Here at The Henderson Beach Resort, our goal is to nourish your soul, mind, and body. Part of how we do that is through utilizing superfoods in our restaurant’s ingredients! So what’s a superfood? It’s an ingredient with powers and abilities far beyond those of most vegetables. Superfoods can change the course of our lives by fighting free radicals in our bodies. One superfood, kale, which is a mild-mannered leafy vegetable, fights the never-ending battle for good nutrition.
While kale may not be faster than a speeding bullet or able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, it IS recognized as a Superfood, arguably Superfood Number 1. (Other contenders include Greek yogurt, quinoa, blueberries, chia, oatmeal, green tea, strawberries, and salmon.) Kale’s primary claim to fame is that it provides more antioxidants than most other fruits and vegetables. That’s important because of the free radicals that the antioxidants fight can damage your body at the cellular level. That cellular damage has been implicated in several diseases and disorders, including eye damage caused by macular degeneration, cardiovascular diseases, thrombosis, asthma, an impaired immune system, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.
An additional body of research indicates that eating kale can be helpful in preventing some types of cancer and even suppressing the growth of some cancerous tumors. That’s because kale contains glucosinolates that are involved in eliminating potential carcinogens from the body, both by helping to protect against DNA damage and by stimulating self-destruction of cancerous cells. Most current research has focused on breast and colon cancer, but it may also help protect against bladder, prostate, and ovarian cancers.
Kale is also said to have an ability to help in infant brain development in the womb, as it’s a valuable source of folate. Benefits include the promotion of adequate birth weight, healthy neural tube formation, and proper development of the face and heart.
One more plus for kale is that it can provide beauty benefits as well as health benefits. Kale’s antioxidants, through processes involving some long scientific words, can help to prevent the loss of skin elasticity triggered by excessive ultraviolet radiation.
Young kale leaves can be eaten raw, and it’s becoming a popular ingredient in green smoothies, superfood shakes, and vegetable juices. While it does lose some of its benefits when cooked, it still retains significant beneficial properties. Kale can be prepared as kale chips by lightly sautéeing it with other ingredients such as olive oil, garlic, or onions. At only 36 calories per cup, kale is a great low-calorie source of fiber, calcium, and iron that is rich in vitamins K, A, and C.
Kale is a cruciferous vegetable. As such, it is related to the following vegetables, which share many of kale’s benefits: arugula, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, mustard greens, radish, turnip, and watercress.
One recommendation that has been expressed by way of caution is to buy only organic kale. That is because kale has been said to be one of the most heavily pesticide-sprayed crops. You’re safe in our restaurants as we only buy organic, fresh ingredients.