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Archive for March 17th, 2011

Kale close up in Norddeich, Dithmarschen

Image via Wikipedia

Didn’t want to wear green today? Observe St. Patrick’s Day and celebrate National Nutrition Month’s “Eat Right with Color” with heaping servings of green foods for dinner. Low-calorie, nutritious, and tasty kale makes an excellent choice.

 For many years I was unfamiliar with kale. Cooked greens consumed in my area consisted mostly of turnip or mustard greens. But I knew curly kale made a great garnish for food trays and dishes. I discovered it tastes great, too.

Kale grows abundantly in the warm south during cooler weather. It has become a part of our “green patch.” We mix seeds of kale, mustard, and turnip greens and broadcast (sows liberally) in our small garden. Kale takes little space, even the corner of a flower bed will do. Young tender leaves soon replace those gathered.

Kale, low in calories, has about 18 calories per one-half cup cooked serving. It is a great source of fiber, phytochemicals, and antioxidants. Numerous vitamins and minerals found in kale include thiamin, riboflavin, folate, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. A serving of kale provides more than the daily need of vitamin C, twice the requirement of vitamin A, and six times the daily need of vitamin K.

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, kale and other green vegetables like spinach, deep green lettuces, bok choy, mustard greens, chard, and mesclun (a salad mix) may protect against cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, and stomach.

For a healthier diet, add this mild-flavored, power-pack vegetable to your meals. Go green with kale.

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