The Diet Detective: The Health Benefits of Kale

How to Select and Store

According to the Produce for Better Health Foundation's Fruits & Veggies More Matters site, "Choose dark colored kale bunches with small tomedium leaves. Avoid brown or yellow leaves. ... Store kale in a plastic bag in the coldest part of the fridge for three to five days."

Nutrition Stats

One cup of raw kale has 33 calories, 2.87 grams of protein, 5.86 grams of carbohydrates, 2.4 grams of fiber and 0.62 grams of fat.

More: Baked Kale Chips Recipe

What Else You Need to Know

If you're taking blood-thinning or anti-coagulant drugs such as warfarin (brand name Coumadin), you need to avoid large amounts of kale, because its high level of vitamin K could interfere with your medications.

The researchers from the University of Agriculture in Krakow also found that "the cooking process of kale resulted in lowering of the antioxidant activity of its antioxidants especially of vitamin C, polyphenols and to the lesser extent of beta carotene." They also stated that these findings confirm the fact that kale should be eaten raw or with minimal processing, such as blanching the leaves briefly.

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According to the Environmental Working Group, kale is in the "plus" category for the "dirty dozen." "These crops did not meet traditional dirty-dozen criteria but were commonly contaminated with pesticides exceptionally toxic to the nervous system."

Interesting Fact

In Scotland, they often use the expression "Come to Kale" to invite someone to dinner. They eat a lot of kale there.

More: Why You Should Rotate Your Raw, Leafy Greens

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