What is Kale Powder?
Kale is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet, with a wide range of benefits and extraordinarily little calories per serving. It is unknown when mankind started eating kale, but there’s evidence to show it has been a food staple of different regions around the world for thousands of years – spanning back to ancient Greece cultivating the vegetable in the fourth century B.C. In this article we will discuss the many benefits of kale powder.
Like collard greens, cauliflower, broccoli, beansprouts, cabbage, Kale is a cruciferous vegetable of the Brassicaceae, or mustard family. Taken from the Roman “brassica”, a word used for such kale like plants and other vegetables like turnips. This family of flowering plants is only mid-sized but play crucial parts in our ecosystem and economy.
As it is high in nutrition and low in calories, it is known as one of the world’s leading super foods. Kale has various benefits that span the entire body in many diverse ways. Abundant in vitamins, antioxidants, electrolytes and minerals, it also brings fiber and protein to the table.
Kale is also known to be a food with great anti-inflammatory properties thanks to its high volumes of Vitamin K, and a single serving also contains about 10% of the daily required omega-3 fatty acids – also noted for being anti-inflammatory.
Why choose powdered Kale?
As one would assume from the name, kale powder is a dried and smashed form of the fresh leaves. These leaves are generally harvested at optimal ripeness, then air or freeze dried until they are brittle enough to be gently broken and pulverized into dust.
Powdered Kale is much more concentrated of a form than the fresh wavy leaves since the water weight has been removed, packing the power of a cup of fresh kale into about a serving of four teaspoons – making it far more nutritionally dense than fresh kale and easier to digest. That same serving has more iron than beef per calorie, and more calcium than a cup of milk.
With Kale Powder, less is MORE. Water weight makes up a large portion of this leafy green making it a low energy-density food, but once concentrated in powder form you get an easily digestible, readily available source of health and nutrition you can add to virtually anything from snacks and deserts to drinks and meals.
Powdered Kale takes up about 10% of the volume as raw kale, and easily hides in almost any dish to really kick up those DRV (daily recommended value) numbers! Half a teaspoon is all you need to mimic a single serving of greens. With how discreetly kale powder fits in almost any dish, getting healthier or making meal alterations just got a whole lot easier!
Great for picky eaters or kids who just won’t eat their vegetables, and if you’re feeling sneaky kale powder can be added to a smoothie in a pinch for a nutrition boost that won’t be tasted! Weight for weight, kale powder reigns supreme over fresh kale packing much more fiber, nutrients and phytochemicals into a significantly smaller space.
Where Fresh Kale only lasts for a couple weeks and can’t always be found, powdered kale can be bought year round and never goes out of season. It can be stored for a couple years making it a great food to always have around.
Skin and Hair
Among many other notable advantages of kale is that it is a great source of a carotenoid called beta-carotene, something the body converts into Vitamin A when it’s needed. The growth and maintenance of all bodily tissues require beta-carotene and vitamin A, these tissues include but are not limited to the skin and hair. Vitamin A is essential for the health of skin and hair but has proven useful in preventing a range of skin diseases as well.
One four-teaspoon serving of kale powder has a little over 200% the daily recommended value of Vitamin K and comes loaded with both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, both known for promoting hair and skin health. Omega-3 fatty acids are known for providing crucial proteins and nutrients to your hair follicles and skin, and can also directly aid in halting a contributing factor of hair loss by soothing or preventing follicle inflammation – while Omega 6’s work to help promote new growth.
The antioxidants found in kale also play a large role in providing healthier skin and hair. Antioxidants protect the skin follicles from free radical production. These free radicals are unstable atoms that damage surrounding cells through taking an electron from other atoms – breaking down the cells atomic structure – and are thought to be linked to aging and a variety of diseases.
Antioxidants help your hair and skin by donating an electron to these free radicals in place of one that would be taken, while still remaining stable and not becoming a free radical atom itself. (x)(x)
Many of the nutrients found in kale play large roles in many different parts of the body, including the eyes. The Vitamin A and beta-carotene that helps with the growth and maintenance of bodily tissues protects the surface of your eyes and is important for seeing better in darker lighted settings.
Vitamin C promotes healthy capillaries and supports the health of blood vessels in the eyes, and potentially slows the onset and progression of visual acuity loss and age related macular degeneration, or AMD. Two other nutrients present in kale that have been shown to help reduce the risk of AMD are lutein and zeaxanthin, which are found in abundance in kale. Manganese deficiency has been linked to eye problems, and copper – like Vitamin C – is needed to promote healthy blood vessels and capillaries.
Vitamin K is the ruling nutrient found in kale, with nearly 700% the daily recommended value per serving. Vitamin K seems to play a particularly important role in preventing the calcification of soft tissues, one of which tissues controls blood pressure in the eyes and can determine whether or not one develops glaucoma.
