What are the health benefits of kale?

Brooke Alpert, MS, RD
Nutrition & Dietetics
Kale, like most dark leafy greens, has many healthy benefits -- it's low in calories and high in fiber, minerals and antioxidants. In this video, nutrition expert Brooke Alpert, RD, explains why kale is considered a superfood, and some ways to eat it.
Drew Ramsey, MD
Kale is nutrient-dense, low in calories, high in fiber and vitamins, flexible to cook with, and affordable. In this video, psychiatrist Drew Ramsey, MD, explains all the healthy benefits of including dark leafy greens like kale into your diet. 
Michael T. Murray, ND
Naturopathic Medicine
Kale has almost three times as much calcium as phosphorus, which is a very beneficial ratio. High phosphorus consumption has been linked to osteoporosis because it reduces the utilization and promotes the excretion of calcium. As members of the cabbage family, kale and collards exhibit the same sort of anti-cancer properties as other members. Kale is also extremely high in chlorophyll and carotenes, especially beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
Kale is loaded with antioxidants, calcium and fiber. Its closest cousins, spinach and chard, are better known, but kale is a powerhouse vegetable that comes in a variety of colors including green, red, purple and black (dark purple). You want to buy it fresh with crispy leaves, because as it ages in your supermarket, it can become bitter. Use it within three to four days from date of purchase, and keep it wrapped in a damp cloth or paper towel in your refrigerator.

To prepare, rinse it well and tear off the leaves. You can sauté them with a bit of olive oil, or mix with other greens in a salad, raw. Chop it up fine and add to a fresh breakfast egg omelet, soup or as a garnish on top of a dip. You can also drizzle the leaves with olive oil, add salt and pepper, and spread on a baking sheet, baking the leaves at 300 degrees for about 7 or 8 minutes till crisp. Now you’ve got healthy kale chips!!

Nutrition: 1 cup of kale has 33 calories, 1 gram fiber, 329 milligrams potassium, 21 micrograms folate.
Marjorie Nolan Cohn
Nutrition & Dietetics

Kale is high in fiber, three grams per serving, in fact. It’s rich in calcium, vitamin C, folic acid, vitamin B6, manganese, and potassium. With its combination of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, kale is a dieter's dream food. Though greens in general are nutritious foods, kale stands out as an excellent source of beta-carotene, one of the antioxidants that battle against cancer, heart disease, and certain age-related chronic diseases. It also provides other important nutrients called carotenoids. Carotenoids help keep UV rays from damaging the eyes and forming cataracts.

As a top source of vitamin K, kale might help lower risk for fractures. Like other cruciferous vegetables, kale supplies an abundance of glucosinolates, one of which -- indole-3-carbinol (I3C) -- can reduce levels of harmful estrogens that may promote cancer growth in hormone-sensitive cells, such as breast cells. Kale is also a top source of eye-healthy carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.