Leaves of kale with texture

Kale: The Bitter Truth

The truth is that I love kale. I know I am not the only one who loves this bitter, yet healing green leafed superfood. Of course, few dearly love kale, but those who love it, love it strong.

Kale, my favourite dark leafy green. A true life saver. I credit this stellar, yet humble green in returning my sanity and my sleep many years ago. Faced with deep depression and insomnia I tried fresh greens. Within one week of including uncooked dark leafy greens in my diet, my depression disappeared and I had a solid eight hour sleep for the first time in over 3 years.

Kale and other greens are rich in chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is the pigment in vegetables that makes them green and it is involved in transforming the sun’s energy to energy that we can use for food. The benefits of consuming chlorophyll, also known as ‘plant blood’, are numerous. Here are a few:


* helps our bodies detoxify and can purify our blood.

* can help make our bodies strong and healthy.

* builds blood, renews tissues, counteracts radiation, activates enzymes, improves liver function, establishes healthful intestinal flora.

* also benefits anemia, reduces high blood pressure, relieves anxiety and nervousness, strengthens intestines.

* rich foods can slow down the aging process, improve mental capacity, and enhance a healthy weight loss program.

* rich foods can protect the vascular system by lowering blood fat and guarding against artery deterioration.

* Greens are highly cleansing foods.

“Studies suggest that vitamin B9 (folate) may be associated with depression more than any other nutrient, and may play a role in the high incidence of depression in the elderly. Between 15% and 38% of people with depression have low folate levels in their bodies and those with very low levels tend to be the most depressed.” (from www.umm.edu )
Rich in Minerals and Vitamins

Rich in minerals and vitamins, kale is among the most nutritious vegetables. Kale is loaded with calcium, potassium, indoles (cancer-fighting substances), beta-carotenes, and other antioxidants.

A 100 gram serving (1.5 cups) of kale provides double the amount of vitamin-A compared to regular red and green leaf lettuces. This works out to be 306% of the recommended daily value. And, you receive 134% of the RDV for Vitamin-C. Kale is also abundant in calcium, magnesium, silicon, boron, zinc, and copper.

One study revealed that kale, a low-oxalate vegetable, is a good source of bioavailable calcium. Other members of the brassica family includes broccoli, turnip greens, collard greens and mustard greens. These low-oxalate, calcium-rich vegetables are therefore also likely to be better sources of available calcium than high-oxalate vegetables such as spinach or chard.

Since magnesium is essential for boosting bone mineral density, kale is an ideal source for bone health. Kale is an often-overlooked vegetable that happens to be loaded with folate (folic acid), an important B vitamin for everyone.

Folate, present in dark leafy greens such as kale, is also known as vitamin B9 or folic acid. Folate is crucial for proper brain function and plays an important role in mental and emotional health. It is a water-soluble vitamin that works along with vitamin B-12 and vitamin C to help the body digest and utilize proteins and to synthesize new proteins when they are needed. Folate is necessary for the production of red blood cells and for the synthesis of DNA, which is used to guide the cell in its daily activities.

Kale is available in many varieties, including purple, Russian, and “dinosaur”. Although kale can taste slightly bitter to those not acustomed to its flavour, it is most palatable when combined with other, sweeter ingredients, such as cucumber and apple. As an individual increases their consumption of kale over time, it begins to taste less bitter and can even taste sweet. Especially when the kale has been exposed to a light frost during cultivation.
Ancient History

Kale is a primitive cabbage native to the eastern Mediterranean or to Asia Minor. Due to migrating tribes over thousands of years, it is not certain which of those two regions is the origin of the species. The Latin name Brassica oleracea defines this green as a ‘headless cabbage’.

All principal forms of kale eaten today have been known for at least two thousand years. The Greeks and Romans grew several kinds of kale. European writers mentioned kale in the 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 13th centuries. Although the first mention of the kales in America was in 1669, it is probable that they were introduced earlier.
Enrich your Diet

Find ways to include kale in your diet everyday. Making friends with this king of greens is a fabulous way to get a varienty of necessary nutrients. Here are some tips:

Shred: Enjoy kale shredded or finely chopped into your salad.

Juice: Juice kale with some apple and celery for a delicious beverage.

Green Smoothies: Combine kale with other vegetables and fruit in a Vitamix (superblender).


Green Smoothies blend best in a powerful blender, like a Vitamix. These recipes are suprisingly sweet. Over time you may want to decrease the amount of fruit added.

If you are new to eating kale, start with small amounts first, then increase over a few weeks. I prefer dark green kale, such as lacinato, dinosaur or black kale. The first two recipes are by Victoria Boutenko. Enjoy!

1) Pear-Kale-Mintgreen smoothie kale pear
4 ripe pears
4-5 leaves of kale
1/2 bunch of mint

2) Pear-Kale with a Bite
2 ripe pears
4-5 leaves of kale
1 handful of raspberries
1 apple
1 small piece of ginger

3) Bosc Pear-Raspberry-Kale
3 bosc pears
1 handful of raspberries
4-5 leaves of kale

4) Tara’s Favourite Green Smoothie
3 to 6 leaves of dark green kale
2 apples
3 stalks
1/2 cup or more Water
Ginger (optional)

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