Nutrition diet

Benefits, nutrition, diet and risks

Kale is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family. They contain nutrients that can play an important role in a healthy diet.

The cruciferous family includes bok choy, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, rutabaga and turnips. Cruciferous vegetables are high in nutrients and low in calories.

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables appears to help reduce the risk of many lifestyle health problems.

A high consumption of plant foods, such as collard greens, appears to be decrease the risk of a number of health problems, including obesity and overall mortality, diabetes and heart disease.

Bone health

A low intake of vitamin K can increase the risk osteoporosis and bone fractures.

Vitamin K acts as a bone matrix protein modifier, improves calcium absorption and may reduce urinary calcium excretion.

One cup of boiled collard greens provides 770 micrograms of vitamin K.

The US Dietary Guidelines 2015-2020 recommend that a woman aged 19 to 30 should consume 90 mcg per day of vitamin K and that a man of the same age should consume 120 mcg.

One cup of collard greens provides this amount of vitamin K many times over.

Cancer

Studies suggest that people who eat a lot of cruciferous vegetables have a lower risk of developing various types of cancer, including upper digestive tract cancer, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, and kidney cancer.

Cruciferous vegetables contain sulfur compounds called glucosinolates.

These compounds can help prevent the cancerous process at different stages of development for lung, colorectal, breast and prostate cancers, and possibly melanoma, esophageal cancer and pancreatic cancer.

In 2017, researchers published the results of a study involving nearly 3,000 people. They were looking for possible links between the incidence of breast cancer and the consumption of cruciferous vegetables.

The results suggest that consuming cruciferous vegetables may reduce the risk of breast cancer, especially in women who have not yet reached menopause. They note that cooking methods can make a difference, as cooking certain cruciferous vegetables can reduce glucosinolate levels.

Whether or not this was true for collard greens was unclear in this study, as most people don’t eat raw collard greens.

There is some evidence that collard greens and other green vegetables that contain high amounts of chlorophyll can help block the carcinogenic effects of heterocyclic amines. These substances are generated when cooking foods at high temperatures.

Diabetes and liver function

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend 22.4 to 28 grams of fiber per day for women, depending on age, and 28 to 33.6 grams per day for men.

Results of a to study published in 2014 suggest that a high fiber intake may reduce inflammation and glucose levels in people with type 1 diabetes.

It can help people with type 2 diabetes achieve better levels of blood sugar, lipids, and insulin.

One cup of boiled collard greens provides almost 8 grams of fiber.

Kale also contains an antioxidant known as alpha-lipoic acid.

Studies suggest that alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) may lower glucose levels, increase insulin sensitivity, and prevent oxidative stress-related changes in people with diabetes. It can also help regenerate liver tissue.

Researchers have also observed that ALA can decrease symptoms of peripheral neuropathy in people with diabetes.

However, it is not yet known whether ALA can be effective as a long-term treatment. Additionally, studies have used ALA intravenously. Oral supplementation may not offer the same benefits.

Excessively high doses of ALA seem to produce side effects similar to those caused by too little. While “normal” amounts can help prevent oxidative stress, high levels can damage cells.

Researchers found that consuming collard greens improved liver function in rats with high blood pressure.

Digestion

Kale is rich in fiber and water. These help prevent constipation, promote regularity, and maintain a healthy digestive tract.

Healthy skin and hair

Collared cabbage has a high content of vitamin A. Vitamin A is necessary for the production of sebum, which keeps hair hydrated.

Vitamin A is crucial for the growth of all body tissues, including skin and hair. This too supports the immune system and the eyes and helps keep the body’s organs healthy.

Vitamin C allows the body to build and maintain levels of collagen, which structures skin and hair.

An adult woman needs 75 mg of vitamin C per day, and a man needs 90 mg. One cup of boiled collard greens provides almost 35 mg of vitamin C.

The iron prevents anemia, a common cause of hair loss. A lack of iron in the diet can affect how efficiently the body uses energy. Collard greens, spinach, lentils, tuna, and eggs are good sources of iron.

Adults should consume 8 mg of iron per day, and women of childbearing age need 18 mg. One cup of boiled collard greens provides 2.5 mg of iron.

Sleep and mood

Collared cabbage contains choline, an important neurotransmitter. Choline help with functions of mood, sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory.

Choline also helps maintain the structure of cell membranes, the transmission of nerve impulses, fat absorption, and the reduction of chronic inflammation.

Folate, also found in choline, can help fight depression because it can prevent excess homocysteine ​​from forming in the body.

Scientists have found elevated levels of homocysteine ​​in people with bipolar disorder and depression related to alcohol use disorder.

Consuming folate may help reduce the risk of depressive symptoms in some people.

Why not grow your own collard greens? You can buy the seeds online.

Collard greens should have firm, deep green leaves. The smaller leaves will be softer and have a milder flavor.

Green cabbage keeps well in the refrigerator.

Steaming collard greens for 10 minutes or less helps them retain their nutrients.

Season them with peppers, chopped onions, herbs and spices.

You can use collard greens:

  • raw in salads or on sandwiches or wraps
  • braised, boiled or sautéed
  • in soups and stews

Another idea is to sauté the fresh garlic and onions in extra virgin olive oil until tender, then add the collard greens and continue sautéing until tender. that they achieve the desired tenderness.

Avoid frying collard greens in bacon fat or lard or overcooking them, as they can create a strong, bitter sulfur taste.

The addition of black-eyed peas and brown rice makes for a healthier version of a southern favorite.

You can add a handful of collard greens to your favorite smoothie. This provides additional nutrients without significantly changing the flavor.

Green cabbage crisps

You can make collard greens like this:

  • Remove the ribs from the green cabbage.
  • Mix the leaves in extra virgin olive oil.
  • Bake them at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 30 minutes until crispy.
  • Sprinkle lightly with your choice or a combination of cumin, curry powder, chili powder, roasted red pepper flakes and garlic powder.


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