Start your detox today with this super healthy and tasty detox salad recipe. Avocado and kale are two especially well known super foods that have anti-inflammatory properties and lots of nutrients. We combine them into this easy salad that is not only hearty and filling, but will also help detox your body.
Kale was definitely not my favorite vegetable back in the day, and I never thought I would like it so much. Over time, I’ve learned that most of the time the reason you don’t like a certain vegetable is simply because of the way it’s prepared. Most people, when they hear the word kale, think of the death cooked green vegetable that has a slightly bitter taste and is barely tolerable. Unfortunately, very often you get kale served exactly like that.
Kale is a real beauty vegetable, as it contains tons of phytochemicals, fiber and antioxidants. To preserve all these wonderful substances, it is best eaten raw and with the right dressing it tastes really wonderful. This dressing doesn’t contain any oils, but gets the fat from the avocado alone, which makes for a dreamy creamy texture. The sautéed tempeh adds the necessary crunch to the dish.
Kale contains quite a bit of iron, potassium and calcium. It’s also rich in vitamins C, E and K, so it’s worth incorporating more kale into your diet. With such a delicious salad recipe, it’s certainly no longer difficult to do.
If you prepare the kale salad with creamy avocado dressing and tempeh you will notice how delicious kale can taste and how great it tastes in combination with avocado and tempeh.
Kale salad with creamy avocado dressing and tempeh, kale salad recipe, vegan kale salad
Kale: An unbeatable vegetable
Kale is an incredibly healthy and highly alkaline vegetable. It provides plenty of calcium, iron, vitamin K and vitamin C, plus a host of antioxidant-rich phytochemicals. Its high-quality protein further ensures that it is consistently recommended as an alternative to animal protein. Medical studies also show what the ancients knew long ago: kale is a healing food! Our delicious kale recipes prove how tasty kale can be prepared.
Kale: The alkaline source of iron and protein
Kale (Brassica oleracea var. sabellica) – also known as curly kale, feathered kale or winter kale – is a superlative vegetable. Kale is one of the most alkaline foods, and one of the healthiest winter vegetables to boot. The reason for this is its nutrient density coupled with high vital substance content. For example, it provides an enormous amount of protein for a vegetable, namely about 4 grams per 100 grams. At the same time, it is an excellent source of calcium (200 mg/100 g), and its iron content of 2 mg per 100 grams is also very respectable.
Traditionally, winter cabbage is prepared hearty with clarified butter and bacon and then served with sausages, Kassler or similar. For this purpose, it is often cooked for up to 1.5 hours, which of course is not so good for its valuable ingredients.
In modern times, kale is therefore increasingly found in raw food dishes, such as the popular green smoothies. It is also served as a salad or gently steamed vegetable.
For in between, there are crispy kale chips in raw food quality. Because only in this way can the superfood kale give us all that is in it. Above all, its secondary plant compounds and antioxidants are considered natural shields against various diseases and are extremely sensitive to heat.
The history of kale
Like all other cabbage varieties, kale is a cruciferous plant that originates from wild cabbage. According to sources, the so-called green curly kale, the forerunner of today’s kale, was cultivated in the Mediterranean region as early as the 3rd century BC and used primarily as a medicinal plant. In ancient Egypt, the cabbage vegetable was even used for 83 diseases.
The ancient Greeks, of course, also used it, for example, to alleviate the physical consequences of excessive alcohol consumption. The physician Hippocrates, on the other hand, recommended a broth of kale leaves for stomach ailments, diarrhea, cough and hoarseness.
And the Roman statesman Cato the Elder noted in his book on medicinal plants that a single pounded cabbage leaf could help defeat breast cancer. In ancient Rome, the so-called “Sabelline cabbage” was so prized that it could help kale farmers achieve true prosperity.
Kale: The superfood of the cabbage vegetables
Today, the term superfood is increasingly used to describe anything but a superfood. Kale, however, is indeed a true superfood.
Although there is no official definition for the term superfood, it generally refers to natural foods, i.e. foods that are as unprocessed as possible, that are particularly rich in nutrients (this can also just be a nutrient or vital substance that is contained in particularly large quantities) and have an above-average positive effect on health.
Curly kale is such a food because its nutrient profile exceeds that of many other vegetables and even most other cabbage species. For example, winter cabbage contains three times as much protein and four times as much iron as white cabbage.
Nutritional values, vitamins and minerals
Fresh winter cabbage is about 85 percent water and is very low in calories. It also contains many vitamins and minerals. Below are the respective nutritional values, vitamins and minerals per 100 grams:
Kale provides high quality protein
The amino acid profile of kale is extremely high quality and comparable to that of meat and co. Only the levels of the sulfur-containing amino acids methionine and cysteine are somewhat low, but this is not a problem as these are found in abundance in many other foods, such as cereal products of all kinds.
On the other hand, the tryptophan content is very high. This amino acid is needed for the production of serotonin in the brain and ensures the very best mood and mental balance.
Vegetables with omega-3 fatty acids
It is atypical for vegetables to contain relevant amounts of fat. Kale does not do this either. With only 1 gram, it is naturally considered low in fat. However, this one gram contains 130 mg of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid with numerous positive health effects. As we had explained here ( Omega-3 fatty acid requirement vegan cover ), the minimum requirement of ALA is 1200 mg per day. This means that just 100 grams of the vegetable will cover 10 percent of the requirement – and that’s without having consumed the slightest bit of fat.
ALA is known for its anti-inflammatory effect as well as for its protective effect on the cardiovascular system and on nerves in the brain and spinal cord.
Dietary fiber aids digestion
Even in research circles, it is now considered undisputed that dietary fiber from cabbage vegetables such as kale has an extremely positive effect on digestion and that it can prevent various diseases such as colon cancer or diabetes.
