5 Ways to Detox with Kale

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Kale is known as a low-calorie food that packs in the protein, vitamins A, C and K as well as minerals, including potassium, calcium, thiamin, riboflavin and iron. Did you know it's also a great detoxifier?

Kale has one of the highest levels of antioxidants of any plant you can eat and can help reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol and detox the liver.

Adding kale into your cleansing regimen can be effective, when it's eaten in moderation.

Researchers at Oregon State University found a link between high intakes of cruciferous vegetables such as kale, and hypothyroidism—an insufficient thyroid hormone. People who have thyroid problems should check with their doctor before consuming large amounts of kale. People with no thyroid challenges who eat several servings of kale a week shouldn't have issues, according to the Harvard School of Public Health.

It's recommended to check with your doctor before starting any kind of detox program.

5 Ways to Prepare Kale for Detoxifying Benefits

Steam It

The process of steaming kale can enhance the vegetable's advantages. The body has an easier time absorbing the fiber in kale that's been lightly steamed, according to dietitians. Fiber not only assists in lowering cholesterol, it also helps the body detox by promoting regularity. Try steaming your kale in a little vegetable or chicken broth and lemon juice for 5 minutes or less. The acid from lemon juice makes kale's iron more bioavailable.

If there's any cooking liquid leftover after you steam your kale, drink it, Baltimore dietitian Angela Ginn recommends. There are a lot of antioxidants and nutrients left in that broth, Ginn says.

More: Shitake Bowl with Kale and Brown Rice Recipe

Pair It with Fats

Many of kale's top health-promoting compounds are strengthened when combined with good fats. Researchers at Iowa State University found that people who ate salads with oil-based dressings got more nutrients from the vegetables they ate. That's because the fats found in the oil made the fat-soluble carotenoids more available to the body. The antioxidant activity that occurs in carotenoids works to lower inflammation and oxidative stress in the body, according to NPR's Your Health.

With that in mind, pair kale with avocado or olive oil to boost its detoxifying powers.

More: Kale, Quinoa and Avocado Salad with Lemon-Dijon Vinaigrette