Curious about the various kale juice benefits you’ll get by adding this ever-popular green to your juice recipes? Join the club.
After all, you can’t call yourself a true leafy green fan if you’ve never had kale….’though if you’re on this website, you’re probably on friendly terms with this queen of greens.
Apart from being known for its rather unusual curly appearance, kale also has a distinct flavor – and nutritional – profile that makes it stand out from its leafy green cousins. It stands out so much, in fact, that it’s acquired a multitude of flattering nicknames – some refer to it as “the new beef,” others call it “the queen of greens,” but our favorite moniker for this delicious plant is simply “nutritional powerhouse.”
Ready to find out how kale has earned these titles?
8 Kale Juice Benefits
Originally cultivated in and around Europe almost 3,000 years back, kale reached the shores of the United States sometime in the 17th century and immediately became one of the most popular vegetables in the country.
That’s not surprising – things that trend in Europe tend to do well in the States as well – but did you know that there was a time when kale was one of the most cultivated leafy greens in Europe?
Yup, it’s believed that kale was the most cultivated vegetable during the Middles Ages. This plant is now regaining the attention of the media as science discovers how nutritious and beneficial this ancient green can be – here’s a glance at the benefits its packing!
A true nutritional powerhouse
It’s so light and leafy. It looks almost…insubstantial. But kale is a proof of the saying “good things come in small packages.” They do.
Kale’s nutritional profile reveals just how much nutritional bang you’re getting for your caloric buck. The nutritional value of one cup of chopped kale is estimated to offer 206% of the daily recommended dose of vitamin A, 9% calcium, 134% vitamin C and a surprising 684%vitamin K. That same cup also contains a number of minerals including phosphorus, manganese, iron, potassium and copper.
It’s got protein and healthy fats, too
There’s so much information about kale these days – it’s pretty much the media darling of the leafy greens world – but did you know that kale is not just packing vitamins and minerals?
Nope, it’s even got protein and healthy. A cup of chopped kale yields you around 3 grams of pure vegan protein and the same also contains around 120 milligrams of ALA (alpha lipoic acid) – you know, that famous omega-3 fatty acid that’s essential for brain health and health.
This is a big reason why kale has such a big anti-inflammatory effect: omega-3 fatty acids are widely known in the medical world for their anti-inflammatory benefits – known to help everything from joint pain to correcting hormonal imbalance.
By the way, even apart from the omega-3s, the cruciferous plant offers a super rich supply of vitamin K, another antioxidant identified to be a key component involved in the regulation of inflammatory processes. Speaking of vitamin K…
Supports healthy, strong bones
Vitamin K plays a key role in the growth and development of bones. Apart from helping see to it that bone cells grow properly, this vitamin also helps maintain their natural strength to prevent fragility and fractures.
Kale is a leafy green that is just bursting with vitamin K. A cup of this vegetable can easily provide you with almost 6 times of your daily recommended intake of this nutrient. And it’s not just vitamin K – kale has a bunch of calcium in it as well. Just one cup of chopped kale is enough to get you 10% of your DV for calcium.
Chock full of antioxidant protection
Okay, so we know kale’s bursting with vitamins, essential minerals, protein and healthy fats…is there room for more goodness in these greens?
Well, yes. In fact, the huge health benefits of kale are primarily associated with its rich content in sulphur-containing phytonutrients.
Research shows that at least 45 different antioxidant flavonoids are found in kale and it’s most likely the synergy of all these free radical-busting, protective flavonoids working together that gives kale its cancer-preventative benefits.
Kale is also a rich source of more well-known antioxidants, like carotenoids. And interestingly – researchers have been able to trace two of the carotenoids (lutein and beta-carotene) in kale from the human digestive tract through to the blood stream.
Kale actually was found to raise the blood levels of these carotenoid nutrients! This is awesome news since these antioxidants play a huge role in protecting our bodies from oxidative stress, which is a huge risk factor in the development of diseases like cancer.
Kale juice is great for your eyes
Forget about reaching for medicines and similar pharmaceutical products if you’re looking to keep your eyesight as sharp as ever. Making it a habit to whip up a glass or two of kale juice every day will help you pull it off and in a much tastier way as well, especially if you combine it with other fruits and veggies that are the best to juice for eye health.
Apart from providing more than 130 percent of an adult’s recommended dietary intake of vitamin A, perhaps the highest among all leafy greens, kale is also quite rich in zeaxanthin and lutein, nutrients that stave off eye damage from rays of light that are above the healthy ultraviolet range. A single glass of kale juice already gives you around 5.8 milligrams of zeaxanthin and lutein, which is almost half of your suggested daily intake.