Since Frisian palm not only contains large amounts of dietary fiber (almost as much as oatmeal), but also has a high dietary fiber quality, it can achieve a wide range of medicinal efficacy through this group of substances alone.
Because dietary fiber:
Kale: A top source of calcium
With its high calcium content, kale ranks near the top of the most calcium-rich vegetables, surpassed there only by stinging nettle (and other wild vegetables). It is thus the most calcium-rich cultivated vegetable in our latitudes.
Furthermore, the bioavailability of calcium is considered to be very high in kale because it is one of the vegetables low in oxalic acid, with less than 10 mg oxalic acid per 100 g. Winter kale is therefore a quite excellent source of calcium. We have listed other top vegetable sources of calcium here: Meeting calcium needs vegan
The secondary plant substances
The most important secondary plant compounds include the antioxidant flavonoids, the carotenoids, and the anti-cancer mustard oil glycosides – and they are all found in kale!
Flavonoids in kale
Vitamin- and mineral-rich cabbages like kale also contain plenty of phytochemicals. Scientists number the flavonoids it contains at least 45, including the excellent free radical scavenger called quercetin, which we’ve already reported for you here: Resveratrol and Quercetin: Soon companions of chemotherapies .
Flavonoids have anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic and blood pressure-lowering effects, for example. A 2017 Chinese study at Wuhan University confirmed that flavonoids reduce the risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease, for example.
Mustard oil glycosides in kale.
In addition, kale contains mustard oil glycosides (also glucosinolates), which are partly responsible for the typical taste. These are sulfur- and nitrogen-containing chemical compounds formed from amino acids.
Mustard oil glycosides are converted into antimicrobial and anticancer isothiocyanates (so-called mustard oils) when the vegetable is chewed or cut up and also during the digestion process. The conversion takes place with the help of the enzyme myrosinase. However, this is sensitive to heat, so the anti-cancer effect of cooked kale is not as high.
Carotenoids in kale
Carotenoids also have an anti-inflammatory effect and reduce the risk of certain cancers as well as cardiovascular diseases. At around 5,200 micrograms per 100 grams, kale actually contains more beta-carotene than broccoli (850 micrograms) and Brussels sprouts (470 micrograms). If you take a small portion of fat together with the kale, e.g. olive oil, your organism can absorb the beta-carotene more easily. Even more important for a high beta-carotene absorption, however, is that the kale is well chopped – for example, as it is in the green smoothie.
Furthermore, kale contains the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which are particularly good for the eyes and therefore counteract age-related eye diseases.
Furthermore, kale is a wonderful example of the fact that even more of the yellow and orange carotenoids can be hidden in green vegetables than in yellow and orange fruits and vegetables such as carrots. This is because the carotenoids contained in green vegetables are overlaid by the rich green chlorophyll (leaf green).
Kale: Chlorophyll – the basis of life
The Frisian palm contains even more chlorophyll than, for example, the nettle or broccoli. In their study, Indian researchers from the Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute found that chlorophyll a in particular is effective against inflammation. They indicated that there is great potential in leafy greens to treat diseases in this regard.
For example, it has already been shown that chlorophyll is able to prevent dementia, protect against diabetes, improve muscle development, eliminate heavy metals through the intestines and reduce the risk of colon cancer. You can find more detailed information here: Chlorophyll protects your health .
Kale: The vegetable against cancer
Kale provides both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant substances. The combination of these two groups of substances can reduce the risk of cancer quite excellently.
The antioxidants in kale that have a strong anti-cancer effect include in particular the carotenoids lutein and beta-carotene as well as the flavonoids . They protect the body from oxidative stress. According to clinical studies, these antioxidants are particularly effective against breast, colon, bladder, prostate and ovarian cancer when kale is consumed regularly.
Among the flavonoids studied to date with the greatest antioxidant potential, the phytoestrogen kaempferol and the plant pigment quercetin have emerged. Nevertheless, it can be assumed that the other 45 or so flavonoids that have been identified also make their contribution to cancer prevention.
Kale contains 10 times more anti-cancer substances than broccoli
Kale provides at least five types of mustard oil glycosides. These include the substance glucobrassicin, which neutralizes toxins such as estrogen derivatives in the body and is thought to reduce breast cancer risk in particular. However, due to their detoxifying properties, recent studies suggest that mustard oils not only have a preventive effect, but can also be used therapeutically against cancer.
A 2016 study by researchers at the University of Oldenburg and Jacobs University Bremen found that kale is significantly better at preventing cancer than broccoli and other varieties of cabbage. Until now, broccoli was considered the best vegetable for cancer prevention. However, scientists have now revealed that some varieties of kale contain ten times more cancer-preventing substances.
Kale instead of meat
In view of CO2 emissions and lack of resources, the meat industry is criticized as one of the ten main causes of climate change. Environmental activists such as Prof. Michael Pollan, whose book The Omnivore’s Dilemma caused an international sensation, therefore urge a plant-based or at least meat-reduced diet, which would also counteract many diet-related diseases.
By deviating only slightly from the Western diet, we could reduce our risk of type 2 diabetes by 90 percent, coronary heart disease by 80 percent and colorectal cancer by 70 percent, Pollan says.
It’s not just official dietary guidelines that give preference to fruits and vegetables over animal products. Kale in particular, with its great nutrient density, high-quality protein and diversity, can not only contribute very well to a balanced plant-based diet, but at the same time, due to its healing substances, can wonderfully protect against or help overcome disease – something that can’t exactly be said for meat and other animal products.
Kale does not need frost!
Although it can be bought all year round in different varieties, kale is a classic winter vegetable and should – in seasonal and regional vital food cuisine – if possible only be bought if it comes from the region.
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