Kale and diabetes
What is kale? It is a leafy green vegetable that is part of the cabbage family. There are many varieties and different ways to serve them. I want to first mention that kale is an excellent protection against diabetes. It contains antioxidants and fiber and it is about the healthiest food on the planet. The intake of fiber from kale can lower glucose levels in type 1 diabetics. It also improves lipids, insulin, and blood sugar levels as well. You can try but you won’t find a healthier vegetable!
Kale contains a very important antioxidant called alpha-lipoic acid. Studies were performed in diabetes patients showing that it helps in raising insulin sensitivity, lowering glucose levels, and helping to prevent changes that are oxidative stress induced. There’s also a chance that it lowers peripheral neuropathy.
I have neuropathy with numbness in my feet and I take alpha-lipoic acid everyday to help me with it. Your body does produce it naturally but kale can help by adding to it daily. Studies were done where alpha-lipoic acid, instead of getting through regular diet, was used in higher dosages intravenously. When you learn about what works for your body and your health, it makes life a bit easier. By the way, kale was tagged as one of the nine healthiest foods for diabetes by Reader’s Digest magazine.
Alpha-lipoic acid is also linked to reducing your risk for diabetes and depression as well. The Omega-3 fatty acids in kale are especially beneficial. Since being overweight and having diabetes can take a toll on your brain, kale is the champion in the fight against these two. Your brain cells and blood vessels age much faster and aid in your brain becoming inflamed. The fiber it contains helps you with a much better health in your stomach, keeps you feeling full, and at the same time will not spike your blood sugar because it is a natural low carbohydrate food.
Kale and spinach
Kale has a partner that is identical and similar in nature as to how they both help your body with how much nutrition they can provide. That partner is my favorite vegetable, spinach! These two can pack a one-two punch when it comes to being healthy for you. Kale and spinach offer magnesium, potassium, iron, and Vitamins A & C. Together or separately spinach and kale are about the most nutrient dense foods available. They beat out every other fruit and vegetable for nutrition.
Total health benefits of this superfood-Kale
* Anti-inflammatory- Kale is an excellent way to fight against asthma, autoimmune disorders, and arthritis. It contains about 10% of the Daily Recommended Allowance of omega-3 fatty acids in just one single cup.
* Vitamin K- This is one important forgotten nutrient. Kale contains approximately seven times the Daily Recommended Allowance in one cup. Why is this so important? It’s because vitamin K is without a doubt crucial for the clotting of your blood. It provides proteins with the ability to bind calcium by initiating them. It is also important for other functions of your body such as the health of your bones and antioxidant activity.
Always discuss with your doctor first because too much vitamin K may cause issues for some folks especially if you are taking certain medications such as warfarin, but let your doctor tell you what to do.
* Your brain- Having kale as part of your regular diet can help to protect your brain. It can drastically reduce your risk of a stroke because of it containing more than 40 flavonoids. It’s also high in omega-3 fatty acids. Because kale contains high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, these are also very powerful anti-inflammatory compounds which are crucial for protecting and boosting your memory, your functions, performance and overall health of your brain.
* Detoxification- Living each day we may not realize that we are constantly exposed to the bad elements and toxins that we use and that are present in the environment. We really need to detox and remove these harmful elements from our bodies in order to stay healthy. Kale has special properties that are powerful in detoxing your body.
The antioxidants that they contain help to eliminate these harmful and dangerous toxins. The special compounds known as ITCs can also help to decelerate the growth of tumors and help in their demise.
* Potassium- Potassium has many roles in keeping you healthy. Kale provides almost 10% of your daily recommended allowance with 300 mg in one cup alone. Potassium is important for you because it helps to prevent kidney stones and bone loss, decreases your blood pressure, and lowers your risk of heart disease and stroke. It’s easy because all you have to do is eat kale. It’s not rocket science, is it? There are so many benefits for your body by just eating kale. Why not do it?
* Folate- if you need to boost your level of folate for pregnancy or other particular health issues, then kale is a good choice. For women who are pregnant, their doctors may advise them to increase their intake of folate because it protects their child from any brain defects. Folate is also a great promoter for the developments that are neurological. Kale is naturally rich in folates so it would be a better choice than supplements.
