Kale has often been considered by many people to be the most healthy food on the planet, have you heard it being called that? Well, yes it is very high in nutrients that’s for sure! Like most of the other green leafy vegetables, they’re great raw and cooked, and are full of nutrition (especially considering how low in calories they are – not that we worry about that with our babies!).
Kale nutritional information
One cup of kale will give you 3g of protein, and meet your baby’s nutritional needs of vitamins A, C and K. Even if you only got 1/4 of a cup into your child’s meal, that is still a solid punch of nutrients in each mouthful!
What else makes kale amazing?
High in lutein – important for eye health
Has been found to be very nutritious when cooked with lentils in providing a vast mineral content as well as pre-biotics for a healthy gut!
Steamed kale binds with bile in the gut to support your gall bladder function and digestion, as well as detox as part of overall liver function
Kale has been shown to impact the way you detox from a genetic level. This has only been discovered in a handful of foods, the other one being turmeric.
Highest in Vit K, A and C
Smaller amounts of EFA Omega 3s, B vitamins and iron (less than 10% recommended daily)
High in anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory
Isothiocyanates (ITCs) made from kale’s glucosinolates have been shown to help regulate detox activities in our cells. It helps Phase 1 and 2 of detox!
The ITCs make from kale’s glucosinolates should help protect our stomach lining from bacterial overgrowth of Helicobacter pylori and should help avoid too much clinging by this bacterium to our stomach wall.
Kale can block the uptake of iodine which might lead to thyroid problems, if you have too much of it! So there’s always a balance even with healthy foods!
Some of you might like raw kale, but I definitely do not! As with all leafy greens, kale can be eaten raw – chop and put into a salad, throw a few leaves into your smoothies (or if you’re turning smoothies into iceypoles), or even make raw kale chips (here’s a recipe for you).
If you’re cooking it, you can add it to a pan with garlic, extra virgin olive oil and add some lemon juice at the end – it can make the perfect side dish. If giving to a baby, be sure to puree it enough that they won’t get a stringy leaf stuck in their throat. You can also cook it without the garlic if your little one has a sensitive tummy.
Super energy Kale soup:
Prep and cooking time: 40 minutes
· 1 medium onion, chopped
· 4 cloves garlic, chopped
· 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
· 1 medium carrot, diced into 1/4-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
· 1 cup diced celery
· 2 red potatoes, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
· 3 cups kale, rinsed, stems removed and chopped very fine
· 2 tsp dried thyme
· 2 tsp dried sage
· salt and pepper to taste
- Chop garlic and onions and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Heat 1 TBS broth in a medium soup pot.
- Healthy Sauté onion in broth over medium heat for about 5 minutes stirring frequently.
- Add garlic and continue to sauté for another minute.
- Add broth, carrots, and celery and bring to a boil on high heat.
- Once it comes to a boil reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 15 more minutes.
- Add kale and rest of ingredients and cook another 5 minutes. If you want to simmer for a longer time for extra flavor and richness, you may need to add a little more broth.
Have you got a favourite way to enjoy kale? Here’s my favourite – a 5 ingredient kale and quinoa bowl (recipe here)
Words of warning with kale!
Kale is high in compounds that can hinder thyroid function. If you are a sensitive person, or have thyroid/adrenal issues, please don’t overdo it on the kale. While small doses will be beneficial, high doses (such as daily juicing or smoothies) have the potential to reduce thyroid function.
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