When I first started my journey I had never even heard of kale, I know it sounds funny but it is true. I always thought my family and I ate pretty healthy but we would just stick to regular lettuce as our greens of choice. I’m honestly a bit embarrassed to tell you the truth but I had not heard of Kale until I started learning about plant-based diets. Kale looked very weird to me and I would always skip it in the produce section of our local market. The taste is way stronger than what I had been accustomed to and eating it raw was definitely a taste I grew to love gradually.
Today, kale is one of my favorite go-to veggies for juicing, salads and my delicious morning bowls. As many of you may already know, kale is a nutritious leafy green that comes from the cruciferous vegetable family. This awesome veggie is a powerhouse for the most potent vitamins minerals and nutrients our bodies need to ward off disease, support a strong immune system and keep us healthy. Now, kale is such a strong staple in my kitchen and it is a must-have for me and my family. But what about kale as a cancer fighter? The thought really triggered my curiosity to learn more about this concept. On this post, I will share with you some amazing facts backed by research as to how this God created powerful veggie can help us not only to stay healthy but it can also be a powerful addition in your cancer-fighting arsenal.
According to a recent study, kale is considered a superfood, kale (Brassica oleracea var. acephala) is a cruciferous vegetable, characterized by leaves along the stem, which, in recent years, have gained great popularity as a ´superfood´. Kale is known to be in the cruciferous vegetable family and as such these are known to potentially prevent DNA damage and metastatic cancer spread. It is also known to activate our defense and fight off pathogens that could lead to many illnesses. Components exclusive to the cruciferous vegetable family are potent cancer-fighting agents. These chemical components found in cruciferous vegetables such as kale, exhibit anti-inflammatory effects as well as detoxification of certain carcinogenic enzymes that are toxic to many types of cancer cells. In fact, evidence shows that individuals who consume a diet rich in CV have lower risks of developing cancer. This study indicates cruciferous vegetables contain chemical components referred to as glucosinolates which give rise to indoles, isothiocyanates, thiocyanates, and cyano-epithioalkanes via mastication as a result of the release of the enzyme myrosinase reveling promising results with respect to cancer prevention.
Kale is a great source of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins. As you know antioxidants scavenge free radicals from the body cells and prevent or reduce the damage caused by oxidation. Experts believe that free radicals play a role in cancer development and as such, I have made kale a top priority to include in my cancer prevention diet. Kale along with other green vegetables also contain chlorophyll, a pigment that gives green plants their color. Chlorophyll (CHL) has shown potential as a cancer treatment, a study shows how CHL has been shown to exhibit potent antigenotoxic, anti-oxidant, and anticancer effects. Numerous experimental and epidemiological studies have demonstrated that dietary supplementation of CHL lowers the risk of cancer. CHL inhibits cancer initiation and progression by targeting multiple molecules and pathways involved in the metabolism of carcinogens, cell cycle progression, apoptosis evasion, invasion, and angiogenesis. There is so much evidence that points chlorophyll as a powerful agent to fight cancer. An additional study I found, indicates that natural chlorophyll intake reduced the risk of colon cancer in rats. Furthermore, another study found chlorophyll as a chemotherapeutic potential and it helps slow the progression of lung cancer in mice. Also, antioxidants and fiber found in kale can also help prevent or reduce colorectal cancer risk.
Kale is a fantastic cancer fighter but not only that, as it also offers some additional health benefits like:
- Most nutrient-dense food
- Loaded with antioxidants like quercetin & kaempferol
- Great source of vitamin K
- Great source of minerals
- Supports bone health
- Protects against diabetes helps lower glucose levels
- Supports heart health by lower cholesterol levels
- Prevents constipation and helps with digestions
- Great source of beta carotene for skin and hair health
- Supports eye health as it is loaded with Lutein and Zeaxanthin
- Supports weight loss
According to Self Nutrition Data, a cup of chopped raw kale (about 67 grams or 2.4 ounces) contains:
- Vitamin A: 206% of the DV (from beta-carotene)
- Vitamin K: 684% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 134% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 9% of the DV
- Manganese: 26% of the DV
- Calcium: 9% of the DV
- Copper: 10% of the DV
- Potassium: 9% of the DV
- Magnesium: 6% of the DV
It also contains 3% or more of the DV for vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), iron and phosphorus. This is coming with a total of 33 calories, 6 grams of carbs (2 of which are fiber) and 3 grams of protein.
If you have not implemented kale in your diet, you may want to consider it now. People usually eat it raw, steam, boil or sautee. It is a great addition to any of your salads, sandwiches, smoothies, wraps, bowls, and my favorite, of course, kale chips. I personally love kale in my fresh green juice or in my fresh salads with my special homemade Camu Camu dressing.
The bottom line is that kale is a wonderful addition to a variety of diets. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed this blog post and perhaps learned something new. As always I welcome your comments in the box below and of course I would love to hear how you use kale in your healthy diet. I want to leave you with this beautiful promise God gave me when I was first diagnosed and felt scared and confused as to what diet to follow and what road to take in my healing… I now impart it to you.
“Therefore I urge you to take nourishment, for this is for your survival, since not a hair will fall from the head of any of you.” Acts 27:34