I think it’s time for another “info” post. On my trip to New Orleans, I found myself with a few hours to kill before my flight home and I decided that I should spend that time wandering around Whole Foods. It’s interesting traveling around and seeing how markets across the country vary in produce and food selection. What stood out to me in this Whole Foods was the particularly large amount of prepared good ole New Orleans soul food. This includes gumbo, red beans and rice, fried catfish, and jambalaya. While I did not try any of these (though I’m sure they are all very delicious), there was something new that I spotted that I found worth buying and trying. I grabbed a bag of Chili Lime Kale Chips by Kaia Foods (soon to be called Kaya, they are undergoing a name change). With my purchase in hand, I strolled over to the café area to relax and give these chips a try. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give these guys an 8. Deductions for this product come from the size of the bag (wayyyyyy too small!) and another deduction for price (eating these daily could eat a hole in your wallet!). As far as taste, they were surprisingly right on the money. They satisfied my crunch craving and packed the right punch of the three S’s, salty, sour, and spicy.
Almost everyone has heard that kale is a “superfood”, but how many can actually name the “superfood” components of this leafy green? I did a little research via Google Scholar and came up with the following:
Let’s start with the easy stuff, the nutrition facts. Steven Laifer lays out the nutrition data in his article, “Kale: Powerful Cancer Protection and Healthy Eye and Heart Benefits”. One serving is considered 1 cup, or about 67 grams.
Protein: 2 grams
Fat: 0.5 grams
Carbohydrate: 7 grams
Calcium: 91 mg (9% daily value)
Potassium: 299 mg (9% daily value)
Lutein & zeaxanthin: 26.5 mg
Vitamin A: 10,302 IU (206% daily value)
Vitamin C: 81 mg (134% daily value)
Vitamin K: 547 mg (684% daily value)
Vitamin B6: 0.2 mg (9% daily value)
Manganese: 0.5 mg (26% daily value)
Kale is in the same family as brussel sprouts, cabbage, and collards. These plants are known for their health promoting phytonutrient content.
The high vitamin C content in kale makes it a potent antioxidant in the body, which helps prevent damage to cells by eliminating free radicals from the body. Removing free radicals is beneficial in that free radicals damage cells and result in an immune system inflammatory response in order to clean and heal the damaged cells (Embu 77). Long story short, vitamin C helps decrease inflammation, yay!
Vitamin E, also an antioxidant, protects cell membranes from damage by oxidative stress. It is important to note that vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin and should be consumed with a little fat in order to reap the full benefits of this important antioxidant (Embu 77).
Vitamin A, in the form of Beta Carotene, is another nutrient found in abundance in kale. Beta Carotene is the carotenoid family and is associated with a lower risk for multiple types of cancers (Embu 77).
Lastly, kale is low in the antinutrients, Phytate, Oxalate, and Tannins (Embu 77). I think I’ll do my next post on these antinutrients because they are substances that I would like to explore.
Remember how I said the down side of the kale chips I tried were amount of kale chips per package and high price? Well let’s fix this by making our own, it’s very easy! I tried it out yesterday – so new recipe post to follow! Eat kale, be healthy!
Embu, P.K., J.U. Anyka. “Vitamin and Antinutrient Composition of Kale (Brassica oleracea) Grown in
Delta State, Nigeria. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition. Volume 10 (1): 76-79, 2011.
Laifer, Stephen. “Kale: Powerful Cancer Protection and Healthy Eye and Heart Benefits”. Life Extension.
July 2008. Pages 89-91. Available at <http://www.encognitive.com/files/KALE_0.pdf>.