Kale is a vegetable unfamiliar to most American palates, but it's one leafy green you ought to get to know. A member of the Brassica family, kale is closely related to cabbage, collards, and Brussels sprouts. Like its relatives, kale is a nutritional powerhouse, packing a wallop of vitamins, minerals and fiber into a very compact package.
While there are several varieties of kale, the one you're likely to find at the market is known as curly kale. If you run across lacinato kale, also known as Tuscan or dinosaur kale, snap it up quickly, because its deep green leaves are considered the tastiest of all kales.
No matter which variety of kale you choose, however, they all have the same stunning nutritional profile. Here then, is a comprehensive breakdown of the nutritional value of kale.
Like nearly all vegetables, kale is extremely low in fat, with only 3.9 calories of fat in an average 1-cup (67g) serving. Kale is low in saturated fat and cholesterol-free.
Kale has 33 calories per serving — 1 cup of chopped kale. This makes it a very low-calorie food.
There are 7g of carbohydrates per serving of kale — 2 percent of the daily recommended total for carbs.
For its calories, kale is also a good source of protein. You get 2g of protein in each 67g serving.
Kale is a good source of dietary fiber. Each serving of kale has 1g of dietary fiber. A serving of kale will deliver 5 percent of the recommended daily value for dietary fiber.
Kale, considered a "superfood," is brimming with vitamins. It is an excellent source of vitamin A, delivering 206 percent of the daily value per 67g serving, as well as having 134 percent of the recommended daily value for vitamin C.
Kale is an outstanding source of vitamin K, providing 684 percent of the daily value per serving.
Kale is a good source of vitamin B6 as well. It is also very high in thiamin (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), and niacin (vitamin B3).
Kale is no slouch when it comes to minerals, either. It is a very good source of minerals such as calcium (9 percent daily value), copper (10 percent daily value), and potassium (9 percent daily value).
And at 0.5 micrograms (mcg) per 67g serving, kale delivers 26 percent of the recommended daily value for manganese.
Kale is also a good source of folate, phosphorus, iron and magnesium.
Considering the vitamin-packed nutritional value of kale, there's no reason not to incorporate kale into your diet. Picked at the proper time (after a frost) and properly prepared, kale isn't at all bitter as one might fear. Eating kale will deliver a good source of many vitamins, minerals, and fiber to anyone's diet.
Leafy Greens at the Leading Edge: https://extension.unh.edu/news/2006/03/health_horticultural_research.html
Fruit & Vegetable of the Month: Cooking Greens: https://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov/month/greens.html