, gives a boost to your liver’s detoxification pathways, helping your body to eliminate metabolic and environmental toxins. And if you’re looking for the fountain of youth, kaempferol positively affects genes that control life span.
Local All Over the World
You can find kale at the local supermarket, farm stand or farmer’s market no matter where you live. People grow it “everywhere from California to Maine, and Scotland to Kenya.” It’s hardy enough to make it through a frost and can even taste better when grown in cold weather. (Like parsnips, kale gets sweeter in the cold!)
Mean Green Brain Fuel
“The brain makes up two percent of your body weight, but it consumes 20 percent of what you eat – more than any other organ,” Dr. Ramsey points out. Kale’s nutrient-density zaps your brain with an infusion of the vitamins and minerals that it needs to function optimally. This is in direct contrast to the sluggish way the standard American diet makes you feel. If you’ve been feeling “blah” lately, try boosting your kale intake!
I’d like to add a sixth reason to this list because we’re getting near the time when all the local farmer’s markets that were hibernating over the winter are starting to open up, and the ones that were indoors are getting ready to move outside. It links in with number four above because…
It’s Fresh from the Farm!
As long as you can find people who were able to start it early in a greenhouse or other sunny place, you can get delicious, locally grown kale to use in salads, smoothies, quesadillas, enchiladas and whatever else strikes your fancy.
So go ahead. Keep eating kale. And share this list with your friends so they don’t look at you funny the next time you offer them a raw leaf of the king of leafy greens. Thanks to Oscar Health for sharing Dr. Ramsey’s great information! You can check them out online for more information on their health insurance services and on their Twitter @OscarHealth.