Kale, also known as leaf cabbage, is a vegetable cultivar of the plant species Brassica oleracea. One of the most common green vegetables in Europe, kale is known to be a close relative to wild cabbage. It is usually added to salads. Along the following are the health benefits of kale and a sample recipe.
One health benefit of kale is fiber which acts as a sweep to help the body get rid of unwanted agents like toxins and free radicals, which contribute to various diseases like heart disease and cancer. Fiber also helps reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in the bloodstream, preventing cardiovascular disorders. This substance also helps improve digestion and metabolism, preventing gastrointestinal problems like constipation, diverticulitis, and hemorrhoids.
Another health benefit of eating kale is promoting the health of the eyes. Aside from vitamin A, which is well-known for its action in boosting a person’s vision and promoting skin and membrane integrity, kale also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which gives the vegetable its green color. To add, both agents help in protecting the eyes against macular degeneration and cataract, two of the most common eye disorders.
Eating kale also helps prevent depression. According to a Columbia University psychiatrist, as cited by Well-Being Secrets, the nutrients in kale help a person feel optimistic. As per the publication, the nutrients in kale also make the person motivated. It is added that the phytonutrients found in kale improve a person’s mood.
One recipe that uses kale is Kale, Mushroom, and Bacon Pita Pizza. According to My Recipes, the ingredients include four cups baby kale, half cup halved grape tomatoes, one eight-ounce package presliced cremini mushrooms, three garlic cloves (thinly sliced), a cup of thinly vertically sliced red onion, two center-cut bacon slices, one 15-ounce can unsalted cannellini beans (rinsed, drained), one-fourth teaspoon kosher salt (divided), half teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (divided), one tablespoon fresh lemon juice, half teaspoon grated lemon rind, a teaspoon of minced fresh rosemary, one tablespoon olive oil, and two six-inch whole-wheat pitas.
To prepare, as per the publication, the broiler is preheated to high. Then, the pita is split to half lengthwise then into rounds. After that, the pita rounds are arranged on a baking sheet and broiled for a minute on each side, or until it becomes toasted. Once done, the oil, rind, juice, rosemary, one-eight teaspoon salt, one-fourth teaspoon pepper, and beans are placed in a mini food processor bowl and processed until the mixture becomes smooth. Once done, the bacon is cooked in a large skillet over medium-high heat for about five minutes or until crisp. Then, it is removed from the pan using a slotted spoon and crumbled. After that, the onion and garlic are added to the dripping in the pan and sautéed for five minutes. Next, the mushrooms are added and cooked for four minutes, stirring occasionally until browned. The tomatoes are also added and stirred occasionally for two minutes. Then, the kale is also added to the pan in batches and stirred until the vegetable wilts. Once done, the bean mixture is spread thoroughly over the rough side of the pita halves and is topped with the kale mixture. Finally, the dish is sprinkled with bacon, the remaining one-fourth teaspoon of pepper, and the remaining one-eight teaspoon of salt.
Kale is one of the nutritious food choices, with its many health benefits. Thus, it can be added to various meals for breakfast, lunch, snacks, or dinner for friends and families.