The Benefits of Eating Kale

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Kale is one of the most overlooked vegetables in the world. People have been using it as garnishes for other dishes for as long as I can remember. Its usually the last thing left in the dish waiting to be disposed of. Kale happens to be a super food. It has been used for over 2000 years in Europe brought to popularity during Roman times and the Middle Ages. It only came to the U.S. in the 17th Century.

Facts about Kale:
1. A serving of Kale has more absorbable calcium than a carton of milk!Who would have thought that this green leafy food would be a calcium powerhouse.

2. Kale give more bang for your buck in the Vitamin department. One cup of raw kale has only 30 calories and contains more than 600% of Vitamin K, 205% of Vitamin A, 135% of Vitamin C, PLUS Iron, Fiber, Magnesium, Copper, Sodium, Potassium, Phosphorus, Folate, Omega 3s, and 2 grams of protein. Yes, I said PROTEIN!

3. Kale belongs to the cabbage family and is related to not only cabbage, but brussel sprouts and collard greens. All of these vegetables possess phytonutrients which reduce inflammation, reduce certain types of cancers, such as: colon cancer and prostate cancer. It improves the livers ability to detox and helps protect your brain cells by reducing stress. Kale is AWESOME for a healthy mind and body.

4. Kale has no fat and no cholesterol. It’s loaded with beneficial anti-oxidants that help protect your cells from free radical damage. Free radical damage is basically daily aging of our bodies. As your cells break down, this process causes us to age. Kale fights against that along with other high antioxidant foods.

5. Kale contains Zea-xanthin, an important dietary nutrient that gets absorbed into the the rental macula lute in the eyes where it provides antioxidant and protect e light filtering functions. It helps prevent retinal detachment and offers protection against age related macular degeneration in the elderly.

6. Kale is best after the first frost when all the starches in this green leafy veggie begin turning into sugar. Although I love it just about anytime of year.

7. Kale comes in a variety of colors and textures. Try them all to see which ones you like best.

Want to add kale to your diet? Here is a good resource for Kale recipes. Enjoy!

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Benefits of Eating Berries

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If someone offers you a pill for weight loss or to prevent vision loss such as that caused by macular degeneration, you would take it right? Well no need for pills, just hop on over to your local grocery store and load up on fresh or frozen berries. Berries contain antioxidants and phytochemicals, which are naturally occurring nutrients in our bodies that help protect cells from cell damage (oxidative stress) caused by free radicals. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants can help improve your health, protect your skin and hair, and prevent certain diseases. All fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants, but nutrient-rich berries are some of the absolute best sources. Some of the best sources of these health benefits are Strawberries, Blackberries, Raspberries, Boysenberries, Cranberries and Blueberries.

There are several powerful antioxidants that appear in berries, including anthocyanins, quercetin, and vitamin C. Anthocyanins give berries their vibrant color, reduce inflammation, and may help prevent and manage arthritis. Anthocyanins work together with quercetin to help slow age-related memory-loss. Quercetin can also decrease the inflammatory effects of chemicals in the synovial fluid of the joints for people with inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.

Studies have shown that woman who eat two servings of strawberries or one serving of blueberries a week experienced less mental decline over time than peers who did not consume berries. Berries are also able to be included in diets of those suffering with diabetes. While they are a “sweet” fruit, they contain a high level of fiber which can be useful in diabetic diets. They can count as a serving of fruit. Its always better to eat fresh berries than those that have been processed or used in a pie or muffin.

People who eat at least two servings of berries a week have a 25 percent less chance of developing Parkinson’s disease than their peers, according to research published in the journal Neurology. The same research showed that men with the highest intake of flavonoids — which are abundant in berries — reduced their risk by 40 percent. Flavonoids are being studied to help ward off certain types of cancer. Research published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis suggests that flavonoids and other compounds found in berries may help reduce colon cancer risk. Besides eating them plain, you can also get your berry servings by adding them fresh or frozen to other high-nutrition foods such as yogurt, oatmeal, and salads.

Vitamin C is another strong antioxidant found in berries. It is largely responsible for the health of collagen, which helps maintain cartilage stores and aids in joint flexibility. Eating vitamin C–rich berries will contribute to radiant skin and healthy hair, and may reduce the risk of arthritis, high blood pressure, cataracts, and macular degeneration.

In addition to antioxidants, berries are “juicy foods,” which means they contain mostly water. Juicy foods are great for losing weight because they fill you up quickly, since their high water content bumps up the volume while driving down the calories. Berries also contain fiber and folate. Fiber aids in weight loss and helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Folate may protect against cardiovascular disease and age-related memory loss, and since folate contributes to the production of serotonin, it may also help ward off depression and improve your mood. IBS sufferers take note: Some people with IBS experience discomfort after eating berries. People with a strong inherited risk for heart disease may find that a diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables, including berries, can reduce their chances of having a heart attack, according to a study published in PLoS Medicine.

Remember, if you can’t find fresh berries, frozen (unsweetened) berries are a good substitute during the off-season months — and just as nutritious!

 

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