Obesity is a global issue. One of the leading causes of obesity in the recent decades has been the increasing consumption of calorie-dense foods which are rich in sugars, simple carbohydrate, and fats. These foods are highly processed and devoid of the necessary nutritional components resulting in not only an excess of sugars and fats in the body but also increasing micronutrient deficiencies and non communicable diseases such as stroke, type 2 diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and osteoarthritis. All together these result in millions of deaths each year.
To counter the affect of obesity, the government and private organization are trying to intervene by increasing physical activity levels and improving dietary habits and/or social behavior. For this article I will focus on dietary intervention by increasing fiber, promoting low calorie density foods, as well as more nutrient dense foods, namely kale.
Kale is a cruciferous vegetable. Other cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprout, turnip, urugula, and cauliflower generally are not well liked. They possess a slightly bitter flavor due to glucosinolates content. But kale, with its deeply green color, supplies more than the required amount of vitamins A, K, and C. One cup of kale has about 36 calories and it provides about twice daily need of Vitamin A and C, 40% of daily magnesium need, and 10 times the daily need of vitamin K. Kale also has a high lutein content, which protects against age-related macular degeneration disease that causes major blindness in the elderly. In addition, Kale has isothiocyanates that promote the death of tumor cells and decreases tumor progression.
Health organizations recommend we eat 2-3 cups of vegetables a day. It’s important to include green vegetables in the daily diet, including kale, given the immense benefits. Kale can be put into tossed salad, quinoa, rice, or green smoothies. Adding one daily serving of green, leafy vegetables can lower the risk of the non-communicable diseases mentioned above by about ten percent. In addition, the risk of a hip fracture and many cancers are significantly reduced by adopting this practice. Let’s keep this powerhouse green, kale, in our daily diet.
Here is the recipe for you to try – enjoy!
Blend above ingredients well in a jar and set aside
Mix together, then add above dressing. Refrigerate 1-2 hours before serving!
PS: Kale is very versatile, you may add quinoa, apple or dried cranberries to the salad.
For the dressing, you may add Dijon mustard and/or honey as desired.
Yin Schaff, Health Ministries Coordinator