* Vision- For me, almost nothing is more important than my eyes and my vision. Beta-carotene and antioxidants happen to be excellent for the health of your eyes. Carrots have always been associated with beta-carotene and good eye health and kale is as well. As I am getting older kale becomes even that more important to me because its antioxidants with two issues that older folks face. They can lower your risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. KALE just became that more important to me!
* Weight loss- Sometimes when you think about weight loss it has a lot to do with feeling full. Obviously if you are feeling full then you won’t want to keep eating for no reason? But for me feeling full helps and that’s what kale helps to do for you. It’s been shown that low density foods help you to lose weight and kale is a low density food. It’s low in calories and gives you that full feeling which in turn can help you to lose weight.
* Preventing illness- Nobody likes being sick or not feeling well. Kale contains 80 mg of vitamin C which is almost as much as as a cup of oranges. But while this helps with warding off the common cold, it’s the other viruses you need to be concerned about. So with the vitamin C that kale provides, it is beneficial in aiding with signs of aging and fighting and preventing other diseases as well.
* Your bones- I think that most of us know that you need calcium for strong bones. Being deficient in calcium can lead to low bone mass and that leads to possible health issues such as osteoporosis and becoming more prone to bone fractures. As I mentioned before vitamin K protects your bones but combined with calcium you get twice the power of bone strength and protection.
* Depression- There are medications prescribed to patients for depression that have side effects. But the omega-3 fatty acids in kale have been successful in treating depression as well without the side effects. There;s usually no issues with omega-3’s and provide many positive results for your health. It can help with other mood disorders. Eating kale seems to be a great prescription for treating depression and mood related issues.
* Heart disease- As I mentioned before potassium can lower your risk of high blood pressure, but in addition reduce your risk of heart disease. Magnesium is also an excellent provider in the battle against heart disease and kale contains magnesium so it makes sense to have kale in your diet to benefit your health.
* Manganese- There are so many minerals that we need to be healthy. Manganese seems to be one of the forgotten ones. It is good for your bones, factors in the clotting of your blood, and aids in producing connective tissue. It also helps to control calcium absorption and your metabolism. Kale is an excellent source of maganese. You can get over 25% of your daily recommended allowance with one cup of kale. There sure is a lot of benefits in one cup of kale per day.
* Lower cancer- Kale is a part of the cruciferous vegetable family. It can protect healthy cells while having anti-cancer effects. Many of kale’s substances are connected with a lower risk of cancer. Research was done on the cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower and they showed to lower the risk of cancer.
* Hair and skin care- Since kale is rich in both iron and vitamin C, it can help to prevent hair loss. Hair loss is linked to an iron deficiency. Kale also is loaded with sulfur that helps with reducing scars, the production of collagen, and removing toxins from your skin.
* Digestion- It’s easy digestible and rich in fiber. It has zero fat content and aids in fighting irregular bowel movements and constipation. There’s nothing better than easy bowel movements and having no stomach issues.
Kale is very healthy. It’s great for lowering your blood sugar and diabetes. That’s my main concern with having diabetes. But there are precautions you should check before you eat too much kale. Having too much can lead to bloating, constipation, and gas so you don’t want to overdo it. If you’re taking any kind of blood thinners, you should exercise caution because the high content of vitamin K promotes clotting so your doctor should be informed first.
You should also be aware that too much kale can cause problems with gallstones and kidney stones. The reason for this is something called oxalates which are the substances responsible. Now I wouldn’t get discouraged from eating kale because it’s that good for you. It’s just that you need to know what amount works for you.
Kale may not be a very well known or popular vegetable but it should be. You can see just how many benefits that it offers. We known that natural foods are healthy for you but it appears that kale is at the top of the list. I never even knew that kale existed when I was growing up. Did they even invent it back then! LOL
While kale can definitely be good for you, you still want to exercise and take your blood sugar everyday, lose weight if you need to, and see your doctor regularly. Don’t ever do anything without discussing it with your doctor first as I always say because after all, they are the professional, not you or I. I hope that you learned the connection with kale and diabetes and that kale helps you to lower your blood glucose numbers. But if you still need additional help with losing weight and getting your numbers down, you may need something a bit more powerful. Try this because it works!
I hope I’ve helped you and if you have any questions or comments please leave them below. I would appreciate interacting with you! Pass this on to others who would benefit from it too! Thank you for reading!