Kale juice keeps cardiovascular disease at bay
Kale belongs to an elite group of vegetables that are packing large doses of omega-3 fatty acids, which as mentioned earlier, plays a key factor in the prevention of cardiovascular disease by helping normalize low density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol levels.
When bad cholesterol levels are allowed to build up in the body, they clog up channels where blood flows through like blood vessels, arteries and veins with a fatty, waxy substance, making you extremely vulnerable to stroke and heart attack. Omega-3 ALAs has also been seen to stave off the formation of unwanted blood clots in the body that can also lead to serious health issues down the line.
Kale juice is a superb detoxifier
Compared to other leafy greens, kale contains a much higher isothiocyanate content than its counterparts, which makes it a smart choice to go for if you’re looking to get rid of harmful toxins inside your body that can set off health problems in the long run.
When metabolized inside the system, isothiocyanates are converted into glucosinolates that are basically detoxifying enzymes which eliminate toxins that may have accumulated from pollution, preservatives from processed foods and similar factors.
Kale juice supports healthy blood cells
Apart from their significant contribution to vision and bone health, the abundant amounts of vitamins A and K in kale also help ensure that the overall health of your blood cells is up to par.
Moreover, vitamin K plays an important role in the regulation of platelets so they clump together and form tight clots during injury. As for vitamin A, it doesn’t just help in the production of white and red blood cells, but also guides their optimal development until they are fully functional.
Ready to squeeze every drop of these kale juice benefits into your juice recipes?
3 Delicious Kale Juice Recipes
You may have noticed the booming abundance of various kale products being sold – kale salads, kale smoothies, kale soups, kale chips and even kale sweaters (not made of kale, obviously).
And you may have tried them all. But your kale experience won’t be complete if you haven’t tried tossing it in the juicer. Here are some of the best kale juice recipes to do that with!
Tropi-kale Juice Recipe
This is hands-down one of the yummiest green juice recipes around and it’s wonderfully simple to whip up:
- 5 kale leaves
- 1 cup pineapple
- ½ lime, peeled
- ½ cup chilled coconut water
It gives a blast of chlorophyll without any of the bitterness that some green juices bring. The end result is a pleasantly sweet, wonderfully refreshing, energy-boosting power drink that makes you believe it’s just too yummy to be so good for you!
Perfect to drink after a workout as a lovely reward for yourself (and a good dose of replenishing electrolytes) or even before meals to boost digestion (thanks to pineapple’s bromelain content).
This is a wonderfully cleansing, detox-aiding green juice recipes that’s awesome as a general weight loss juice recipe or as a quick go-to recipe for those weekends – and holidays – on which you just know you’ve overdone it.
Cucumber hydrates and adds skin-and-hair-health-boosting minerals to the mix. Celery brings a load of free-radical-fighting antioxidants to the mix. Both the fat-fighting lemon and the digestion-aiding ginger add a delicious kick to the whole recipe. And kale provides a whopping load of vitamins, minerals and even proteins to keep you feeling satiated.
The taste? Serious freshness.
Mango Kale Juice
If you – or a friend – haven’t tried kale juice before and don’t quite believe it could be delicious, this juice recipe is a must try:
- 2 bunches kale
- 2 mangoes, pitted
- 1 large Granny Smith apple, sliced
It’s simple and magical tasting. You’ll never doubt the yumminess of kale juice again.
Tips for Juicing Kale
- When choosing kale to toss in the juicer, go for ones that flaunt dark-colored leaves and stems that are moist yet still have a firm feel when you touch them.
- Choose kale that has smaller leaves if you want to have a more intense flavor profile to your juice.
- Oh, and try to buy organic – kale is one of the dirtiest (aka: most pesticide-d) veggies and you definitely don’t want to be getting those nasties in your fresh, delicious juice.
- Always keep kale refrigerated – preferably in a freshness-ensuring container – since warmer temperatures not only hasten the breakdown of enzymes that make this leafy green lose its nutrients, but also dull its natural flavors in the process.
- Kale plays well with others, both in terms of taste as well as synergetic benefits. Here’s what we mean: kale’s got a lot of awesome phytonutrients that are even more effective when consumed in combination with other healthy compounds. Its vitamin content also includes fat-soluble vitamins like A and K which will become more bioavailable if you simply mix your kale juice with, say, an avocado. Even adding a squirt of lemon juice is a great idea, since its acidity makes kale’s iron more available to the body.