Kale 5 Health Benefits

kaleKale is one of the recommended Sirtfoods.

It is definitely one of the healthiest and most nutritious plant foods in existence.

Kale is loaded with all sorts of beneficial compounds… some of which have powerful medicinal properties.

Here are 5 health benefits of kale, that are supported by science.

1. Kale is Among The Most Nutrient Dense Foods on The Planet

Before we get to all the benefits, let me briefly explain what kale is…

Kale is a popular vegetable, a member of the cabbage family.

It is related to cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens and brussels sprouts.

There are many different types of kale. The leaves can be green or purple in color, and have either a smooth or curly shape.

The most common type of kale is called curly kale or Scots kale, which has green and curly leaves and a hard, fibrous stem.

A single cup of raw kale (about 67 grams or 2.4 ounces) contains (1):

  • Vitamin A: 206% of the RDA (from beta-carotene).
  • Vitamin K: 684% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin C: 134% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin B6: 9% of the RDA.
  • Manganese: 26% of the RDA.
  • Calcium: 9% of the RDA.
  • Copper: 10% of the RDA.
  • Potassium: 9% of the RDA.
  • Magnesium: 6% of the RDA.
  • Then it contains 3% or more of the RDA for Vitamin B1 (Thiamin), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Iron and Phosphorus.

This is coming with a total of 33 calories, 6 grams of carbs (2 of which are fiber) and 3 grams of protein.

Kale contains very little fat, but a large portion of the fat in it is the omega-3 fatty acid called alpha linolenic acid.

Given the incredibly low calorie content, kale is among the most nutrient dense foods in existence. Eating more kale is a great way to dramatically increase the total nutrient content of your diet.

 

2. Kale is Loaded With Powerful Antioxidants Like Quercetin and Kaempferol

Kale, like other leafy greens, is very high in antioxidants.

This includes beta-carotene, vitamin C, as well as various flavonoids and polyphenols.

Antioxidants are substances that help counteract oxidative damage by free radicals in the body..

Oxidative damage is believed to be among the leading drivers of aging and many diseases, including cancer.

But many substances that happen to be antioxidants also have other important functions.

This includes the flavonoids quercetin and kaempferol, which are found in relatively large amounts in kale.

These substances have been studied intensely in test tubes and animal studies. They have powerful cardioprotective, blood pressure lowering, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-depressant and anti-cancer effects… to name a few.

3. It is an Excellent Source of Vitamin C

fresh-kale-in-a-brown-bag

Vitamin C is an important nutrient.

It is a water-soluble antioxidant that serves many vital functions in the body’s cells.

For example, it is necessary to synthesize collagen, the most abundant structural protein in the body.

Kale is much higher in vitamin C than most other vegetables, containing about 4.5 times much as spinach.

The truth is… kale is actually among the world’s best sources of Vitamin C. A cup of raw kale even contains more vitamin C than a whole orange.

4. Kale Can Help Lower Cholesterol, Which May Reduce The Risk of Heart Disease

Heart and Stethoscope

Cholesterol has many important functions in the body.

One of them, is being used to make bile acids, which are substances that help us digest fats.

The liver turns cholesterol into bile acids, which are then released into the digestive system whenever we eat a fatty meal.

When all the fat has been absorbed and the bile acids have served their purpose, they are reabsorbed into the bloodstream and used again.

Substances called bile acid sequestrants can bind bile acids in the digestive system and prevent them from being reabsorbed. This reduces the total amount of cholesterol in the body.

Guess what… kale actually contains bile acid sequestrants, which can lower cholesterol levels (11). This should lead to a reduced risk of heart disease over time.

One study found that daily consumption of kale juice for 12 weeks increased HDL (the “good”) cholesterol by 27% and lowered LDL levels by 10%, while also improving antioxidant status.

According to one study, steaming kale dramatically increases the bile acid binding effect. Steamed kale is actually 43% as potent as cholestyramine, a cholesterol lowering drug that functions in this way .

 

5. Kale is One of The World’s Best Sources of Vitamin K

Vitamin K is an important nutrient.

It is absolutely critical for blood clotting, and does this by “activating” certain proteins and giving them the ability to bind calcium.

The well known anticoagulant drug Warfarin actually works by blocking the function of this vitamin.

