The word “superfood” isn’t actually a medical or legal term but it does do a great job of defining itself. Superfoods are über healthy foods jam packed with nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. These powerhouse foods are known to increase life span, decrease heart disease as well as other major life threatening diseases. They provide our bodies and cells with the proper nutrients to perform and heal properly.
I’ve always been a “healthy” eater and every day I watch people devour foods with little to no nutrients expecting their bodies to be able to function. Food is fuel and therefore we need to give our bodies the superfoods it craves. Would you fill your cars gas tank with water? I’d say probably not, unless you really wanted it to break down on the side of the road. Our cells need and crave certain things to function just like a car, so let’s feed it the fuel it needs and deserves!
For today’s superfood, I’ll be talking about the ultimate green superfood, kale.
Kale looks like lettuce but is actually a member of the cabbage family. With thick strong leaves, this green leafy vegetable is packed with Vitamin C as well as many other antioxidants that help fight off diseases. With such a high level of antioxidant content, kale is at the top of the vegetable scale for having the highest ORAC rating (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity). This means it helps the body fight off free radicals that would otherwise cause damage to our cells. These radicals have been associated with cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.
For all those who suffer from urinary tract infections, did you know that kale can help? This superfood is packed with Vitamin A which is known for promoting a healthy surface lining in the urinary tract. In addition, it also helps prevent gastrointestinal cancer.
Although kale is a “fat-free” vegetable it does contain significant amounts of essential fatty acids. These are the important for our bodies but our bodies cannot make naturally. Therefore, it’s up to us to consume these fatty acids.
Interesting Fact: Most foods that contain fatty acids are usually higher in omega-6 than in omega-3. Unfortunately omega-6 on its own has pro-inflammatory properties which causes inflammation leading to many different diseases. Kale, unlike most other foods has a higher ratio of omega-3 which makes it even more of a superfood!
The list goes on and on, this superstar superfood is packed with all sorts of cancer fighting, disease preventing, and vitamin filled nutrients.
How to adapt this food into your diet?
I put kale in just about everything! I find if it’s cut it up finely you can’t even tell it’s there. Its thick leaves which can be difficult to chew can deter some people from eating it. If you’re putting kale in a salad, try massaging the leaves with lemon or lime first. Massaging your kale can help make the leaves much softer and therefore easier to chew. I like to add my kale to smoothies and stir-fry’s, I’ll even add it to chili and lasagna and no one ever knows it’s there.
I’ve recently created a new favorite kale salad. It has the stamp of approval from many so please give it a try!
1 bunch of kale (approx. 4 cups)
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped finely
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, diced
1 avocado, cut into small cubes
3/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 jalapeño (the seeds contain the heat so avoid adding the seeds if you don’t want as much heat)
1/3 cup olive oil (or grape seed oil)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tsp honey
1 lime juice (1/4 cup)
Pinch of salt and pepper
1 pita (I use a gluten free pita)
2 tsp garlic salt
1 tbsp olive oil
Wash your kale with warm water and cut finely. Add the dressing and allow the salad to sit for at least one hour (this will help soften the kale leaves and bring out the flavors in the dressing). When you’re ready to serve, prepare the pita chips by drizzling with olive oil and sprinkling garlic salt on top. Broil in the oven till crispy on both sides. Cut into crouton sized chips. Add all remaining ingredients to the salad, mix and serve.
I’m obsessed with all the different flavors in this salad and I hope you are also! Please enjoy the salad and comment below with any questions and comments.
Along with all my cooking comes many beautiful kitchen appliances and cookware. I wanted to share with you, my favorite piece of all, my cutting board. Handmade by my cousin Wayne Muma. His solid wood furniture is outstanding, have a look for yourself. www.muma.ca