Dec 06, 2012

Kale is King!

Though greens in general are nutritious foods, kale and its cousins mustard greens, turnip greens and watercress, stand above the rest. Focusing here on kale, it is one of your best sources of beta-carotene, one of the antioxidants believed to be a major player in the battle against cancer, heart disease, and certain age-related chronic diseases, it also provides other important nutrients…

Kale is also very high in vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and rich in calcium. Kale, as with broccoli and other brassicas, contains sulforaphane (particularly when chopped or minced), a chemical with potent anti-cancer properties.[1] Along with other brassica vegetables, kale is also a source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells.[2][3] Kale is also a good source of carotenoids.4]

If you’ve ever shopped at Whole Foods, you may have noticed that they post something called an “ANDI” score (Aggregate Nutrient Density Index) near each produce item. The ANDI score was developed by Dr. Joel Fuhrman.

Dr. Fuhrman has completely revised his ANDI (Aggregate Nutrient Density Index) scoring system to provide a more accurate picture of each food’s nutritional quality. Dr. Fuhrman originally developed the ANDI scoring system to rank foods according to micronutrients per calorie, including vitamins, minerals, and as many known beneficial phytochemicals as possible. Since the original calculation of the ANDI scores new information has come to light regarding certain beneficial phytochemicals, such as angiogenesis inhibitors, organosulfides, isothiocyanates, and aromatase inhibitors. Dr. Fuhrman has incorporated this information into a revised algorithm that more accurately reflects the nutritional value of each food.

To effectively and concisely illustrate the concept of nutrient density and rank common foods by nutrient density, Dr. Fuhrman has developed a new reference book for the nutritarian lifestyle, which includes the new and improved ANDI food scoring system:

Watch for lots of recipes containing kale and other nutrient-rich greens!

Healthy trails,

  1. Yuesheng Zhang & Eileen C. Callaway (May 2002). “High cellular accumulation of sulphoraphane, a dietary anticarcinogen, is followed by rapid transporter-mediated export as a glutathione conjugate”. The Biochemical journal 364 (Pt 1): 301–307. 
  2. “Broccoli chemical’s cancer check”. BBC News. 7 February 2006. Retrieved 5 September 2010.
  3. “How Dietary Supplement May Block Cancer Cells”. Science Daily. 30 June 2010. Retrieved 5 September 2010.
  4. “Breeding Better Broccoli: Research Points To Pumped Up Lutein Levels In Broccoli”. Science Daily. 8 November 2009. Retrieved 5 September 2010.

4 responses to “Kale is King!”

  1. Good one! I occasionally buy kale at the supermarket, so it can go bad in my refrigerator … fact is, I don't know how to cook it!!! Looking forward to some prep tips & recipes!

  2. Helyn says:

    Have no fear, recipes forthcoming!
    P.S. It's terrific in fruit smoothies! (See my post on Blueberry Superfood Smoothie)

  3. Anonymous says:

    I love this post because I don't like a lot of strong green flavors but kale is awesome. I have a smoothie I call Berrycrazy because I use Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackberries and Raspberries plus Kale a lemon or lime (your preference) and any other fruit your heart desires. I really don't have measurements of how much I put into my blender I just kind of Sprinkle all of my ingrediants in the blender except the kale I put in about 8oz of it. I put eneough water to blend and oh my its tasty. I buy most of my berries frozen because its less expensive and if I want a slushi I add a frozen banana. It makes eneough for two larg glasses one for me and one for my guy.

  4. Helyn says:

    That's great, Pamela! Aren't smoothies just the BEST? I always put kale in my smoothies and, like you, I use berries–mostly frozen 🙂

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