Leafy greens are known to be some of the most nutritious foods on the planet. Among them, kale is one of if not the healthiest. This superfood has been served since Roman times and has long been a popular vegetable choice across much of Europe (1).
It is incredibly low in calories at 33 calories per raw serving (a single cup at 67 grams), containing 6 grams of carbs (2 of those are fiber), 3 grams of protein, and very low in fat (where a big portion is omega-3 alpha linolenic acid). One serving contains a high amount of Vitamin A (206% of DV), K (684% of DV), C (134% of DV), B6 (9% of DV), copper (10% of DV), potassium (9% of DV), calcium (9% of DV), and much more (2). Like other leafy greens, kale is also high in antioxidants including beta-carotene, Quercetin Kaempferol, and vitamin C (2). These antioxidants work to help the body combat oxidative damage by free radicals in the body while being heart-protective, blood pressure-lowering, and anti-inflammatory. Kale also possesses many cancer-fighting substances like indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane and sulforaphane, substances shown to help the formation of cancer cells. Its high Lutein and Zeaxanthin levels also promote eye health, while its high vitamin C, E, and K levels also promote a healthier skin appearance.
Ways to incorporate kale into your diet include putting it in salads (raw), soup, pasta, smoothies, or baking it to make kale chips. Some also choose to buy the powdered form of kale and mixing them with protein shakes or smoothies.