One cup of kale has only 36 calories and zero grams of fat, which makes it a great diet aid. Furthermore, one cup contains nearly 20% of the RDA of dietary fiber, which promotes regular digestion, prevents constipation, lowers blood sugar and curbs overeating. Finally, kale contains the glucosinolate isothiocyanate (ITC) that fights the formation of H. pylori (Helicobacter pylori), a bacterial growth in the stomach lining that can lead to gastric cancer.Antioxidants
Kale is a superstar in the arena of carotenoids and flavonoids, two powerful antioxidants that protect our cells from free radicals that cause oxidative stress. The key flavonoids kaempferol and quercitin (not to dismiss the 45 other distinctive flavonoids in kale) have also been shown to specifically fight against the formation of cancerous cells. With the addition of high doses of well-known antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A, and manganese, kale is certainly a smart choice in the battle against cellular oxidation.Anti-Inflammatory
One cup of kale provides about 25% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids that helps regulate the body’s inflammatory process. A megadose of vitamin K further aids to fight against excessive inflammatory-related problems, such as arthritis, autoimmune disorders, and asthma.Cancer
Not only do kale’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities work together to prevent and even combat cancer, a healthy diet of kale also provides glucosinolates, which have been shown to prevent colon, breast, bladder, prostate, ovarian cancers, as well as gastric cancer.
The high fiber content of kale lowers our cholesterol by binding with bile acids that the liver produces from cholesterol for digesting fat. Because many of these bile acids are coupled with fiber, the liver is charged with producing more bile acid to digest fat, and therefore requires more cholesterol to so, ultimately lowering the amount of cholesterol within our bodies.
The isothiocyanates (ITC) from glucosinolates found in kale aid in both phases I and II of the body’s detoxification process. The high sulfur content of kale has further been shown essential for phase II of detoxification.
Kale provides a whopping dose of vitamin K (providing 1327% of the RDA in one cup), which is necessary for the synthesis of osteocalcin, a protein that strengthens the composition of our bones. Vitamin K also prevents calcium build-up in our tissue that can lead to atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease and stroke. Finally, vitamin K is essential for synthesizing sphingolipid, the fat needed to maintain the myelin sheath around our nerves, and therefore our nervous system as a whole.
With over 354% of the RDA of vitamin A, one cup of kale is an effective antioxidant, boosts immunity, maintains healthy bones and teeth, prevents urinary stones, and is essential to our reproductive organs.
Vitamin C, which one cup of kale heartily provides (over 88% of our RDA), is not only a powerful antioxidant, but also lowers blood pressure, ensures a healthy immune system, and fights against age-related ocular diseases, such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
2 bunches kale
1 T. virgin coconut oil or cold-pressed olive oil
1 T. fresh lemon juice
2 T. nutritional yeast
garlic powder to taste
sea salt to taste
Wash the kale, dry it, and chop it into small pieces. You can include the stems or not, depending on your preference.
Put the kale into a bowl and add the coconut oil or olive oil, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic powder to taste, and sea salt to taste.
Massage the kale for a few minutes until it softens up and all of the flavors are mixed together. Taste it and see if it needs more salt or garlic powder and add if necessary.
Lay the pieces onto the dehydrator sheets.
Dehydrate at 125°F for one hour, then lower the temp to 115°F.
After another hour, check them to see how crisp they are. Check them every hour until they are done to your desired crispness. Depending on your dehydrator and your preference, this could take anywhere from one hour to eight hours.
When they are done, put them in a bowl and toss with extra salt, nutritional yeast, and other spices if desired.
If you’re looking for a “cheezier” version – try this…
1 cup raw cashews
2 bunches green or red curly kale
1/3 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
1 cup chopped roasted red peppers
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
3 cloves garlic
1 Tbs. onion flakes
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
1/4 tsp. sea salt
Soak cashews in enough water to cover for a couple of hours. Drain.
Preheat the oven to 275°F. Wash, stem and thoroughly dry kale, tearing it into large pieces. Set aside.
In a blender, purée soaked cashews, soymilk, peppers, nutritional yeast, garlic, onion granules, lemon juice and salt. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, lightly coat kale leaves with cashew sauce and spread in a single layer on prepared baking sheets. Make sure leaves are not stacked on top of each other, so that leaves dry and bake evenly. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until crisp, gently turning over about halfway through cooking. You can also use a dehydrator to dry the chips. Remove from baking sheets and repeat with remaining kale leaves and cashew mixture. Cool completely, then devour.
Eat Kale. Live Long.