Maybe you can see why kale is such a super food? (x)
Kale is a powerful bone-building vegetable and can even play a crucial step in reversing osteoporosis. Kale has many nutrients your bones crave, from Vitamins to minerals and antioxidants. There is lots of research to show that Vitamin K plays a large part in bone health, and regulates the production of osteoclasts – large bone cells that absorb bone tissue during healing or growth – in tandem with Vitamin D. Oxidative damage by free radicals is prevented through phytonutrients that act has antioxidants such as lutein, quercetin and kaempferol all found in kale. (x)
Being so rich in nutrients and fiber, kale powder is a great way to control hunger while getting the things you need from your food to stay healthy. There are many healthy dishes you can make with kale powder, ensuring you get the most out of your meal.
Filling you up faster and providing essential supplements, kale powder when used properly truly does the trick at turning almost any meal into “health food”. Its ability to help maintain healthy bowel movements with fibers and the presence of Omega fatty acids also potentially aids in weight control. (x)
High Blood Pressure and Heart Disease caused by Cholesterol
Kale – and the Brassica family of veggies it’s a part of – contain roughly forty phenolic compounds that aid in fighting many serious conditions, one of which being high cholesterol. You have surely heard the terms “Good Cholesterol” and “Bad Cholesterol” before, and are likely aware of the correlations between cholesterol and heart disease, but just what is this stuff and why does kale help?
Cholesterol is highly useful to many important functions of the body. One such use is the creation of bile acids, a substance created in the liver used by the body to help digest fats. After cholesterol is turned into bile acids in the liver, it is release into the digestive system to do its work on fatty meals. With the fat absorbed by the bile acids, they are then reabsorbed into the bloodstream for later use by the body.
Atherosclerosis is a process where fats like cholesterol and other substances in the blood stream build up on arterial walls. As time goes on these build ups may form deposits called plaques, which may narrow or block your arteries. These plaques are known to also rupture causing a blood clot, and can end up interrupting blood flow and causing a stroke that may harm parts of the brain, which can cause memory loss, impaired movement, difficulty with speech, swallowing, and other bodily functions.
However, high blood cholesterol levels on their own have also been implicated in the loss of memory and mental function. These negative processes can be interrupted by substances called bile acid sequestrates, which can bind to bile acids in the digestive system – preventing them from being reabsorbed into the bloodstream, and ultimately the body has to use up more cholesterol to produce new bile acid.
The fiber and bile acid sequestrants found in kale are essential for cleansing and detoxifying the body, and in the process helps lower cholesterol by reducing and restocking bile acid levels. This function of removing cholesterol effectively lowers blood pressure, reducing overall dangers of serious harm. (x)(x)
Kale has been shown to even help those diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes is a condition in which your sugar levels or blood glucose rises higher than it normally would. Normally insulin would be released by the body to allow sugars to be broken down for energy or stored for later use, but in the case of Type 2 diabetes the body experienced insulin resistance – a condition where the body is unable to properly produce insulin.
Over time, the pancreas – which produces the bodies insulin – is unable to create enough to keep blood glucose levels from rising. There are studies that show kale can help reduce blood glucose levels, and even possibly aid even reversing Type 2 diabetes! (x)(x)
Kale helps prevent constipation while promoting regularity and a healthy digestive tract. Powdered kale is an excellent source of easily digestible fiber, and can be added to virtually anything including water. Healthy digestion allows your body to get rid of the things you don’t need and take more advantage of the things you do need.
Studies show normalizing and maintaining bowel health may lower the risk of colorectal cancer, as well as the risk of developing hemorrhoids and diverticular disease. Healthy bowels are known to help control blood sugar levels and potentially lower cholesterol levels as well. (x)
Kale, and other crucifers contain unique disease-fighting compounds including sulfurophane, indoles, glucosinolates, and isothiocyanates among their many other nutrients. Indoles and isothiocyanates have been found to help prevent the development of cancer by performing several tasks.
For starters they help protect cells from DNA damage, a leading cause of cancer. DNA is the blueprints for your body, when part of that blueprint gets too damaged it can lead to cancer. These nutrients are also known to deactivate certain carcinogens as well, just another way it keeps your DNA safe. They also inhibit tumor blood vessel formation and tumor cell migration, and possess anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antibacterial effects. Researches have published evidence that people who eat greater amounts of cruciferous vegetables have an overall lower risk of cancer. (x)(x)
All in All
With all its benefits there is truly no surprise that kale has such a storied past in terms of human consumption and holds an incredibly firm position as one of the world’s leading super foods. Powdered kale is readily available year-round and has an extremely long shelf life, lasting for years if need be. Even if there isn’t an immediate pressing reason to add kale to your diet, there are too many benefits to not consider. (x)
By Ed Reyes