Benefits of going healthy with kale

Courtesy of MCT

The phrases “green is good” and “go green” are often used today but that does not necessarily mean or refer to recyclable energy.

In this case, it refers to a new trendy leafy substance, kale.

In the green vegetable category, we have our peas, celery, lettuce, spinach, cabbage and now kale.

According to the Food Reference Guide, kale is a form of cabbage. However, it does not grow in a tightly bound head, but on long, fibrous stalks that cascade out from the center of a bunch.

Although its popular form is the dark green leafy type, it surprisingly comes in other colors as well, including purple, white and pink.

Kale is an original grown crop of Europe and can withstand harsh temperatures and almost all climates.

It is a versatile vegetable that is nutritionally healthy and beneficial for all diets whether you in eat it raw or cooked. Additionally, it can be steamed, sautéed, boiled, baked or stir fried.

WebMD attributes Kale as a nutritional powerhouse, indicating its benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C and K.

Vitamin K is necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions, including normal blood clotting, antioxidant activity and bone health.

Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of kale helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw.

Other benefits include eye health and cancer risk prevention.

Although kale seems like a great benefit to one’s health, it most certainly is not easily found in your everyday grocery store such as Albertsons or Vons.

That is what makes it such a sought after product.

Kale can be found at Whole Foods market or Mother’s Market, as well as some local farmers markets.

Jessica Sharpe, 24, child and adolescent studies major, said she absolutely loves kale especially since maintaining her health and staying in the best shape possible is her goal.

“I’ve tried Kale in two forms, in a juice drink from the juice bar at Mother’s Market, and someone made it for me cooked in a pan with salt and pepper,” said Sharpe. “It was crispy and was eaten like a chip”.

Sharpe recommends to others who have yet to try kale to eat it in a salad versus the juice form because you cannot taste it as much in juice form since other vegetables are often present.

Some would argue that buying healthy food like kale is more expensive and less convenient than going to a fast food restaurant, but Sharpe disagrees. “If you go out to eat a lot it ends up just as much because it all adds up.  That money could be saved and used in buying healthier foods such as kale,” Sharpe said.

However, students like Stacy Hernandez, 21, a criminal justice major, and Melissa Mendoza, 21, a liberal studies major, feel that people are living off of a limited  budget instead of taking into account healthier options because of the economy.

Hernandez has not heard much about kale, but said she hopes to try the vegetable one day.

Mendoza has yet to try it as well, but said that  it’s not a practical food choice for students.

“I feel if the fruits and vegetables were cheaper, the people would be buying more of that instead of the fifty-nine cent ramen,” said Mendoza.

If students have the money or are interested in a healthier lifestyle, it would be beneficial for them to consume kale because of all of its health benefits.

About Lauren Torres

Lauren is a staff writer on the Daily Titan. Serving as a staff writer of the Daily Titan is a requirement for all Journalism majors.