Kale is one of the world’s best sources of vitamin K, with a single raw cup containing almost 7 times the recommended daily amount.

The form of vitamin K in kale is K1, which is different than vitamin K2. K2 is found in fermented soy foods and certain animal products. It helps prevent heart disease and osteoporosis.

Highest Rated Sirtfoods

sirtfoodsThese are the highest-rated 20 Sirtfoods for a Sirtfood-rich diet  and how you can incorporate them into your daily meals.

  1. Bird’s eye chilli Also sold as Thai chillies, they’re more potent than regular chilis, and also more packed with nutrients. Use them to set off sweet or sour recipes.
  2. Buckwheat Technically a pseudo-grain: it’s actually a fruit seed related to rhubarb. Also available in noodle form (as soba), but make sure you’re getting the wheat-free version.
  3. Capers In case you’re wondering, they’re pickled flower buds. Sprinkle them over salad or roasted cauliflower.
  4. Celery The hearts and leaves are the most nutritious part, so don’t throw them away if you’re blending up a shake.
  5. Cocoa The flavonol-rich kind improves blood pressure, blood sugar control and cholesterol. Look for a high percentage of cacao.
  6. Coffee Drink it black – there’s some evidence that milk can reduce the absorption of sirtuin-activating nutrients.
  7. Extra virgin olive oil The extra virgin type has more Sirt benefits, and a more satisfying, peppery taste.
  8. Green tea or matcha Add a slice of lemon to increase absorption of sirtuin-producing nutrients. Matcha is even better, but go Japanese, not Chinese, to avoid potential lead contamination.
  9. Kale Includes huge amounts of sirtuin-activating nutrients quercetin and kaempferol. Massage it with olive oil and lemon juice to serve it as a salad.
  10. Lovage It’s a herb. Grow your own on a windowsill, and throw it into stir-fries.
  11. Medjool dates They’re a hefty 66% sugar, but – in moderation – don’t raise blood sugar levels, and have actually been linked to lowered rates of diabetes and heart disease.
  12. Parsley More than just a garnish – it’s high in apigenin. Throw it into a smoothie or juice for the full benefit.
  13. Chicory Red is best, but yellow works fine. Include it in a salad.
  14. Red onion The red variety’s better for you, and sweet enough to eat raw. Chop it and add to a salad, or eat it with a burger.
  15. Red wine You’ve heard of resveratrol: the good news is, it’s heat stable, so you can get benefits from cooking with it (as well as drinking it straight). Pinot noir has the highest content.
  16. Rocket One of the least interfered-with salad greens available. Drizzle it with olive oil.
  17. Soy Soybeans and miso are high in sirtuin activators. Include it in stir-fries.
  18. Strawberries Though they’re sweet, they only contain 1tsp of sugar per 100g – and research suggests they improve your body’s ability to handle sugary carbs.
  19. Turmeric Evidence suggests the curcumin in it has anti-cancer properities. It’s difficult for the body to assimilate alone, but cooking it in liquid and adding fat and black pepper increases absorption.
  20. Walnuts High in fat and calories, but well established in reducing metabolic disease. Smash them up with parsley for sirt-flavoured pesto.

Lose Weight With Sirtfoods

Triggering your SIRT genes sparks a change in your metabolism that breaks down more fat cells. The activated SIRTs increase the amount of a neurotransmitter called norepinephrine, which is used by the nervous system as a signal to fat cells, telling them to break down fat. The signal telling the fat cell to convert fat to energy is stronger, increasing fat burning. This is the background to helping you lose weight with Sirtfoods. Foods that burn fat are the holy grail of weight-loss research and to lose weight with Sirtfoods is at the forefront of new research in this field.lose weight with sirtfoods

Want to burn more fat?

Drink green tea. Green tea combines SIRT activators and a (small) dose of caffeine. The caffeine enhances the effect of the SIRTs, meaning more fat is broken down.

There is a natural appetite suppressant effect when the body breaks down fat and the fat is converted into energy. This energy is used immediately by the body. This has a positive effect on how you feel, giving your energy levels a boost and decreasing the feelings of hunger.

Converting fat to muscle

Combining SIRTs with exercise boosts the fat-burning effect even further. If you exercise the energy released from fat cells is available for strengthening muscles.

