5 Ways to Add Kale to Your Diet
Kale is known to be one of the most nutrient-dense foods on earth. The more of it you can get into your body, the better. It contains numerous health-benefiting phytochemicals, anti-oxidant properties, and it is anti-inflammatory. Regular consumption of kale is said to help lower cholesterol as well as prevent several forms of cancer.
Kale is a rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. Per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk and more iron than beef. It contains Omega fatty acids and a healthy dose of fiber, both of which are deficient in the average American diet.
To lower your body’s chemical burden, make sure you are consuming organic kale as opposed to conventional kale, which is on the EWG’s “plus” list as produce to avoid when grown conventionally due to a high rate of pesticide use.
When eating kale raw you will find it more digestible by breaking it down in one way or another. This can be achieved by fine chopping, massaging with an acid like lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, or through slight warming in a dehydrator. The upside of eating kale raw is that you’ll reap the benefits of all the nutrients and live enzymes.
Add 2-5 kale stems with leaves to fruit or protein smoothies. High-speed blenders work best to break down the stems, but conventional blenders will also work. Try this Green Goddess Smoothie and feel free to add or subtract ingredients based on your dietary needs and preferences. There is a lot of room for creativity and customizing when it comes to smoothies. Experiment!
Add kale to vegetable juice for maximum nutrition and fast absorption. When I’m not traveling I drink a quart of green juice a day consisting of kale, collard greens, dandelion greens, cucumber, parsley, celery, romaine, cilantro, lemon and ginger. If you’re new to juicing, perhaps try adding a green apple or a beet to help sweeten this up.
Kale chips are fast and easy to make and kids love ‘em! Tear the leaves of the stems and rip them into large pieces (around 3 inches because they will shrink). Toss with light olive or hemp oil and Himalayan salt, yeast flakes and herbs. Place in a dehydrator or in your oven set to the lowest temperature with the door cracked open, for as long as needed to obtain your preferred crispiness. You may just want to eat it when it gets soft and warm instead of waiting for the chips! Preparing the chips this way rather than baking them at a higher temperature will help preserve the vital nutrients and enzymes.
There are countless recipes for kale salad. You can chop it finely, stem and all, and mix with your favorite ingredients, or tear off the leaves and save the stems for juicing. I enjoy this Creamy Kale Salad recipe on a regular basis and it always makes my body feel great and full of energy.
Substitute kale for spinach or collard greens in recipes. Kale is great in soups!