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Weight loss, better vision and other health benefits of kale

Discover the benefits of this nutrient-packed leafy vegetable.

Read this in Hindi.

A very important member of the vegetable family, kale usually comes in two different forms - fresh green leaves or purple leaves. The leaves are smooth in texture and slightly curled. Use it as a part of your salad or add it to your pizza. Here are the health benefits associated with kale.

Lowers cholesterol

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Daily consumption of kale juice can help lower cholesterol, a study suggests[1]. In fact, it increases the amount of good cholesterol (HDL) and lowers the bad cholesterol (LDL). Along with this, kale juice can also reduce the risk of coronary artery diseases and promote heart health. The fiber content of kale also helps in lowering cholesterol. Here's how LDL or bad cholesterol can kill you.

Rich in minerals and vitamins

Kale is an excellent source of Vitamin C, potassium and magnesium. Optimum levels of potassium can help control high blood pressure and lower the risk of heart diseases[2]. Magnesium, on the other hand, helps prevent heart disease and diabetes[3]. Here are more health benefits of magnesium. Kale also contains a good proportion of betacarotenes that get converted into Vitamin A in the body. Here are 5 reasons why Vitamin A is healthy for you.

Helps You Lose Weight

Adding veggies is the easiest way to shed weight the healthy way. One green vegetable that you shouldn t miss out on is kale. Kale is a rich source of dietary fibres[4] which not only keep the digestive system healthy but also give you a feeling of satiety, thereby aiding your weight loss efforts.

Reduces risk of cancer

The bile binding properties of kale promotes excretion of toxic metabolites from the body and improves the synthesis of bile by proper cholesterol utilisation. All this collectively prevents cancer[4]. Kale shows a lot of potential in bile binding and hence can help reduce the risk of cancer. Kale is also rich in antioxidants, which are extremely beneficial in keeping cancer and other diseases at bay[5].

Improves Vision[6]

People suffering from poor vision can improve their condition by adding kale to their diet. The lutein and zeaxanthin present in kale are beneficial for eye health and also prevent cataract and macular degeneration in the elderly. It also contains Vitamin A, which is great for eye health.

How to use kale

Kale is best consumed raw or in blanched form. Cooking it may reduce its nutrient value. You can add it to salads or shakes and smoothies. You can also sprinkle finely chopped kale on curries, dals, vegetables, raita or on other preparations. Kale juice can be extracted by mixing kale with little water and grinding it to a fine paste. You can add more water and lime and consume this drink for additional health benefits.

Photo source: Getty images


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References:

  1. Kim, S. Y., Sun, Y. O. O. N., Kwon, S. M., Park, K. S., & Lee-Kim, Y. C. (2008). Kale juice improves coronary artery disease risk factors in hypercholesterolemic men. Biomedical and environmental sciences, 21(2), 91-97.
  2. D'Elia, L., Barba, G., Cappuccio, F. P., & Strazzullo, P. (2011). Potassium intake, stroke, and cardiovascular disease: a meta-analysis of prospective studies. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 57(10), 1210-1219.
  3. Geiger, H., & Wanner, C. (2012). Magnesium in disease. Clinical kidney journal,5(Suppl 1), i25-i38.
  4. Kahlon, T. S., Chapman, M. H., & Smith, G. E. (2007). In vitro binding of bile acids by spinach, kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, mustard greens, green bell pepper, cabbage and collards. Food Chemistry, 100(4), 1531-1536.
  5. Sikora, E., & Bodziarczyk, I. (2012). Composition and antioxidant activity of kale (Brassica oleracea L. var. acephala) raw and cooked. Acta Sci Pol Technol Aliment, 11(3), 239-248.
  6. Mares-Perlman, J. A., Millen, A. E., Ficek, T. L., & Hankinson, S. E. (2002). The body of evidence to support a protective role for lutein and zeaxanthin in delaying chronic disease. Overview. The Journal of nutrition, 132(3), 518S-524S.

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