In practice this means that if you follow the SIRTFOOD  diet and exercise several times a week you will not only lose weight, but you will look and feel leaner as some of the weight has been converted into muscle.

For absolute peak fat-burning performance when exercising, drink two cups of green tea (for the SIRTs and the caffeine) within one hour before or after exercise.

 

Sirtfoods compatible with other diets?

Sirtfoods are not only compatible with all other dietary approaches  but will,in fact greatly enhance their benefits in health and weight. This applies to diets like intermittent fasting,low-carb,paleo and gluten-free which are currently very popular.sirtfoods

Eating a diet rich in Sirtfoods means that the calorie restriction of intermittent fasting can be less severe,yet the benefits will be the same if not greater. A 7 day benefit rather than just say  5 on the 5:2 intermittent fasting regimen.

Low-carb diets that lack plant-based foods can be dramatically enhanced by the inclusion of Sirtfoods. The vast majority of the top 20 Sirtfoods are low in carbs.

Sirtfoods are archetypal paleo foods,containing the sirtuin-activating polyphenols that people have been eating and reaping the benefits from over countless years. Sirtfoods are a missing piece of the paleo philosophy.

The top 20 Sirtfoods are naturally gluten-free making them advantageous  for anyone following a gluten-free diet.

Sirtfoods Or Supplements

sirtfoods

SIRTFOODS HEALTHIER THAN SUPPLEMENTS?

Sirtuin activators and sirtfoods are very new to the science of nutrition. A ‘sirtfood’ is actually a food high in sirtuin activators.  Vitamins were discovered more than 100 years ago, antioxidants 50 years ago and sirtuin activators just over ten years ago.

The first sirtuin activator identified – and still the best known – was resveratrol, found in the skin of red grapes (which is why red wine is believed to keep you healthy), pomegranates and Japanese knotweed.

Other sirtuin activators soon followed, such as catechins (found in green tea and thought to work against cancer cells) and epicatechins in cocoa powder (responsible for the health benefits of dark chocolate).

But research really took off when the pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline bought the rights to produce synthetic versions of resveratrol for £462 million. It excitedly trialed this as a cancer treatment but the results were not impressive. In 2010 the company announced that it had stopped the research.

But it now seems eating sirtfoods naturally rich in sirtuin activators may be a healthier, more effective – and cheaper – alternative to supplements. This was the thinking behind the many recent trials of sirtfoods and the sirtfood diet.   Present results indicate that sirtfoods target exactly the same pathway for losing weight and staying healthy as calorie restriction and exercise.

Sirtfoods Health Benefits

 

sirtfoods

There is growing evidence that sirtuin activators may have a wide range of health benefits as well as building muscle and suppressing appetite. These include improving memory, helping the body better control blood sugar levels and cleaning up the damage from free radical molecules that can accumulate in cells and lead to cancer and other diseases.

‘Substantial observational evidence exists for the beneficial effects of the intake of food and drink rich in sirtuin activators in decreasing risks of chronic disease,’ said Professor Frank Hu, an expert in nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard University in a recent article in the journal Advances In Nutrition. A sirtfood diet is particularly suitable as an anti-aging regime.

Although sirtuin activators are found all through the plant kingdom, only certain fruits and vegetables have large enough amounts to count as sirtfoods. Examples include green tea, cocoa powder, the Indian spice turmeric, kale, onions and parsley.

Many of the fruit and vegetables on display in supermarkets, such as tomatoes, avocados, bananas, lettuce, kiwis, carrots and cucumber, are actually rather low in sirtuin activators. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t worth eating, though, as they provide lots of other benefits.

The beauty of eating a diet packed with sirtfoods is that it’s far more flexible than other diets. You could simply eat healthily adding some sirtfoods on top. Or you could have them in a concentrated way. Adding sirtfoods to say, the 5:2 diet could allow more calories on the low-calorie days.

A remarkable finding of one sirtfood diet trial is that participants lost substantial weight without losing muscle. In fact, it was common for participants to actually gain muscle, leading to a more defined and toned look. That’s the beauty of sirtfoods; they activate fat burning but also promote muscle growth, maintenance and repair. This is in complete contrast to other diets where weight loss typically comes from both fat and muscle, with the loss of muscle slowing down metabolism and making weight regain more likely.