During the Holiday season, it’s easy to indulge in an abundance of decadent, not-so-healthy fare. While there is nothing wrong with the occasional treat, it’s important to feed your body well to keep it functioning at its best. Many people assume that healthy food is expensive. On the contrary, buying in-season produce is one of the best ways to benefit your body and your wallet simultaneously!
While many of us tend to think of pumpkins, squash and cranberries during the holiday time, we ought not forget one of the most nutritious vegetables out there: kale.
Kale is considered a “superfood”—rich in important vitamins and minerals, it helps maintain a healthy, high-functioning body.
Kale is loaded with vitamin K, vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, potassium, copper, manganese, phosphorus, folate and fiber. Fiber helps promote a healthy digestive tract and can increase satiety, which aids in the prevention of overeating.
The nutritious compounds found in kale are associated with eye health, lower blood cholesterol levels and a reduced risk of heart disease. Additionally, according to a study found in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the abundance of vitamin K found in kale can reduce the risk of developing cancer.
Registered dietician Debra Nessel warns, however, that high amounts of vitamin K may interfere with anticoagulant drugs such as Coumadin or Warfarin. But kale is a great addition to everyone’s diet, as long as consumption of this vitamin-rich leafy green is consistent.
For example, “Eating three cups one day and nothing more the rest of the week may pose a problem, but being consistent through the week with all vegetables rich in vitamin K will make it easier to titrate anticoagulant medications,” says Nessel. She also recommends consuming calcium-rich foods separately from kale, as oxalates in kale interfere with the absorption of calcium.
“I am always encouraging folks to fill half of their lunch and dinner plates with unprocessed, non-starchy vegetables. There are no limits on the quantities of tasty fruits and veggies, unless, of course, they are covered with butter or dressing or deep-fried. So bring on the kale,” says Nessel.